How can a book about ant-aliens and ten year old space commanders make its way onto my bookshelf? I had been on a young adult kick for awhile but most of the books I had read were about young women, with angsty love stories worked in their plots.
Ender's Game was recommended by a friend who bought it for me for Christmas. Unlike my previous YA books, this one is more geared toward the young boy demographic. And now that I think about it, there's probably only one big female character of note in the book. No sir, there are no girls allowed here! This book is full of war games, soldier school, aliens, fights, and definitely no heart to heart talks. Very boy-like indeed.
Basically, Ender is a young boy living in a futuristic society. Life on other planets has been discovered, inter-stellar travel is somewhat normal, and boys (and some girls) can go to school in space to train to be soldiers. This final point is necessitated by the fact that Earth faces the threat of annihilation by an alien ant-like species lovingly termed "buggers." Okay, stay with me on this one, it gets better, really.
Ender has been chosen to attend this school and is being groomed to command an army. Most of the book covers Ender's time at the battle school, particularly the war games the boys play as a part of their training. Even though this is a book for boys, there is no lack of drama at the war school. But instead of he said/he said gossip and bitch slapping, there is more snubbing at lunch tables and trash talking and even a naked shower fight. Hmmm, maybe boys and girls aren't that different after all?
Anywho, I was about two thirds of the way through the book and over the battle school when things really picked up. I'm not just talking about the action getting better, or the setting changing sort of thing. I'm talking about the author throws you for a loop and the book takes on a whole new meaning and I'm suddenly engrossed in a really philosophical, thought-provoking story. In fact, I went from "I'm just trying to finish this damn book" to "holy moly I can't put it down!"
Unfortunately I can't really elaborate without spoiling anything so you'll just have to take my word for it. Overall, it's a mixed review. I think there's a real treat in this book for whoever picks it up. But if you're not into sci-fi/wargames type of stuff, you might have to tolerate two hundred pages before getting there.