Tag Archives: Fantasy/SciFi

Ender’s Game: The Movie

Ender's Game Book

I promised a review of the Ender’s Game movie two weeks ago nearly a month ago (and it’s been written since the day I saw the movie . . . ). Oops.

I alluded to it when I reviewed the book, but I wasn’t impressed with the movie. I’ve been telling people not to bother watching the movie—just read the book.

I suppose if you’ve already read it, you might enjoy comparing the two. If you don’t know the story at all, skip the movie and just read the book. At least read the book first.

The movie was everything I thought the book was going to be—flat characters in space suits fighting battles with aliens. But the book was so much more than that because of the character development and complexity of the plot. It went beyond the physical storyline and allowed you to understand the characters and their motivations. That’s what got me past my ill opinion of science fiction and made me love and empathize with Ender. The movie didn’t do that for me.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the movie was Ender’s age. I knew before I even saw it that they couldn’t make him only six. In the first chapters the book, his young age magnified the significance of his prodigy and the effects of his training. Because he was older in the movie—about 11—and because the movie failed to show the passage of time (it seemed to be a year rather than several), Ender lost the time necessary to develop the long-term side effects of his training and he lost the young innocence that made his story so fascinating.

I was also bummed that the secondary storyline with Ender’s siblings, Valentine and Peter, was completely ignored in the movie. It wasn’t my favorite part of the book, but its absence hindered the full development of Ender’s character. Without an understanding of the people who were closest to Ender, you can’t fully grasp why Ender loves Valentine and hates Peter.

So I give it two buggers out of five, if only because it was something to remind me how wonderful the original story was.

Ender’s Game: The Book

Ender's Game BookA few months ago, I made a deal with my husband. He had just bugged me about reading Ender’s Game for the billionth time. I’d been avoiding it because, no matter how many times he told me it was a good book, science fiction is not my favorite.

“I’ll read Ender’s Game if you read Redeeming Love,” I said. For weeks I had been trying to figure out how to get him to read what he would consider a “girly book” (the man won’t even try yoga with me!). I knew he would appreciate the industry-changing story and writing if he could get past the “girly” thing.

He agreed, so when I finished Gypsy Duke, I hunted for his copy of Ender’s Game (I never did organize those books after we moved). He told me it would be a quick read and I didn’t believe him. Five days later I proved him right. Darn. I could’ve dragged it out, but I had to find out what happened next.

Ender’s Game is what Jonathan describes as “deep science fiction.” The character development made me forget that the setting is ridiculous, and the story haunted me for weeks after I finished reading. (And then again after I saw the movie, which I’ll post about later this week).

I’m not going to give away too much because I want you to read the book, but the story is about a boy named Ender Wiggin. He’s a child prodigy when it comes to war. As a six-year-old, he leaves his family to attend Battle School, where the teachers manipulate him to bring out his brilliance, knowing he’s the only one who can save them in the next bugger attack.

I do have one editorial complaint. The last 30 or so pages felt superfluous, like a tacked-on story line intended to keep the door open for another book. Even so, I plan to finish out the series.

Jonathan hasn’t started Redeeming Love yet. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure it happens!