I only picked up this novel because a close friend of my recommended it to me. I have a soft spot in my heart for YA fiction, so I couldn’t say no. Of course not. Diving into Orson Scott Card’s pages was a good decision, but like any good thing, it was over too soon. Sci-fi isn’t normally my go-to on a cozy, rainy Saturday afternoon; however, in need of a light, quick, entertaining read, this fit the bill. Like any good novel that comes out of nowhere, this one was written back in 1977, only rising in popularity with the creation of the movie (and lets be honest, with the rise of YA novel consumption in today’s society). It’s now rocking the strategically and well-placed tables at the book stores and is conveniently placed in a visible location in most big box stores.
I want to talk about the protagonist, Ender Wiggins. It’s hard to believe that a 6-year-old could be as intelligent as this little boy (not to mention the other two Wiggins children as well). In this version of a futuristic Earth, threatened by an alien race, families can genetically design their children to be more intelligent and to have a particular disposition. Families do not have more than two children (as per societal and governmental ruling) and Ender, as a “third,” is created because of the genetic potential of his parents in creating the perfect being to lead Earth’s army agains the alien race, also known as “buggers.” Being genetically advance, Ender displays extreme and adult-like intelligence not often seen in children of the age of 6. He not only conducts himself like an adult, he perceives social relationships and military strategy in a way that, as suggested by the novel, most adults are not capable of. Ender is, as we are told, the only being alive that can conduct the necessary measures in order to eradicate the buggers. At the military school are children who are similar in intelligence to Ender.
Aside from everyone being way to young for the actions and language portrayed in the book, the story is very interesting. When you actually stop and think about the way in which the characters are behaving and the manner in which they speak, the story becomes a little strange. It’s hard to imagine a group of pre-pubescent kids parading around this military base, thinking and conducting themselves in such strategic and often hostile ways. This was the only thing in the novel that put me off, only because I found it a bit unsettling to think about. I will admit that children doing things that are out of the ordinary tends to freak me out juuuuust a little bit.
Card definitely had me convinced with his story though. He throws in a lovely curveball right at the that shifts your entire paradigm of the novel and the story. The ending was a little rushed, especially with this curveball being placed a mere 30-50ish pages from the end. I’d love to get cracking on the next novel, but the last thing I need is another novel to add to the stack of books to be read that has officially succeeded me in height. I’ll be keeping it in mind though for the next time I’m in need of a Saturday afternoon read.
For now though, I’m chugging my way through the tale of Tim Horton’s, so more on that to come. And tonight I’ll be attending a showing of Ender’s Game at the movie theatre. That’s all for now!