Monday, December 30, 2013

Ender's Game

Two years ago, a friend said to me, "Have you read Ender's game? It's a classic. I read it when I was a kid and I re-read it a month ago. You should try it."

I'm always up for a good recommendation, so try it I did. I can't remember why, but I had trouble with the first couple of chapters. I didn't feel compelled to continue, so I didn't.

Two months ago, another friend of mine said to me, "Have you read Ender's game? It's really good. Odd, but good. But you get to the end and..."

Well, when that same friend brought the book to writing group and said, "Have at it!" I thought I might as well.

This time, I read it. It held my attention quite well, but there are certain things I noticed that bothered me, and I wondered if anyone else had the same problem.

1. The book switches back and forth between 3rd and 1st person. It looks like the 1st person is meant to be the internal thoughts of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin. But I appreciate the simple act of italicizing internal thoughts. It makes it easier to read and process.
2. The concept of time is glossed over in the book. Ender starts out as a 6 year old kid and by the end, he's 12. Within one page, the author chooses to simply move on, so quickly at times, your head can spin.
3. The ending completely stinks. Of course, that is my opinion, but after what I think is supposed to be a big reveal (and it really isn't something you don't see coming), the author just decided to end the book. He comes up with something completely hokey that, again in my opinion, seems like an add-on; an I-need-to-come-up-with-something-but-I-didn't-run-it-by-my-beta-readers. Yeah, that's how much I liked the ending.

Is it a good book? I'll let you decide. But I'm finding that the books that really stand out to me are the sleepy hits, the ones that start out small and spread by word of mouth; the ones that you can read and re-read, that many people can relate to; the ones that, even if you don't like the writing style, keep you reading. I need to go find myself another one of those.

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