|Nomadic SA Chick||
Publisher: Tor Books
Page Count: 324
Fiction Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, YA, Dystopian, War, Adventure
Dates Read: November 26- 30, 2015
Reading Challenge: 2016 Topic Discard Challenge
Topic: A Hugo Award Winner
Series: The Ender Quintet, 1
Good Reads Summary
Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.
But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military's purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine's abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.
I know people really love this book, but I just could not see the appeal. While I found the book to be well written, I felt that at some point Card did not know what to do with this story. To me, the scene where Ender is sitting in the boat on a lake is a metaphor for Card trying to figure out how to move the story forward. This book could have been about 200 pages shorter and still told the same story with the same amount of feeling. I really disliked Card's portrayal of women in his book. With the exception of one, all females are treated as brainless, fragile, creatures who cannot take care of themselves. Actually, this viewpoint would hold more credit because for the most part, Card doesn't even acknowledge women in his books. There was the mother, the sister, and the one token female in the academy, but after that, most women were pretty invisible for an advanced dystopian society.
Overall, this was just an okay story for me. I wasn't blown away by it, but I don't loathe it either. I would recommend it to some people, but I'm not exactly sure whom that would be.
Ratings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 6
Pace - 5
Plot Development - 4
Characters - 5
Enjoyability - 5
Insightfulness - 5
Ease of Reading - 6
Photos/Illustrations - N/A
Overall Rating - 3 out of 5 stars