I've recently read Ender's Game
. If you haven't heard of it, it's a science fiction book by Orson Scott Card, and it's really good. The premise: Ender Wiggin is six years old and he's going to the Battle School. He's a third child in a place where families are supposed to have two children each. His older brother Peter wasn't accepted, despite his high score, because he could be murderous. At one point he's referred to as "having the soul of a jackal". The people at the school asked his parents to choose a daughter next time, hoping Ender's sister Valentine would be just as intelligent, but milder. She was too caring and empathetic for the school, so they allowed her family to have a third child, Ender, hoping he would be half Peter and half Valentine. They needed a commander to fight the buggers, which are aliens with a hive mind who have killed humans in the past. So Ender goes to play their games. The people there always watch him, and sometimes he's singled out—praised so the other boys will be jealous of him, transferred to an army that doesn't want him, made to fight rigged battles. The people at the school want a future commander, and they aren't looking for anyone happy or nice. As one says, "He can never come to believe that anyone will ever help him out, ever
Ender isn't the typical hero—he's very intelligent, and he's hurt people, and eventually kills. In the beginning of the story, he kicks a bully several times when he's down to make sure the bully's gang will be too scared take revenge on him the next day. But he also feels guilty for hurting. He tells himself that he is just like Peter, that he's a murderer, but he doesn't want to be. Also, he loves his sister Valentine. She used to comfort him by telling he was good person, that he wasn't Peter, which should give you a good impression of what Peter's like. Or does it?
The characters are complicated, and no one is what they seem. Ender can be ruthless, Valentine can manipulate people, Peter has a side that hates himself for enjoying other's pain, and even the buggers might not be all bad. The whole book is full of kids put into generally adult situations. Ender is six when he goes to Battle School, trains, and participates in the staged battles, and he starts winning
, because of his grasp of strategy. Valentine and Peter use fake names and personalities on the Internet and pretend to be adults, and eventually their ideas reach the people in charge.
Dang, this review sounds like a school report. Anyway, Ender's Game
is a very interesting book, very well written, and Ender isn't the typical hero. Kinda like Artemis, really.
http://www.amazon.com/Enders-Game-The-E ... 0812550706
I said you were smart, Mud Boy. I was wrong; are exceptional.—Qwan
Which do you think seems more suspicious? An alien-looking craft hovering in the yard of a country home, or a floating doorway with a centaur standing in it?—Domovoi Butler
We can only change the future, not the past or present.—Artemis Fowl II
I'm trying to care, Artemis. But I thought it was all supposed to be over when the fat lady sings. Well, she's singing, but it doesn't appear to be over.—Holly Short