Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card was our book club choice for December's discussion. Not only was it one of our member's favorite all-time books as a young adult, but we like to do the book-to-movie thing as a group every now and then.
Ender's Game isn't our typical book club read, and that was kind of the point. We are making a deliberate effort to read books this year in each member's favorite genre. I'm not generally a sci-fi, fantasy, horror, detective, or even mystery reader; however, it is an excellent challenge to branch out occasionally and retry a genre.
Unfortunately, few of our members ended up reading the novel. Word got around that it was filled with violent children, and that was enough to send half the members scurrying away. Who wants to read about six-year-olds beating each other senseless? I admit I began as a reluctant reader, but I quickly got sucked into the story.
First, don't let the violent children scare you away. It is immediately obvious that these are not normal kids nor is this the Earth we know. This is a world in which children are bred to be geniuses and soldiers. It is their responsibility to save Earth from the hostile aliens, known as the Buggers.
Ender is chosen, but his brother Peter, who is nearly as brilliant, is not. Ender, though a fierce soldier, has a compassionate side, but Peter is cruel and psychotic. Ender is the absolute cream of the crop, and he is recruited at age 6 to
begin the intense training that will turn him from boy to military
commander. While he knows he was born for this, Ender must leave his parents and his beloved sister, Valentine, who is the one person that knows him completely and adores him.
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.
I am not sure this was the best book club choice since half (or fewer) of the members actually read it; however, I am really glad that I stepped outside my usual genre for this. And I really can't wait to see the movie!