Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

71%

57 Critic Reviews

The book works as a superficial read, and as something more ponderous.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.


At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

 

About Orson Scott Card

See more books from this Author
Orson Scott Card is the author of numerous bestselling novels and the first writer to receive both the Hugo and Nebula awards two years in a row; first for Ender’s Game and then for the sequel, Speaker for the Dead. He lives with his wife and children in North Carolina.
 
Published April 1, 2010 by Tor Books. 251 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Comics & Graphic Novels, Education & Reference, War, Science & Math, Romance. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 24 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Ender's Game
All: 57 | Positive: 42 | Negative: 15

Kirkus

Good
on Nov 02 2011

...the long passages focusing on Ender are nearly always enthralling--the details are handled with flair and assurance...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by MrModenait on May 14 2012

...I would recommend this book to readers because of its excitement, meaning and unpredictability.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Bonnie on Jul 03 2008

The book works as a superficial read, and as something more ponderous.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Bonnie on Jul 03 2006

I actually liked this enough to read the sequels, which is high praise considering I read this book for SF literature context, rather than its own merits.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Josef Hernandez on Nov 29 2013

“Ender’s Game” is a great work of science fiction and ranks right up there with some of the greatest and most relevant books of the genre.

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About.com

Good
Reviewed by Mark Flanagan on Jul 03 2014

Card's characters, while youthful, are compellingly complex; his language is clear and simple, making Ender's Game accessible to readers of varying ages.

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SFFWorld.com

Above average
Reviewed by Mark Yon on Oct 06 2013

At one level it is emotionally engaging, quite exciting and readable, and it is this that makes it most engaging to younger readers. As an older reader, and delving deeper, there may be some elements that may leave you a little uncomfortable after you finish it.

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'Bout Books

Good
Reviewed by Ronald A. Rowe on Nov 15 2013

I think labeling Ender’s Game as Young Adult literature is a gross misclassification. As such, it does a disservice to adult fans of Sci-Fi or military literature who may be dissuaded from reading one of the all-time great pieces of science fiction literature because of that label.

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Los Angeles Review of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Eric James Stone on Nov 14 2013

If Ender’s Game had ended there, it would have been one of my favorite books of all time, but something strange happened: the book didn’t end. It kept going.

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Sour Grapes Winery

Good
Reviewed by Steve Ferguson on Dec 20 2013

What a shocking and horrifying read this can be, let’s just get that out of the way...Above all else, Card won’t let us forget that Ender is a child who yearns for love and acceptance.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by hellomynameisawesome on Jul 04 2014

I would recommend Ender’s Game to students fourteen through sixteen. I would also recommend this book to kids who are into science fiction. Moreover Ender’s Game would be found interesting to people who appreciate unpredictable books.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Teenage_Read on Jul 04 2014

Ender’s Game is not for the faint-hearted, and if you are willing to look at war and children a different way; than this book is for you.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Haylay on Jul 02 2014

I would recommend this book to all ages, my dad was the one that told me to read them because he loved the Ender’s Game books. When I read them I fell in love, I think anyone of any age would enjoy this book.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Vincent A., on Jul 02 2014

I didn’t really like the movie and I thought the book was way cooler and way more interesting. I recommend the book if you want a good story.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Chloe W. on Jul 02 2014

But, for once, I think that I would prefer the book rather than the movie because it had all the information that I wanted and a better knowing of what the characters were like.

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Teen Ink

Above average
on Jul 02 2014

I liked this book because there was a lot of action and excitement. This was the first time I ever read a book and then watched the movie, and it was surprisingly very helpful.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Kailey A., on Jul 02 2014

Overall, I enjoyed the book over the movie. The book was better able to connect with my feelings through character development. I would recommend reading the book over watching the movie.

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Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by Payton G. on Jul 02 2014

If you ask me, the book was all right. The thing that I didn’t really like/understand was that the book was that it was really long to get to the point. Some parts were exciting to me and other parts were a little dull to me.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Huali M. on Jul 02 2014

In my opinion, the book was better. Even though most of it was very confusing and I was very lost, it was much more detailed, and for the most part, I understood the general story.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Sierrara on Jul 02 2014

Even if you don’t like reading, you should really try reading the book because it seems like it would be appealing to all readers and the story it follows is better read than watched.

