Last Sunday I finally finished Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, a book that has too long been on my “to read” list. I’d never read any of Card’s work before (aside from an essay he wrote on Snape in The Great Snape Debate prior to the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). I found the book to be a great science fiction read and could really understand why the novel has been so popular for so long. Card is a master of the genre, really working the scenery and descriptions of space to his advantage. His words paint such vivid pictures, I could easily imagine myself floating, jumping, and bouncing across the battle room with Ender and his army.
One thing I thought was interesting about the book was how Card took the typical school boy story and put it in a place totally out of it’s typical element (aka British boarding school). My friend, Travis Prinzi, described it to me as “sci-fi Mormon Harry Potter.” I thought that was an incredibly odd description, but after reading the book I feel it is apt. Card’s Mormon beliefs are definitely present through the story, particularly through the process of deification in Ender’s maturation. (For some good analysis of other LDS fiction look at John Granger‘s analysis of the Twilight series). The comparison with Harry Potter comes through in the school setting, but also in the demands and expectations placed on Ender. Everyone is expecting him to save the world. Very similar in that respect.
Over all, I liked the story a lot. I’d be interested to read the rest of the series. I’m a bit under-read in the science fiction department, aside from a multiplicity of short stories and the novels I read in my college classes, so it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
I’d recommend Ender’s Game to anyone looking for a classic of science fiction, solid action, or for those who enjoy LDS fiction.