A while back on a sweltering day at the famous Moss Avenue garage sale in Peoria with my friend and fellow blog maven, Katie Bogner (looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com) We happened upon tables full of books. I picked up a few including this sci-fi standard for 25 cents. How could I resist? I knew Ender's Game was a classic and involved children and war, other than that I really knew nothing about this book. As I read, I found it both engrossing and uneasy, which is a good mix because it forces one to think. I know Orson Scott Card is not necessarily a press favorite, but his book touches on the nature and ethics of war and whether or not "a good offense is the best defense" still rings true if you don't fully understand your enemy. The book follows Ender Wiggin, a child prodigy in a grim future Earth that has survived a devastating battle with an alien race. He is sent to Battle School where children are trained to command armies for another looming war. Quickly advancing through the ranks, he is constantly at war with the two halves of himself, which are also represented by his sadistic brother Peter and empathetic sister Valentine. The two brilliant siblings are left behind on earth, unfit for the demands of battle school for being two singular in their attributes, whereas Ender is the perfect mix the commanders have been waiting for, and they constantly push him to his limits until the very end. The side story of Peter and Valentine is also fascinating, in that given their intellect and the world's technological advancements, they essentially catfish their way into the political climate of the day, hiding behind faux personas on an internet-like system, swaying minds and parties to their liking to gain power. The book does not feel like it was written over 30 years ago, the technology and issues feel very present. It's a dark and interesting read.
Lesson I'll take away: Communication is the true key to peace.
Fun Fact: Ender's Game is suggested reading material for the United States Marine Corps.