Dec. 10th, 2013

galfridian: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur requested Ender's Game.

I first read bits of Ender's Game...sometime before 2006. Maybe when I was a sophomore or junior in high school, so 2003/2004? For whatever reason, I didn't finish it at that time. (Probably my habit of starting a book and then getting distracted by another.) But I liked it enough that eventually I decided to reread what I had of it.

I want to talk about that first time I read through the entire book. I loved sci-fi and space and all those great things before Ender's Game, but this was the book that made me realize I could never, ever get enough. Orson Scott Card is a prime example of loving a fandom but not its creator. There are definite patterns to his writing -- and his beliefs and religion certainly leak into the pages some -- but I still thoroughly enjoy it. In fact, after I finished Ender's Game, I read his Homecoming Saga. (This was the point where I learned he was a Mormon, because I was reading it and thinking, "Wow, these relationships are wayyy too much like some of the relationships in the Bible for it to be a coincidence." [And it wasn't. But it also wasn't the Bible per se, which explains some of the differences.])

Anyway, I remember two things most vividly from reading it the first time:

First, Ender's discovery of the Queen waiting for him in the tunnels and the realization (both his and mine) that she had been trying to communicate with him all this time. I was much more impacted by that scene than by the one where Ender realizes that he's just committed genocide. When I saw the movie, I cried, and when I reread the book afterward, I cried.

Second, Peter and Valentine's part in the story. Their story doesn't connect much to Ender's until closer to the end, and he has so little interaction with either of them within in Ender's Game, but I remember being so enthralled with what they were doing on Earth. Seeing Peter at his most human (and wondering whether it was genuine) and seeing Valentine at her most...well, at her most like Peter, was something I couldn't get enough of. I remember wishing there was so much more of them, maybe because they were impacting events on Earth in a real way, shaping the future of Earth, and obviously, I felt so much of a connection to Earth because that's what I actually know. (You know, as opposed to a war with aliens, which I can't in any way empathize with.) But also, we have these two brilliant kids completely leading adults around. I loved it.

When I reread the book after seeing the film, I have to say that their relationship to Ender really stood out more than the first time I read it, and I liked that too. Peter/Valentine/Ender have such a compelling dynamic. I was really disappointed that we saw none of Peter and Valentine's story in the film, although I wasn't actually surprised.

So yeah, now I'm working my way through the rest of the series, so we'll see how that goes.