Ender’s Game is a classic science fiction book about a time in the future when humans have come into contact with a hostile alien race. These mysterious aliens are called “buggers” because of their resemblance to Earth bugs.
The first battle took place when the bugger scouts arrived to secure locations for new colonies and the second when the colonists arrived to settle. In Ender’s Game, the humans are preparing the inevitable third invasion.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is born during this era. He, his two older siblings and their parents live under a tyrannical government that micromanages the lives of the citizens. Andrew’s birth, for example, was a special exception to a population control rule, in hopes that he would grow up to become the military commander that would lead them in war against the buggers.
Ender is chosen as a young child to attend a boarding school for exceptional children and leaves his family.
Poor Ender not only has to leave his family, he also is treated as a teacher’s pet, leading him to be disliked by most of the other student. While the staff is instructed to keep him isolated, he does end up with some friends. Maintaining friendships while at school proves to be difficult, however, since he finds himself promoted to more advanced classes and leaving his peers behind.
In the classes with older students, the anger and resentment toward the brilliant young child accumulate until he finds himself alone again. In order to maintain contact with his friends, he creates a gaming club that meets in the evenings and offers to help any new students who might need it.
He soon finds himself promoted to command a new team of wargamers. The teachers attempt to create scenarios to defeat this brilliant young man, but he manages to bring his team through triumphantly every time. Eventually he is promoted to Command School where they teach him to use a three dimensional simulation program.
His closest friends from school join him and they create an unstoppable team. The training becomes more and more grueling and Ender and his friends become exhausted and overwhelmed.
Finally, Ender is told that he is ready for the final exam. With impossible odds stacked against him, he uses ruthless and cunning tactics to win, hoping that this would be perceived as *unacceptable* and that he would be removed from that position and permitted to go home.
At this point, Ender learns that he has not been using a simulation, but in fact has been battling the buggers remotely. His objective thinking led him to a military victory with all of mankind hailing him as their savior.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original publishing of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, there’s an exciting new version with multiple readers and a postscript recorded by the author! I remember reading this book for the first time in college and being intrigued by his ideas of society and family.
It was no surprise to me that it won Hugo and Nebula awards. The full cast audio make me regret that there isn’t the option of six stars to offer. Don’t pass this one up!
The narration is first rate and is read by several actors including the author.