Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ender's Game

For years I'd been hearing that I should read Ender's Game. For years it was sold to me as a classic sci-fi novel that you MUST read to be a fan of the genre, with Hugo and Nebula awards to back the claim up. It shames me a bit that what really kicked me int he pants was the impending film version, directed by Gavin Hood and starring Asa Butterfield (Hugo), as Ender, Harrsion Ford and Sir Ben Kingsley.

I also found a Kindle version, and that helped.

I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. I found much of the middle section of the book, the endless training routines for the kids at the combat school, to be rather a slog. I enjoyed the character of Ender, and most of the rest of the cast, but the events just seemed to go into a cycle. I found Ender's unheard of strategy of re-orienting his concepts of "up and down" in a zero-G environment to be a little "well, duh."  Of course, that's probably because I've read and seen so much sci-fi in the years since this book was published. I can't fault Orson Scott Card for that, but I can say I found it a little tedious, and returned to quite often.

The book did pick up nicely once Ender was moved to command school, the final three chapters worked for me. Yeah, I did feel like that section of the book was a little rushed. we could've spent a little less time at combat school, and more at command. The final chapter also got a little metaphysical and 2001: A Space Odyssey, for me, as well. Again, I remember that as a hallmark of that period, one that was overused.

The writing is not bad, and much, much better than many other books in this genre. The characters well defined. I really loved Colonel Gaff, and I'm looking forward to what Harrsion Ford does with that role. Bean, who moves to the central figure of Ender's Shadow, I'm told, was also quite fun. The ideas were also interesting, and I understand why the book received many accolades. I think I'd have probably been head-over-heels for this book, if I'd gotten off my ass and read it in High School. That's my fault, not the books.

Note: I understand that there are people out there who have personal problems with Mr. Card's politics and beliefs. I confess I'm pretty ignorant of that subject, and for the purposes of this review, I don't care. A good book is a good book, and, while I was not blown away by Ender's Game, I do think it's a good book.

Three stars. Worth your time, if you have interest. Work through the middle section, and it picks up steam again for the climax.

No comments:

Post a Comment