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04 February 2006 @ 09:58 am
Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S GAME (5 stars)  
Depth is just one of the ways Ender surprised me. This science fiction novel, which cavalierly refers to alien invaders as "Buggers," the combined political force on Earth as the "Hegemon," and zero gravity as "Nullo," is deceptively simple. I loved being deceived.

Not even seven years old yet, Ender Wiggin is hardly the person you'd expect to save the world, but when was the last time our perceptions were entirely correct? We often look at young people and think they're incapable of anything significant, anything world-changing. However, the Wiggin children - Peter, Valentine, and Ender - flip that perception on its head. Peter and Valentine gain power and influence in the anonymity of the worldwide Nets while Ender earns the respect and prestige of the world in Battle School.

Whether by fate, choice, or dumb luck, Ender is forced to face some tough questions. Like Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener and Captain Ahab, Ender is dying to know the answer to the question "If I don't like this game of life they're trying to get me to play, do I have to play it?" What happens when someone just stops playing the games people expect them to, especially when the future of humanity is at stake? What exactly is murder? At the brink of extinction, is there anything a species isn't allowed to do in order to survive? What is it in humanity that makes it worth saving? And how far would you go for the person you love? Massive questions for a kid. Or anyone, for that matter.

Card's Y.A. science fiction novel deserves all the acclaim it has and will be given. Winning both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Science Fiction and/or Fantasy achievement, its future is just beginning as people discover that ENDER'S GAME has the makings of all things classic.

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