Ender’s Game: An Outsider’s Sci-Fi Book Review

Right off the bat, let me clarify: I am not a huge Sci-Fi fan. I’ve really enjoyed the Vorkosigan series, but I haven’t explored much beyond that.

Consider this review to be an outsider’s view of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.

Even to a non-Sci Fi addict, the book is fascinating. Card delves into the psyches of his young geniuses, and creates a war of manipulation that carries through the entire story. Graff and Major Anderson, the two adults in charge of forming children into world saving heroes, skew the lives of the prodigies by controlling every single aspect of their lives. The book makes one consider the power of social constructs and question what it means to be a genuine hero. 

So on one hand, the book is an interesting mental game. 

But on the other hand, I personally couldn’t relate to the characters. Card so carefully controls little geniuses that I didn’t sense much natural feeling. It felt sterile and calculated. The natural world just isn’t like that. Even if the characters are up in a space station, they should still feel human. 

When I asked my book club what they thought, they gave me a different view. Showering me with examples of relatability, they pointed out Ender’s loneliness, his struggle to survive, and his constant stress. They also reminded me of dear Valentine. Her fear of Peter can pull the heartstrings of the reader, as she struggles against her brother’s cruel brilliancy. 

Could you sympathize with the characters better than me? What are your thoughts?