As I am sure everyone is aware, Ender’s Game is an upcoming movie that quite a few in the Sci-Fi community are excited about. The reason being that it is based on an extremely popular book. Before the movie debuted I wanted to read the book. I found it at my local Barnes & Nobles store and set it on my shelf. It sat there for several months… I just have way too many books. But! I recently made it a point to read it.
I was surprised at how tactical everything was. I play quite a few strategy games but honestly, I don’t usually read books of this nature. However, the writing was very well done and movements were vivid enough for me to picture everything in my head as I went on. The short chapters made it very easy to read and it went fairly quick. The story was enjoyable enough, a boy is chosen to save the world, a sort of Last Starfighter vibe. I’m not sure if the movie was influenced by the book or not but a few things did match up.
Since the movie is not out yet I do not wish to spoil the ending, but it did shock me and that is not an easy thing to do. Never did I expect what happened as I did not catch any hints the author might have slipped in previous to the penultimate. The whole surprise made me very happy because up until that point I was disappointed as how things were seemingly quite slow to develop as the end of the book approached. I should note that it was the actual ending that shocked me, not the added on, almost Spielberg-esque final chapter. That final chapter, I wish I could rip out of my book and throw it away. And the final sentence of the book actually made me cringe.
I really enjoyed this author’s writing style but to me, it was very clear that he could not figure out a way to finish his book. That is not a knock at him. I have written several short stories and the most difficult thing to do is to clean everything up and put it in a nice little package known as an ending. That refers to any ending whether it be a book, a blog, anything. I do not fault him for letting me down, but the expectations set for this book were far too high.
Of course another notable issue was the author’s anti-gay stance. Those opinions would not normally bother me, as I could just brush them off, but the fact that he was so vocal about it did bother me quite a bit. I also found it amusing that he asked for tolerance from the gay community (I’ll let that one sink in and you can laugh to yourself about it). There is actually a boycott starting, preparing for when the movie hits theatres. I would not go so far as to not see the movie, but I do know people who will not. It really is a shame because the book promotes learning to deal with other people and accepting differences no matter how big or small. It seems almost ridiculous that an author who writes in this manner would be so against gay rights.
I want to judge the book before the final chapter, before the last sentence, but of course I have to critique the entire book. So, Ender’s Game gets a C+. If not for that last chapter this would have been a wonderful book.
That is all for now. Maybe the movie will transform this book into something great. Which is what I am hoping for. Take care everyone and keep up your summer reading!