Monday, July 8, 2013

Loving the Alien

I tried the thriller section then the travel section on Netgalley and both were a bust. I logged onto Amazon and took a weekly peek at my wishlist to see if any of the (ever increasing) books on my wishlist had gone on sale. Sure enough Ender's Game was down to $2.99; instant purchase! I married into an LDS family and am friends with an aspiring LDS author. She has already turned me on to Brandon Sanderson, so I felt sure in the recommendation for Orson Scott Card. 

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

What is there to say really when you read a mind-bending book? The absolute beauty of the writing just leaves you speechless. Well, I'll give it my best shot. This is an excellent starting novel to a series that I am certainly interested to keep pursuing. It presents itself quite clearly as a stand alone novel. You will only feel left wanting if you have an insatiable curiosity for what comes next. The plot has a nice conclusion, yet the story is clearly not over. There is a whole universe out there to explore and endless youth beckoning. 

Typically, I am not a fan of the science fiction genre; as I have always been more drawn to unicorns and elves than aliens. Surprisingly I feel Sci-Fi diverges far more from reality than Fantasy ever does. (Perhaps I have completely misunderstood the genre.) Ender Wiggin drew me in from the start. While it is a story of war and personal struggle up in space, I felt the novel really got to the heart of the matter with an epic twist at the end. You connect with the characters and their motivations. You bleed for their sorrows. The addition of an alien race just reconfirms the struggle to understand the human condition instead of detracting into unreality. 
While written by an LDS author, it is not overly heavy in the religious propaganda. Card focuses on the moral dilemmas and human struggle to understand more than ourselves are presented with from the bigger picture. I think that is what I love about the LDS church the most. The overall acceptance that there is more to religion than the doctrine and rites presented at face value, but an understanding deep down inside each of us. Ender struggles to find himself in the face of terrifying circumstances and unreasonable pressures. 
Definitely look forward to this being a movie and a video game. This is definitely a series that holds a lot of promise from the first book. In the junk of pop culture and fly-by-night trends today, we need to focus on the intelligentsia with substance and moral backing to get our feet again.
Here is to a new meaning to children of the corn!

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