This was my first sci-fi read and I only picked it up because my teacher raved about it. After completing the book, I fail to see why. What was so amazing about this book, this ending that was made out to be brilliant?
I found the chapters very repetitive especially with the battles. You begin to guess the outcome of all the battles – spoiler ahead if you can call it one – that Ender will win every one of his battles against anyone and everyone and the book never really explains why that is…why are these kids super smart besides this being set in the future? What’s more, the characters are very one-dimensional. There are the bullies and the good guys fighting with Ender but we never really get to know much more about the characters, its as if the author had just categorised these characters as good or bad in terms of how they treated Ender or how Ender saw them and nothing more. We never really understand Ender’s psych and why he ends up doing half the things he does to the other kids, his actions are never justified and so I struggled to feel any sympathy for his character. The book begins with Ender as a rather odd child and my understanding of him didn’t increase as the story went on. We’re only ever told of Ender’s intentions before he takes an action but still the narration lacks in understanding his mentality, in allowing the reader to really get into Ender’s head and actually gain something from his reflections. He does some messed up stuff and as a reader we never really get to grips with it.
I often found that the author appeared to be creating characters from his own personal opinions. The author is known for his homophobic and sexist views and of course all authors have their own opinions and beliefs but we readers accept their novels because they separate their own self from their characters rather than translating those views in such a raw manner into their characters. The book briefly encounters homosexuality but doesn’t address it any further which begs me to question what was the point of bringing in that angle only to dismiss it. The novel is focused around males and the few women there are, appear to be tokenistic and not fulfilling a full role in the story.
But I kept trudging on in the hopes of a epic battle with the buggers, what this book really builds us all up for and builds and trains Ender up for, only to be very disappointed at the end. As someone who was told that the ending is a huge twist, I found the tone of the ending to be almost anti-climatic.
All in all, I found it a slow and boring read but I won’t allow this book to put me off the sci-fi genre, I’m sure there are far better sci-fi novels out there.