Ender In Exile
Orson Scott Card
Rating (0 - 10 scale)
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Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer TKono
Intergalactic drama meets juvenile angst in Orson Scott Card's "Ender in Exile." A boy named Ender ensconces the plot. In the future, this boy is conscripted into the military at the age of six. In his preteen years, he capriciously hits a button and fires a missile at the enemy; he is afterward deemed a war hero. One side of the galaxy sees him as this ominously powerful man, while the other side of the galaxy views him as a boy-puppet with an insatiable appetite for blood. Melancholy spelunks deep within the cave of the reader when they realize that a boy has been robbed of his innocence very early in life, catapulted into a world of violence and despair that he does not [and may never quite] fully understand. Further thrills ensue when the boy's parent yearn for his return home and his siblings follow in Ender's footsteps by anonymously documenting his history. Science fiction is in the book, with mystical creatures and the notion of time with regards to relativity. Also, most mentions of war relate to Russia, although no notion of world war two or the cold war are redundantly regurgitated. The story centers around the boy's internal struggle and is mostly respectful when it comes to discussing present nations in the future.
Young adults will grow from reading this book. There is just enough vocabulary to make readers little semanticists, but there is not so much that they get frustrated and want to put the book down. The narration sticks mostly to first person, although it intermittently changes perspective every couple of chapters. The emails at the start of the chapters make the scenes modern and dependent on computers (as most young readers tend to naturally depict the future). Additionally, there is some romance spun into the plot when Ender meets a girl named Alex. Alex's mother cajoles her into chasing after Ender in hopes of matrimony. Ender toys with Alex's emotions, too young to truly know what love is. There is much drama when Alex confronts her mother, as well as when Ender finally communicates his woes with his abandoned family. The book can best be summed up by one quote towards the end of the novel. "Surround a child with lies, and he clings to them like a teddy bear, like his mother's hand. And the worse, the darker the lie, the more deeply he has to draw it inside himself in order to bear the lie at all" (Card, 360).
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Country: Staten Island, NY USA
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