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Teen Ink

Good
on Jun 30 2014

The book will twist and turn in different ways. I think that people who enjoy reading space/ adventure/ sci-fi books should give this book a try.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Shalei L. on Jul 02 2014

My advice to you is to read the book and forget about the movie if you truly want to be entertained and enjoy the fullness of the story...

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Jordyn M. on Jul 02 2014

Although Enders Game may have been written many years ago people are still enjoying this wonderful story today...

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Jeremiah R. on Jul 02 2014

I could picture everything in my mind while I was reading. The movie was ok, but it wasn’t as exciting as the book. The book included more plots and conflicts that made Ender the character he was throughout the book.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Cobi B. on Jul 02 2014

...this movie just proves that the book is always better. The theme of the book is “ It’s good for you to do what is needed, even if what is need doesn’t always seem to be right.” So in my opinion, you should definitely read the book before you watch the movie.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Kavishg on Sep 08 2013

Adults will find the plot interesting and the ending significantly suspenseful. Children of all ages will love the idea that children can control the fate of the Earth

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Hamilton Greene on Jan 09 2014

Overall, Ender's Game is an easily-accessible and utterly brilliant work of science fiction that touches on everything that makes a good installment in the genre. Pick it up and read it.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Kyle Godwin on Nov 09 2013

The book is everything it was hoped to be: well written, and the pace of development made it easy to read in a few well-spent hours. The length of the book is also not overpowering. Orson Scott Card did well to write this book.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Keri Withington on Sep 07 2013

There is something both deeply disturbing and fascinating about his child soldiers...Card does a good job of keeping us interested.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Barbara Raskauskas on Sep 07 2013

The high intellect that Card gives the children presents an interesting concept of an army of superior-intellect soldiers...Based on the details of the war games in the book, we should see some spectacular special affects in the movie version.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Gil Wilson on Aug 26 2013

So not just your everyday sci-fi, "Ender's Game" has a lot to offer. Even if you have read the book before, pick it up again...

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Emma G on Aug 06 2013

Right from the beginning, we see that this is no ordinary science fiction novel...It is both a coming-of-age story and a political wake-up call that will leave the reader speechless and grasping for more.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by MJ Carter on Jul 24 2013

Ender's Game is an enjoyable read, not because of any profound knowledge it imparts on the reader but because of it's simple, timeless themes. Everyday things like fear, loneliness, love and sacrifice are what connects you to Ender.

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Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Darren Koobs on Jul 30 2011

Ender's Game is a fantastic read, as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Through his captivating story lines, Orson Scott Card explores political concepts such hegemonies and nations and the attitudes of humanity under stress.

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http://skrishnasbooks.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Sep 25 2013

If you’ve brushed Ender’s Game off because it’s science fiction, it’s worth reevaluating that decision. This book is so much more than its genre; it has themes that readers will want to think about long after the last pages are turned...it’s hard to deny that this is anything but a modern classic.

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Before It's News

Above average
on Jun 25 2013

Another positive of Ender’s Game is the political themes that run through the book. A reader will think about the relationship between the state, families, and individuals.

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Kathy Takes on Books

Good
Reviewed by Kathy Davie on Oct 18 2013

...it’s horrifying, mindbending, and totally absorbing. If you enjoy military science fiction, tension, and drama, this is the book for you.

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Good Choice Reading

Excellent
Reviewed by Maria on Jul 02 2013

No way am I telling - you have to read this one to get all the juicy stuff! Suffice it to say that if you're even remotely a sci-fi lover, this book will be your favorite of the year.

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It's All About Books

Good
Reviewed by Suey on Sep 01 2013

It's harsh and blunt and violent and yet you feel for this kid, and you root for him and you ache for him...and when I read it for the first time, the ending absolutely blew me away.

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Graeme's Fantasy Book Review

Below average
Reviewed by Graeme Flory on Jun 23 2013

Card spends the greater part of the book building up this relentless pressure on Ender only for the climax itself to pass with more of a whimper than a bang.

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The Speculative Scotsman

Below average
Reviewed by Niall Alexander on Jul 10 2013

The bigotry...[is] enough to make one wonder: is this really the sort of thing we want to expose generation after generation of potential science fiction fans to? I do not know that this dark parable is one for the ages in any case.

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https://lareviewofbooks.org

Above average
on Nov 14 2013

If Ender’s Game had ended there, it would have been one of my favorite books of all time, but something strange happened: the book didn’t end. It kept going.

