Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

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.

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About The Nerdy Blogger

Ashley Whitehead Thomas is The Nerdy Blogger. She holds a B. A. in English Literature from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee and began her M. A. at Signum University in Spring 2013. Ashley blogs, reads, writes (for fun and for hire), and spends time with her husband, Ryan, and their two cat-monsters, Luna and Oliver.
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3 Responses to Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

  1. An oldie, but a goodie! I loved the Futurama version they did a little while back. Another cool thing is that this was written before video games were as big as they are now. Good example of a prophetic sci-fi writer.

  2. wanderingch3f says:

    Hmm…can you elaborate on the various Mormon beliefs that are demonstrated throughout Ender’s Game? I’d love to hear your analysis (especially since this has been one of my favorite books growing up). I also need to do a re-reading of this series eventually as an adult instead of reading through the eyes of a child/teenage boy.

    • Great question. I will do my best to answer well, but bear in mind that I am not of the Mormon faith, nor do I claim to be an expert in it.

      From what I understand to be true of Mormon belief, is that when you die, if you have followed the Mormon faith, you will become Godlike and have your own slice of paradise. In the final scenes of the book, Ender is on his own planet and is heralded above all, making him somewhat Godlike because he defeated the buggers when no one else could. Also, the book he writes the extra testament (forgive me, but I’ve only read the book once and it’s been months so I can’t remember the name) is liken to the Book of Mormon.

      Those are the things that first come to mind. I will do some research to see if any one out there has a better treatment of the story in that manner.

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