In the future Earth has twice been attacked by the Buggers. Humanity has managed to defeat the invading forces, but they want to be prepared for the next round. To that end, all children are given electronic monitors when they are toddlers to determine if they are right for Battle School. Ender Wiggin is the third in his family to be monitored. His parents were allowed to have a third child because the first two were so promising. Peter and Valentine were both deemed unacceptable for Battle School, but they are both extremely intelligent and driven children. Six year old Ender is deemed the hope for humanities future and sent into space to learn all he can. Things are no better for him in Battle School then they were on Earth. His teachers isolate him so they can bring out the brilliant military mind they know he has. Ender is brilliant and thinks outside the box. He excels in Battle School despite everything his teachers do to him, but he never really makes friends. At age eleven he is sent to Command School to learn to control the fleets that will attack the Buggers. His old mates from Battle School are there with him. Together they go through simulates they believe are preparing them for the war, but in reality they are fighting the war.
I wanted to reread this book before the movie came out. I am interested to see how they recreate some of the more important moments in this saga. I am also wondering what they are going to do with all the nudity, since the kids spend half the book naked. Will the movie do this book justice? We will have to see.
I think Ender’s Game is definitely Card’s best work. The rest of the series gets a bit bogged down, but this one is brilliant. I love books about smart kids who buck the system. Ender may be younger than most but he is clearly the best there is and truly the hope for humanity. This is a brutal novel that really doesn’t pull any punches. The set up of Battle School causes rivalries and hatred and without adult supervision these can lead to violence. I really enjoyed Ender’s creativity and imagination when he is faced with everything they throw at him. I think the one off point of this book was the Valentine/Peter storyline. It does set up things for the rest of the series, but it pulls you out of Ender’s story when you really want to be focusing on it. For as brilliant as he is militarily, Ender is a very sensitive kid and it will break your heart to see how he is broken down.