This book won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. It is usually rated very highly in “Best of Science Fiction” lists and reviews. It is well written and easy to read. Some parts of it are exciting, other parts are emotionally moving. A lot of praise has been heaped on it. But something about it just didn’t work for me.
Ender is only six years old at the beginning of the story. He is just a young child and it is (mostly) written from his point of view. Being a child and undergoing the experiences he does is one of the main themes of the story. It’s the fact that he is a child that is supposed to make his treatment all the more shocking. Yet for me, he doesn’t feel like a child. He is too intelligent, too calculated, too strategical to ring true. I realise he is supposed to be advanced for his age but I couldn’t connect with him.
Another thing I wasn’t sure about was the “games” or battle training Ender goes through. They were too similar and predictable, in that you know Ender will win again and again. The scenes are well written by the author; you can picture the boys on Ender’s team performing their manoeuvres. There are some great ideas in here. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. This is just one person’s opinion after all. But that’s what I want these reviews to be – my reaction to the book, how it made me feel. And this book left me wanting.
I did really enjoy the ending though. I thought it was a very clever idea and it got me thinking about things that had happened earlier on in the story. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll close here. I want these reviews to be as *spoiler-free* as possible.