Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1)

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card This is my third read through of Ender's Game, and I loved it just as much as the first time I read it. I think part of the appeal of the book is not only considering how true its themes run even in today's society (with respect to the spread of ideals and the manipulative games people play in order to achieve their own ends), but also on the part of having a sympathetic protagonist whose put through a heck of a lot in the heart of a high-stakes war. Andrew (a.k.a. Ender) Wiggin is drafted into a military training program at the age of six to become a commander working under the I.F. (International Fleet). Sent away from home, his teachers believe in his potential of becoming a genius military strategist, so they put him through rigorous training with his peers, having him play tactical games in order to build him up for the time when his training will call for the battle of his life. Ender does not want to be a killer or drafted into a high-stakes game where the rules seem to change according to the ploys played by the teachers. Still, he plays the games even when the adults push him to the limits of his abilities because, loosely paraphrased from his own words: he wants to beat them at their own game.I did feel for Ender in several places in the work, not only for the many times he's put face to face with his enemies, but also when he's pressed to a multitude of breaking points, ultimately culminating when he figures out the true nature of the games he's been asked to play, and his role as the player in them. Orson Scott Card has quite a flare for immersive, descriptive writing that not only flows with the thematics and vulnerability, but rolling action and manipulative conflict shown throughout the work. "Ender's Game" really does play out like a game of chess, where it may seem like it's obvious there's a winner in places, it makes you question what the fruits and costs of those wins are. Larger point - it's a high stakes game of politics. I think its appeal not only crosses into the young adult category, but it's also a novel that can resonate well with adults. I give the novel an extra star for listening to the 20th anniversary full cast, who did a wonderful job bringing to life the characters and story overall.Overall score: 4.5/5