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Books: A True Story

Above average
Reviewed by Jessica on Mar 13 2014

I haven’t read Ender’s Game since high school. On re-reading it as an adult, I found it just as page-turning and thought provoking as I did the first time.

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Books: A True Story

Good
Reviewed by Jessica on Nov 04 2013

As driven and smart as Ender is, you can still see his innocence because the way he views the world is not the way that adults do. It was fascinating to read this first as a teen and now as an adult.

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InkSlinger Blog

Good
on Jun 28 2013

Card’s prose is of the clear, clean-cut variety, in the tradition of George Orwell, who said that good writing is “like a windowpane.” He doesn’t draw attention to himself as the author.

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West Metro Mommy

Below average
Reviewed by Melinda Ott on Nov 04 2013

I have some minor quibbles with the writing. I felt the battle scenes were just a bit over-written and could have been simplified or stream-lined. I also felt that the 3rd person point of view shifted too much...

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Small World Reads Blog

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Small on Dec 15 2013

Most of the novel goes through Ender's military training at Battle School, which I found surprising engrossing. Again, this is really not my kind of a book, but I loved it. Ender is a sweet, brilliant boy who basically always makes good decisions. You just can't help but root for him.

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Monniblog

Below average
Reviewed by Monica on Jun 30 2014

All the political mumbo jumbo was not clearly explained and didn’t strike me as interesting. Perhaps if the beginning chapters had been structured to include more of the political background it would feel more relevant, but the focus was always on the Battle School.

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SciFi Chick

Above average
Reviewed by SciFiChick on Oct 22 2013

Ender’s Game is a true science fiction classic, in my mind. I’m glad it’s finally coming to the big screen, so that it can get a wider audience. It’s a coming-of-age story set in a science fiction adventure with unforgettable characters

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Beckoned by Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Sherre on Dec 16 2013

If you’ve been thinking about this book, I’d totally suggest it. It’s beautifully written and engrossing...Pick it up now!

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Beckoned by Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Sherre on Dec 16 2013

If you’ve been thinking about this book, I’d totally suggest it. It’s beautifully written and engrossing...Pick it up now!

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Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin' News & Reviews

Good
Reviewed by William Silvia on Dec 05 2013

Ender’s Game is a book that any Science Fiction fan should read- particularly young ones who can handle death in fiction but are still learning their way around the genre. It’s not hard Sci-Fi, not because it’s Fantasy, but because the writer felt that the book should be easy for everybody to understand.

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Bloody Bokkaholic

Below average
Reviewed by Chaz on Jul 02 2013

Bottom line, this is a solid book I would read between another series you might be waiting for or just to take a break from another story. I really liked it, but the spark of love just wasn't there.

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The Authoress

Above average
on Jan 09 2014

Ender's Game packed a punch when it came out of the gate back in the late 70's, but it hasn't lost any of its potency. It was a well-crafted and excellent story that is definitely worth a gander, even if you aren't into sci-fi.

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Fixed On Fantasy

Good
Reviewed by Josh on Dec 16 2013

I really appreciated how even though Card's characters are all incredibly young children, there is a lot of discussion and justification within the story on why. Through his characters Card also reflects on the exceptional and even unnatural state of the children and the concerns over their well being.

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Dwell In Possibility

Below average
on Sep 07 2013

The expression that kept going through my head is "jumped the shark": somewhere along the way, the story did just that, and any chance of it being a really good story vanished into the murky depths of poor writing.

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http://www.ign.com

Below average
Reviewed by conkersbadfurday on Nov 24 2013

Ender’s Game is a good book, perhaps a great book, until the end where it just fumbles so much. Subtext abounds...But the ending isn’t better, the ending is poor, and now I’m stuck wondering if I should recommend the novel.

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Reader Rating for Ender's Game
89%

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Barton Yahwoo 24 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

User Review

Mike Coville 26 Sep 2013

Who hasn’t read this book? Just what I thought, not many of you. The sad truth is that I had not read Ender’s Game until a couple of months ago. My daughter had read this book and recommended it to...

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Mirka Mendez 24 Jan 2014

This futuristic book is very realistic and shows what human race really is. Love the story and the essence of characters.

Lars Klamer

Lars Klamer 20 Mar 2015

Liked the book

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O 23 Oct 2014

Liked the book

Mirka Mendez

Mirka Mendez 24 Jan 2014

Liked the book

Mike Coville

Mike Coville 26 Sep 2013

Liked the book

Andrew Novak

Andrew Novak 23 Sep 2013

Liked the book

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