I recently finished reading Ender’s Game for the first time, and (Remember I told you my intial reactions in the post The Hottest New Book – Ender’s Game?) will now submit my… reaction-to-the-book post.
Now, before we go any further, let me caution you that there will be spoilers in this post; if you haven’t read Ender’s Game, go do so, and then come back – to tell me what you think about the book.
With all of that out of the way, let’s jump right in.
The first part of the ending: After realizing that Ender had been commanding actual troops to fight against the Buggers during what he thought were training sessions, I was surprised, but also a little disappointed. The twist let me down – just a bit – because I was really looking forward to seeing Ender doing battle with the Buggers. I wanted to see what the Buggers looked like, and I wanted to feel the intensity of him going into battle, knowing that all of humanity was riding on the outcome; that never happened.
The second part of the ending: I was also surprised that Ender went with Valentine. I figured Ender wanted to get back to Earth, so he would find a way, independently, to get there. I also figured that he would have thought that his relationship with Valentine was gone, and that he wouldn’t go with her. In a way, I’m happy that he did go with her, though, because I’m sure he found some sort of happiness and connection with her that he had missed throughout his years of training.
The third part of the ending: When Ender found the video game’s landscape recreated in real life, on the bugger world, I anticipated the revelation that the video game had been real life, too – of course, that ended up not happening. I was surprised that it ended up being a way for the Buggers to communicate with Ender, and for them to ask Ender to continue their civilization.
All in all, I really liked the characters, but I want to know more about them. Now, I can see how it might have been intentional for us to only know bits and pieces of what Peter and Valentine were up to while Ender was training, because the reader only gets to know a bit more than Ender, and that puts us in the proximity of being in Ender’s shoes – which is cool – but I would like to know what happened with Ender’s parents, how Peter became the hegemon, what he was like as leader, and what Valentine’s relationships were like with people outside of her immediate family and the members of the military she interacted with.
Absolutely! Ender’s Game sucked me in faster than most other books, and I really enjoyed the world that it brought me into. When it comes to fiction, I don’t think there’s anything better that a work can do.
Now you tell me: have you read Ender’s Game? If so, were you surprised by the ending, the first time you read it?