Ender's Game - I just finished it for the first time (spoilers)

  1. I was completely unspoiled reading it, so I did not see it coming that the final test battle was the actual final battle against the buggers.

  2. I found it very moving at the end. I like the idea that the buggers were communicating with Ender and trying to explain themselves. I also like that he and Valentine were able to go and live on their home planet and that he found “the end of the world” set up for him by the buggers.

  3. However, the main narrative about his training in battle school and so forth went on a bit too long. While kind of interesting(I liked most characters), I didn’t find a lot of the details about the battles and his troops to be all that interesting.
    What do you guys think about the sequels? I’m thinking of getting Speaker for the Dead.

Thoughts about the book? Thoughts or advice about the series?

I enjoyed the book, and the first couple sequels, but am continually surprised that so many people a. talk about it as though it changed their lives b. seem to identify with Ender.

Also, I wish I didn’t know that Orson Scott Card was a homophobic asshole.

Where do people talk like that?

It is a well-crafted genre/adventure book - the stars aligned and Card got this one right. I have not been so impressed with most of his other books. And yeah, I don’t think of the book as mind-blowing - he just got the story, plot and character elements balanced right for this type of book. Reminds me of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books: the first is a well-crafted serial-killer thriller - yay. No need to make it a deep, profound statement…he does tap into some of life’s big questions given Ender’s actions, but that is just an essential ingredient in good genre fiction: tying the plot to big themes. He clearly over-thought those themes big-time with the next book, Speaker for the Dead…

Ende’s Game is the perfect science fiction book, just like LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea is the perfect fantasy book; not neccessarily the best, just perfect.

I’ve seen it here on the Dope. If you search, you might find the thread I’m vaguely remembering. In the copy I read, Card has an introduction where he writes about how so many people have come up to him over the years to tell him how much they identify with Ender and how much the books meant to them, and how gratified he is by their comments. It just makes me go :dubious::rolleyes:

I’ve read most of the series. It jumps the shark after about the third book, IIRC. The newer offshoots are fairly lame, they deal with the Battle School kids on Earth, especially Bean.

I liked Speaker For The Dead, though it is totally different than Enders Game. Xenocide is also pretty good from what I remember but it also is way different than EG. These books are more about Ender and redemption than battles though. The tone and focus totally change.


I liked the book a lot. I like Ender’s Shadow also. Speaker for the dead has some good parts. The rest I never could read.

I second this.

And I kind of liked the other sequels.

It might be an interesting experiment for you to read Ender’s Shadow directly after Ender’s game Especially since you’re unspoiled-something most of us could never do. Ender’s Shadow is basically the same incidents told from Bean’s POV.

This book was our last book club choice - we were reading it as a boy’s perspective contrasted against a girl’s in A Wrinkle in Time. It was also my first time reading it, and I had no spoilers either. I enjoyed the story, but overall it left me a little cold. Others in the group said Speaker for the Dead was really the star of the series. I liked Ender’s Game enough that I will try to read that one.

Our group decided that what would have been a more interesting story (to us) if we could have gotten a little more information on the adults of the world. Perhaps the story of why they chose to train children in the first place or who managed to convince people that stripping children of their humanity to turn them into weapons was a good idea. Someone said the novella it was based on went into a lot more depth about the adults, but that Card cut all that out for the novel.

I also thought Ender was too infallible. Everything he tried worked - he never made mistakes in his training or battle tactics and seemed to lack personal flaws. I realize he was a genius and learned from the mistakes of others, but that was a little too unsatisfying for me.

I just read this a month or two ago and I’m afraid I was pretty unimpressed. I think it may be one of those books you have to read when you’re 12 years old. (People say that about Lord of the Rings, which I did read when I was 12 years old, and love it forever.)

And I hate when people say this, but I saw the “twist” coming a mile away.

I read it when I was 12 so…I love it. I have read it a bunch since then and still love it, but I don’t know if that’s nostalgia talking or not. I particularly loved the battle school stuff as a kid and could have done with more. Now that I am older I think the balance was probably about right, if maybe a little too heavy on battle school

I think Card is a fantastic write and it’s a shame that his personal politics are such a turn off for me and that he lets them bleed into his work so frequently. I don’t even bother picking up anything he wrote after the mid 90s anymore, I never finish them.

Be forewarned: Speaker is NOTHING like Ender’s Game. The setting is completely different and the basic structure of the book is nothing like a cool hard-sci-fi adventure. It is trying to wrestle with big questions about life in a deep philosophical way and, IMHO, Card doesn’t have the horsepower to pull it off, although it is a decent read…

I liked EG well enough, prolly because it validated the way I had fought as a kid (I was like 12 or 13 when I read it), but never felt the need to read any others in the series.

Ender’s Game pretty decent, but the followups were really ho-hum. Ender’s Shadow, though was more inline with Ender’s Game, and so I enjoyed it.

I read all of the Shadow books, and they were all good. Not as good as Ender’s Game but good. There is less characterization and more plot. What is great about Ender’s Game is how perfectly it captures the superiority complex of bright young males. The heroes of the other books are not perfect.
The Ender books got me turned on to OSC’s biblical women series, which I really liked and recommend.

I’ve always thought that the concepts behind Ender’s Game were pretty odd once you think too hard about them, but that the execution is brilliant. “Speaker for the Dead” has some great concepts, but isn’t as appealling a story.

I haven’t been able to think about the series in the same way since reading online debates over whether Ender was an intentional metaphor for Hitler.

Well, it’s not that I’m stupid or anything. I thought a twist was coming, but was expecting it to be more along the lines of:

  • The training facility is run by buggers to figure out how humans learn and fight

  • There are and never were any buggers

  • The buggers really were peaceful(this actually is kind of true in the end)

I just didn’t see that specific twist, even though it seems obvious now I think about it.

Personally, I thought that Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead were both great (though, as others have said, in very different ways), but the recommendations and plot synopses I’ve seen for Children of the Mind and Xenocide have left me with no desire to read either of them.

Card has some great short fiction, too (I’ve long maintained that science fiction is really most at home in the short story, not the novel), such as “Dogwalker” and “An Eye for an Eye”.