For about a month, “Ender’s Game” (ISBN-13: 978-0-765-31378-4; ISBN-10: 0-765-31738-9) sit on my desk. For a month, I just read a few lines of the introduction (not the story itself) and dropped the book. Then, last week, I decided it was time to finish reading it so I could put it away.
And then I got into the story of it. And I couldn’t drop the book anymore. For those unaware of the plot, it is the story about gifted kids and a race of bugs who want to destroy Earth. One of these kids is Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, who is believed by the army to be the most capable commander to defeat the buggers. The whole story surround Ender’s training, mental breakdown, hopes, dreams, and so on.
Orson Scott Card writes a big introduction, trying to explain his point of view about gifted kids. And, for some reason, after reading the book, it feels more like a excuse than an explanation. Several dialogs between such kids feel like 30 years old talking and not something coming from 6 year olds; it may be Card’s vision, but it doesn’t look real. Also, all characters have a flat personality, which is exposed right in the beginning of the book and never change, even in a space of several years. Card points that Asimov “Foundation” series influenced him when he was writing this book, but you really miss Asimov’s way of showing someone personality: bits and pieces there, where you need to read the whole book to finally understand his/her way of thinking.
One good point about the book is that is pretty easy to read. There are a lot of action happening in zero-g but is pretty easy to understand what is going on, which is the complete opposite of “Neuromancer” (which I simply decided it wasn’t worth trying to figure out what William Gibson was trying to explain.)