Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: A Book Review


Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: A Book Review

With the movie coming out soon, I figured I better read Ender’s Game.  I’m so glad I did because just from watching the movie trailer, I had no idea what Ender’s Game was really about.  Don’t count on me telling you any plot here, as I just want you to read it for yourself!

The Good:

I love the originality of exploring what it would be like to fight in space—person to person and not only with battleships.  The Game Room is an interesting concept and the way Orson Scott Card writes these scenes is neat—strategy at zero gravity—there is no up and down.  It is even more fascinating to try to imagine what it would be like.  I think I would have a hard time believing there is no up and down.

Everyone loves endings that they didn’t know were coming.  And that is all I can say on that point.

The version of Ender’s Game that I read came with a forward by the author, Mr. Orson Scott Card that was interesting to read before the book itself.  He talked about fans writing him letters asking him if he meant for people to read into the book in such and such a way, to see a hidden meaning or a parallel to the real world.  It turns out he didn’t write such deep meanings into the book on purpose at all—he was just trying to write a good story.  And the story is great!  But I love that you can read it to enjoy the story and you can read it to examine politics, philosophy and life.  It can be interpreted in many different ways so all readers will find something of value in the book, even if it is just for the story.

I saw the trailer before reading the book, so of course Colonel Graff looks like Harrison Ford in my head.  And he fits Colonel Graff perfectly.

The Bad:

After a while, it is hard to think of Ender and the other kids as kids.  They seem so adult.  They are all geniuses, they talk and act like adults, so it is hard to imagine them as eight years old.  Every once and a while the child in them shows, especially when they get angry and in the petty arguments between “groups,” but throughout the book I had to keep reminding myself that these were children.

The Verdict:


If you plan on seeing the movie, definitely read the book first.  It is original science fiction that has become a classic—don’t waste your first impression on a movie, though I do hope the movie is good.  This book is great if you are just looking for a good story or if you want to read into it a little more.

Don’t Read:

If science fiction is not for you, then maybe this book isn’t either.  The book is centered on children that are trained from the age of five or six to be soldiers in space.  Some people may find this not to their taste, so while it is not quite like The Hunger Games, you may want to avoid it.
Written by Heidi V

Heidi is a co-creator and writer at Definitely Not for the Birds (DNFB). She is an avid reader, a diehard Badger fan, and knows from experience that a good hike can solve almost any ailment. Follow Heidi @heidi_5 and DNFB @not4birds.