I hate that I loved this book.
Card may be a militant homophobic scumbag…but damned if the bastard can’t write. There’s a reason Ender’s Game is considered a staple of modern SciFi for all ages; because it’s fucking good. Card is a master of one of my favorite methods of story-telling, show-not-tell. He catapults you straight into this strange, post-war world without any explanation of how things work, no dull, drawn-out hand-holding. He lets the reader think and figure things out for themselves, then confirms their theories later down the line in unobtrusive ways.
His command of the written word is impressive, and his characters are memorable, real, and flawed. Even the seemingly unrealistic depiction of children is perfectly in place with the world he’s created. These kids have been so fucked up by the system, that they’ve been forced to grow up practically a decade ahead of time. I frequently had to remind myself that these aren’t teenagers. These are pre-pre-teens. And that’s scary.
There were really only a few things that bothered me about the book. The obnoxious slang, which is really a matter of personal taste; the fact that there was not a single, trustworthy, non-antagonistic adult character in the entire story; and the obvious parallels to Mormon theology. I mean, seriously. The entire last chapter was pretty much the Latter Day Saints In Space. But like I said, these are personal tastes of mine.
One thing I can say about the ending is that I really enjoyed the theme of acceptance and love for those who are different from you. It was touching; a nice, peaceful end to a chaotic story filled with war and deception. I just wish that the author could take his own lesson to heart. Hate gets you nowhere, Card.