Game, set and match

Card, O.S. (1985). Ender’s game. New York: Tor.

Genre: Science fiction

Intended audience: Mid-teens and older

Personal reaction to the book: Overall, I was pretty blown away by this one. Yes, there are elements of a enders gamecoming-of-age novel, but there’s a much more fascinating study of war and the military mind, society and social hierarchy. I found Ender to be an interesting character (he and his sister reminded me of Paul Muad’dib and his sister Alia from Dune) and Battle School felt like a futuristic revisiting of Lord of the flies.

A lot of sci-fi extols the virtue of the independent I versus a variety of regimented hive minds; this one I thought did better than most by making the limitations of the Other believable and integral to the story. I also liked the way Card played the buggers’ limitations against those of human society in the subplots.

Author facts: Orson Scott Card is a Mormon who grew up in the West and did a mission for the church as a young man. He moved to Greensboro, N.C., to pursue a job which did not work out but he and his family continue to live there. He blogs at

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