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?

Book Club

I always thought that book clubs were for rich middle aged women who had nothing better to do. I have no idea where I got that notion, because I just started my own book club last month! I realized their value: community with good friends, and exploration into good fiction.

I had no idea how to start one, or what to do when I did, but I emailed a bunch of girls and off we went! Are you interested in anything like this? Because really, it’s quite incredibly simple:

  1. Email people.
  2. Meet and pick a book. (We’re reading The Help right now)
  3. Read the book.
  4. Meet a month later.
  5. Talk about the book.
  6. Pick another book. (Not sure what’s next yet—we’ll see!)
  7. Repeat.

However simple that sounds, the one difficult task is picking the book. Still haven’t gotten that part down yet. We have so many tastes and opinions: sci-fi, mystery, classics, pop-fic, dystopia, memoirs. The list goes on. So much wonderful diversity—but it makes it difficult to find something that everyone will enjoy. 

To you all out there, the floor is open: Any tips on how to pick books? Or any recommendations?