How-To Fight Buggers

“Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game


Ender’s Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth’s future, the novel presents an imperilled mankind after two conflicts with the alien species called “buggers”. In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including Ender Wiggin, are trained from a very young age through increasingly difficult games.

“I don’t care if I pass your test, I don’t care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won’t let you beat me unfairly – I’ll beat you unfairly first. ”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

About the plot: After certain events, Ender is offered a place in battle school located in earth’s orbit. Ender’s life in Battle School is a difficult one, he is isolated from his fellow recruits and given tasks that are increasingly difficult. The cadets of the school participate in competitive war simulations in zero gravity and we learn soon that Ender quickly masters whatever simulation he participates in, he is a strategic genius. He seems to pass every simulation, every game there is…
But the simulations aren’t quite what they seem…

At first, it was hard for me to get into this book because main characters seemed too young and too cunning and they’re sent to learn how to fight when they’re 6? Yet that’s what we do, right? We screw things up or in this case aliens has screwed everything up and then send kids to fix everything.

“Peter, you’re twelve years old. I’m ten. They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

I got into this book quite quickly. I liked Ender a lot. He’s smart, he does not want to cause any harm, yet he will do what has to be done. His brother Peter is a ruthless sociopath and his sister Valentine is compassionate and kind. Ender is somewhere in between. I also liked the plot, even if the battle scenes were a bit boring from time to time. Also, the narration wasn’t too clear, however, somehow it suited the book well.

In the end, I guess why I rated this book so high was because of how humans had encountered alien life form. Buggers came and then there were many wars and there was no common language or understanding between the two species. And now, 30 years after this book, would we understand aliens or would we end up in Ender’s Game?
5/5 stars

How- To Read Ender’s Game
If you liked this, there’s more.  3 books worth more. While I was a fan of two first books in Ender’s Quintet, I had quite big difficulties finishing the last two books.
If you don’t like war fiction, I don’t think you’ll find this too exciting. Moreover, everyone in this book manipulates others and so it certainly does not present you with best human characteristics.
There is a film adaptation from  2013. Written and directed by Gavin Hood, the film stars Asa Butterfield as Ender.

Have you read this? Thoughts? This post is a part of a very happy event called scifi month. Check it out.

Cover image by: Gwydion M. Williams, Post pictures: Ender’s Game Fromic Fight on VimeoEnder’s Game Formic World Fight on Vimeo.

16 thoughts on “How-To Fight Buggers

  1. So. I feel conflicted about this book. I think he got so many things crazy right about this book, and I really enjoyed the overall plot. I just took issue with how the female characters were written and treated. Also I know Ender is supposed to be super intelligent but he spoke like a 30 year old. I was willing to over look this considering when it was written and because I did still like the overall plot. I still haven’t seen the movie!

    1. Yeah, I read some reviews about Ender’s Game where I learned that Scott Card is a chauvinist…Then, on the other hand, there’s Valentine who is excellent at political games, there’s Petra and later on in the series, we have artificial intelligence called Jane so I don’t know.

      I haven’t seen the movie either!

  2. This is the first book I ever got on my Kindle! Surprisingly… I still haven’t read it. Since maybe 2013 :D

    A lot of books do the “genius kids” trope. I’m not sure I enjoy it either :) but I guess when you know it’s there, you can just sort of let it go. I’ll be expecting that in this book. Maybe I should read it soon indeed :)

    On your sidebar I’m also seeing you’re reading Voices from Chernobyl now? I have also been “reading” this since like January. But it was just so sad… And yet, impressive and puzzling. How do you feel about that one?

    1. Scott Card has written another excellent series called Alvin the Maker and it’s one of my favorites, Ender’s Game…I had heard a lot of it, yet for a long time, it seemed like it just was not my cup of tea. Somehow I ended up liking it somehow…

      I liked the “genius kid” when I was a kid…now, not so much. Maybe I’m just getting too old?

      Voices from Chernobyl broke my heart. Writing is really good and I like the way the author built the whole book around these monologues. Excellent book but I don’t know, I feel like I can only take one of these kinds of books a year or two.

        1. Radium Girls is really good, read it in the beginning of this year. Shocking how they put the brushes on their mounths and how people thought radium baths were healthy!! Unbelieviable!!

  3. Oh, I love Ender’s Game so much! I’ve read it I have no idea how many times in the last 10 years. Every time I read it, I find new things to be fascinated by and come to find it’s a completely different character who the story is really about. For years, I didn’t want to read the 2nd book in the series, because I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as Ender’s Game, that somehow reading more in the series would wreck how much I loved the first book. Silly, right? So I finally read the second book, and basically cried through the entire thing, because it’s about 100 times better than Ender’s Game. Maybe in ten more years I’ll be ready to read the 3rd book.

    1. Yay, a fellow fan :) It’s a deep book and I think it has a lot of themes and symbolism to be discovered/re-discovered every time you read it. I really liked both Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, however, I wasn’t too fond of Xenocide.It felt like for two first parts there was someone who edited what Card wrote and with Xenocide it seemed like publisher just published the work without making any edits…

  4. I’ve read all of the Ender books from Card, including the parallel series that focus on Bean. And you’re right that the first two books are great and then the rest are not as great.

  5. I bought this book in the 4th grade, after my teacher recommended it to me at the book fair. But, I didn’t read it. My brother stole my copy and fell in love with the series.
    Fast forward to me in college, still having not read it. My roommate had a copy he loaned me, and I burned through it in 24 hours, which is highly unusual for me, as I tend to be a slowish reader.
    Loved the book. But, it isn’t flawless. There are actually some things I thought were better done in the film.
    I’d say my biggest issue with the book is the age of the kids, and only really in one particular part. No spoilers here, but Ender does something very early in the book, and I don’t believe a child his age would have the physical capacity to do that particular thing, even if they wanted to–which, as I recall, didn’t fully apply to him.
    Overall though, a great book, and a great review! I haven’t ventured into the rest of the series, but I might someday. :)

    1. You have mean brother 😂 Glad you loved it. I have been meaning to watch the film now and now that you mentioned some things were better made, it increased my curiosity.

      Ender and his siblings are some kind of superhuman in a lot of cases. Three of them basically rule the earth and the universe o.O

      Thank You!

  6. I’ve always LOVEEED Enders Game :D There are only 3 books? :O I heard a lot of people complaining how long was this series LOL but if there are only 3.. its okay its not that bad :) Glad to see you like the first two!

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