Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card hardly needs more praise thrown onto the heap of accolades it has already accumulated. Nebula and Hugo award-winning, recently voted the third greatest Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel in an NPR survey, and recently awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature, there is little doubt that the book has been both a popular read and critically acclaimed since its original publication. The question then becomes if the book lives up to the hype.
The briefest summary of the book doesn't instill a potential reader with confidence, as it reads like your typical military sci-fi trope. A genius boy of six is recruited into Earth's galactic fleet, excels in all his training far above his peers, and is constantly considered humanity's last hope in their great war against the bug-like aliens. Indeed, the overall plot isn't exactly filled with surprising twists and turns, those familiar with the genre will feel the events folding along familiar lines. The real power of the book is in its characters and psychology. The titular character Ender and his siblings are intensely interesting, young people with intelligence way beyond their years. It is precisely because of these intricate characters that the book succeeds on a narrative and emotional level. Ender's Game is truly a case where the praise is well warranted. With a movie adaptation coming in 2013, now is a great time to finally read (or re-read) this modern classic.
Tim @ Central