In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
I bought this book a long time ago, and I wanted to get it read before the movie comes out. I am a huge fan of YA dystopian fiction, so I wanted to love this...but I did not.
This book disturbed me, y'all.
And it takes a bit to disturb me. I mean, my all-time favorite book series' revolves around the concept of government-mandated, televised kid killing. But Ender's Game....I don't know. First of all, Ender and his siblings were created to be military leaders. Ender's brother Peter was too harsh; his sister Valentine too soft. Ender was "the one." He is taken to battle school at the age of 6 where he and lots of other kids spend their days fighting these battles -- called "games." And then there are other individual virtual reality "games" for the students as well.
I clearly understand that this book is supposed to disturb you, upset you, make you think about society. The ruling government is basically trying to make Ender into what they want him to be, no matter what the cost. So they make sure to isolate him, make him uncomfortable and things like that. Yeah, the 6 year old. I mean, with Hunger Games -- which is the series I was referring to earlier -- you are dealing with teenagers. Here, it is CHILDREN. I mean, that doesn't make it worse...but it does.
The straw that broke the camel's back for me was hearing Peter and Valentine's plans. Holy crow. I won't tell you the plans in case you would consider it a spoiler, but.... They are 10 and 13 years old. Although, I will say my favorite line from the book came from this part: "I can't have a weekly column. I don't even have a monthly period yet" from Valentine. LOL.
So...would I recommend Ender's Game? I don't know. It might be a book you enjoy. It just wasn't for me.