Ender’s Game

Obviously I’ve gotten really busy, and I was kind of thinking I just wouldn’t post on here anymore and call it failed, but I had fun with this for a while. On top of being busy with school and extracurriculars, I also recently decided to bite the bullet and read Ender’s Game. I’ve had a copy sitting by my bed for months now, a bookmark on page 11, but I just never felt like getting into it. But I’ve recently started feeling like I need a new series since I can’t seem to get myself through A Dance With Dragons. I’ve been on Fantasy for a long time, so Ender’s Game seemed to be the perfect journey back into Science Fiction. Obviously spoilers will follow.

Here’s what I knew going into this,

1. This is my mom’s favorite book series

2. There was a movie recently (I never even saw a trailer for it though)

3. There would be some kind of huge surprise at the end

When I started actually getting into Ender’s Game, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was an easy read. No difficult words or complex scientific terminology and theories to get hung up on like other Sci-Fi books I’ve read. I normally read about a page a minute in a regular novel geared toward adults (Game of Thrones type books); that number is obviously lower for things like Lord of the Rings. In Ender’s Game I was pretty reading a little under 2 pages per minute which was good for how busy I am right now.

In general I found it to be a charming book with a very interesting premise. The idea of how the world was run, and especially the way Peter and Valentine were able to aquire power online made it an interesting world to think about. I also felt very strongly for Ender, as I was supposed to.

Probably the biggest surprise for me was when it was revealed that not only did Ender kill Bonzo, but he also killed Stilson. Of all the things in that book, I was not expecting that one and when I read that I went back to re-read the fights then googled how they died. For me, that was the big OMG moment that stopped me in my tracks. I was also pleasantly surprised when Bean, Petra, Alai, and Ender’s other friends showed up at Command School, I was not expecting that.

Now it may be because I knew that there would be a surprise, and it may be because I read the last ~100 pages all in one sitting, but when Ender was told that the simulations against buggers were real battles and he had really just destroyed the planet all I could really think was “well…yeah.” I mean, almost the entirety of that last 100 pages was barreling toward the inevitable ending that Ender and his commanders would be fighting real battles. For goodness sake, when he arrived for the last battle, there were a dozen officials standing around tensely watching. If that didn’t hit you over the head with what was going on, I would be shocked. I’m not saying that I could have put the book down 100 pages from the end and said what was going to happen, I definitely couldn’t have, but when it did happen, I was really not surprised at all.

Luckily, my lack of surprise didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book or the thought provoking moral issues it brought up. Shortly after I finished, I found myself on all kinds of forums reading different thoughts on the ending and the whole Xenocide issue. I also read about what people thought of the movie and watched a few of the scenes from it, but I don’t think I’m going to watch it, it got too many negative reviews – mostly about how it fails to cause empathy for Ender and focuses on the cool graphics and the games in Battle School.

What did you think about the ending? Was it a shock? And should I see the movie despite what I’ve read?