OK. So this is a series that Don just absolutely loves. With the movie adaptation having just come out, Don asked me to read this book before going to see the movie. I figured it couldn’t hurt. Here’s the Goodreads summary:
“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.”
While sci-fi isn’t exactly my favorite genre, I still very much enjoyed the book.
Ender is quite a complex character and it was fascinating to see his growth and change amidst the circumstances he was constantly put in. I also liked the world itself that the author created. The battle game itself was pretty cool and it read as if it would have been a pretty interesting and fun time.
I liked the ending and yet it kind of pissed me off, too. I keep going back and forth on it. I liked the book and the characters, but as sci-fi isn’t my go-to genre, I don’t think I’d read the rest of the series.