Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Though this book has been around since 1985, its movie adaptation comes out later this year. Since I usually want to read the book before seeing the movie, I thought this was the perfect time to pick up a copy of the Hugo Award title.
In many ways Ender’s Game is a precursor to Hunger Games, Divergent and Matched. Centering on a future where a catastrophic event has changed the “course of human history,” Ender’s Game follows a young boy who has more than he can handle thrust upon his shoulders. That’s where the similarities end. In Ender’s world, the catastrophic event is an alien invasion; the children are training not for sport or recreation but for battle with the “buggers.”
The story is fast-paced and gripping. Rather than spending too much time setting up the story, Card leaves the reader to figure out what’s going on. The result is that we get information just as Ender does – a great narration technique.
I especially like the characterization of Ender’s siblings, Peter and Valentine. The siblings share a lot of the same characteristics, ambition, fearlessness, but execute their desires in different ways. For me it was one of the most honest representations of the lines between genius and madness, between sociopath and driven leader. Peter shows all the signs of becoming a sociopath in the beginning of the book – torturing animals, hurting his siblings, manipulating adults. As he gets older he learns new ways to accomplish his goal of ruling the world.
Peter’s personality and his rise to power could easily be likened to Hitler. It would serve as an interesting discussion point for teens about how Hitler came to power and how we pick our leaders.
I highly suggest picking up a copy of Ender’s Game before the movie hits theaters November 1. It’s sure to be a hit!