What is a good sci-fi book series to read?

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Answered by: Tony, An Expert in the Fiction Reviews Category
REVIEW OF ENDER'S GAME (a novel by Orson Scott Card)


In a dystopian society under military jurisdiction, an illegal third child named Ender Wiggin becomes what his two older siblings could not—the perfect child recruit for Earth’s International Fleet. Leaving his childhood behind on his home planet, Ender must grow up quickly as his rigorous cultivation in Battle School begins. The hand-picked kids on the teams in this school face off in preparation of one goal: defend humanity against the next alien attack, or be wiped out.

Widely considered Orson Scott Card’s best work, Ender’s Game is a concept decades ahead of its time. Originally conceived as a short story in the late 70s, Ender's journey spans across fourteen novels. Ender's game is the first book in Scott Card's popular Sci-fi book series. This first installment explores early ideas about the internet and virtual reality. These ideas play a key role in live warfare as humanity strategizes to counter the alien threat. Scott Card’s novel is an interesting precursor to today’s unmanned military aircrafts and the stockpile of war-centered video games currently on the market.

In 2013, the book was translated into the popular film called Ender’s Game. Directed by Gavin Hood, the film featured Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin. The movie plot remains true to the novel in most respects, with the exception of the relationship between Ender’s siblings, Peter and Valentine. There is a point in the novel where Peter convinces Valentine to work with him. Together, they create fake political personas (Locke and Demosthenes) and propagate risky political views on the net. This part of the story is absent from the film.

A great concept is one thing, but character depth connects readers to the story. Even though Ender is worlds apart from his home, there are two forces in his life he is unable to leave behind: his sister Valentine and his brother Peter. Scott Card's depiction of older sibling against younger has a dark edge that matches the bleak nature of the world he has created. Peter, the oldest of the three, is a menacing presence throughout the book. Ender's and Valentine's awareness Peter's sinister nature is intriguing in light of the fact that his is their blood relative. Peter's cruel temperament is contrasted by Valentine's compassionate nature. Ender exhibits traits of both siblings, but he most despises the part of his character he shares with Peter—his ability to destroy another living being. Ender must navigate his way down a murky road of moral dilemmas in an undertaking that is sure to test his very sanity. Ultimately, the future of the human race hangs upon his wits, guts, and mental tenacity.

The level of imagination and foretelling on the part of Scott Card in the novel is impressive, and his spin on the common theme of humanity versus an alien race is rather unique. Fans of the series will attest that Ender's Game sets out on the right foot for what is clearly one of the best sci-fi book series out there.

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