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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut - young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. 

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? 

But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. 

Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel. 

©1977, 1985, 1991 Orson Scott Card (P)2002 Fantastic Audio, an imprint of Audio Literature

What the critics say

"'Intense' is the word for Ender's Game." (The New York Times)

  • Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 1985
  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 1986

What listeners say about Ender's Game

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Probably a great story. But...

I read lots of great reviews about this story. But the narration is so... uh... wrong. Haha! For some reason children in space were cast as a gang of Mafia bosses at an AA meeting. Definitely the worst casting I’ve ever experienced in my life. Somebody tell me when audible updates the performance so this story actually makes sense.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Surprised that I loved it

I was hesitant to spend a credit on this. The hype is for real. This is a very, very good novel. I don't much like 'Young Adult" fiction. A little too polished, a little too cookie-cutter, often just pushing out stuff that will sell. While guilty of a little of this, 'Ender's Game' works. The broody, overly self-conscious kid fits the story. The precocity is actually part of the plot, so the way-too-mature protagonist makes sense, where it seems somewhat inexplicable in most YA. While a little weak on the Science underlying the make-believe, the events are still plausible (descriptions of moving in zero G are excellent). The one (minor) weakness in this audiobook is the performance. It would do better with a single reader, rather than an ensemble. 4.5 out of 5 Stars. While this is a great book, I won't go on with Scott Card's "Enderverse". If you are looking for a space epic - grittier, more mature, and with a bit more hard science to back it and make it plausible - I suggest James S.A. Corey

1 person found this helpful

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childhood favorite

Enders Game was the first book I pulled off the shelf in my elementary school library. Reading had been a chore till then, safe to say it changed me and how I viewed books. The performance is excellent, wonderful sound quality too. Worth every penny.

1 person found this helpful

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This sets a new standard for audio performances

Fantastic performance. From start to finish, this book really draws you in. The main voice actor/producer has a soothing voice, and accurately differentiates characters through tone and inflection. The writing style is very easy to understand. It doesn't bore you with gobbledygook or fluff words. Everything written has importance. This is how the story should be experienced.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn't get enough!

Ender's Game had me hooked from the beginning and didn't let go. The voice actors made the story come to life and easy to follow. Book 2 is already on deck!!

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so much better than the movie

loved the story, narrator was decent enough overall im really happy i choose that book

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This has become my alltime favourite book!!

I plan on reading this over again it was that good. I loved everything about this book, the world creation, the pacing, the character development. It was a truly magnificent story!!!

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  • Leo
  • 2019-12-18

The Best Sci-fi Story Ever

Orson Scott Card predicted so many things about the future. Full cast are all great.

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it's a good time

well then book go to the plot twist well written a good time I'd recommend it.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good first listen

The story was a very interesting look into leadership and the book's narration was well done. A good first listen. #Audible1

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 2005-06-13

The Enderverse

This is my favorite science fiction series. The characters are easy to identify with, and you will find yourself sucked into this imaginary universe, nicknamed the Enderverse by fans.

Recommended order of reading (in my opinion): Ender?s Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Reading the books in this order will keep you interested and keep the story moving more naturally.

If after reading all of these wonderful books you are still itching for an Enderverse fix then read First Meetings. The list above is sorted by the Enderverse timeline. Meaning that the flow of events in the stories are uninterrupted. If you were to read the books in the order they were published, you would bounce back and forth in between time and few of the plot twists in future books would be revealed before you wanted them to be known. First Meetings, however contains short stories that occur both before and in between the list above within the Enderverse.




110 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kapila Wimalaratne
  • 2003-01-29

6 titles in the series so far

Ender's Game is one of the best sci-fi books written.
However, I'm mainly writing this review to make others
aware that there are actually 6 books (so far) in the
series:

Ender's Game
Speaker for the Dead
Xenocide
Children of the Mind

Ender's Shadow
Shadow of the Hegemon

The last two books don't actually feature Ender at all -
they're about the character of Bean and the story of
what happened on Earth after Ender's Game.

All 6 books are fantastic. I've bought them all on
audiobook, but for some reason I can only seem to
find 4 of these titles using Audible's search engine
(and "Shadow of the Hegemon" seems to have been
renamed for some reason?).

897 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wheelman
  • 2003-01-31

Captivating

Based on an Audible.com recommendation I looked into obtaining Enders Game. Admittedly I was reluctant to listen to this. Primarily - I enjoy political thrillers, history and biography titles. I did not see a science fiction novel fitting in there. On reading other reviews I decided to give this a try. Was I in for a surprise. This is one of the most entertaining audiobooks I have ever listened to. Hang on, because you are in for a warp speed ride through Andrew Wiggins world. Incredibly entertaining, intellectually challenging, and very mature. Sharp dialogue, great pace, non-stop action. As with most truly great reads (listens??) you do not want it to end. Well, Enders game is part of a trilogy: Enders Shadow and Shadow of the Hedgemon. I just finished Enders Shadow, another excellent audiobook. I have purchased 'Hedgemon' but I need to catch my breath before I start it. Listen to Enders Game you will not regret it.

343 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Yang
  • 2013-10-15

Good balance between sci-fi and thriller

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm not a huge fan of science fiction, but with the movie coming out soon and the positive reviews 'Ender's Game" received I decided to give it a try. The plot was fast- paced and exciting, although there were times when the story stepped a little too far into science fiction territory for me (lots of anti- gravity situations that didn't further the plot).
The writing style is quite cynical and at times very dark, and I definitely think there is some political commentary, or at the very least Card subconsciously projects his cynical views of government into the plot.
Criticisms aside, I thought the book was very thought provoking, and extremely entertaining. It's definitely worth a read!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-06-08

The Best Science Fiction Book Of All Time

All other Science Fiction is measured by Orson Scott Card's masterpiece. Decades before Ready Player One, we had Ender Wiggins. The plot is superior, the characters deep, the twists are pre RR Martin. Since I read this in the 80's, I have told everyone I know about it and I lost count of how many times I have read the hard copy and listened on CD and download.

Rudnicki is to Card, as Muller was to King, Porter to Mayberry and Runnette to Tufo.

153 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pat
  • 2008-04-24

Nice Surprise

I have to admit, this audio book totally took me by surprise. Except for the Harry Potter books, performed by the incredible Jim Dale, Enders Game is the first audio book that I've listened to that I hadn't first read. All I can say is, WOW. The performance given during this 'reading' comes close to rivaling that of the previously mentioned Mr. Dale, in my humble opinion. It's obviously a very different kind of performance, for a very different kind of book, and that's a good thing.

As for the story, it's excellent. Recommended by my brother, I read the summery with a great deal of apprehension. A little boy, attending a 'battle school' to become the military commander that would lead Earths space fleets to victory over an alien invasion force? As I write this, it still sounds silly, and perhaps it is. But Card makes it work, and work very well. And extremely entertaining to boot. The plot and character development move along at a good click. So good in fact that I was completely engrossed within the story when plot twists materialized and was genuinely surprised. THAT'S the mark of a well written/performed book.

Overall, between Card's story telling and an excellent narration, this audio book should be towards the top of everybody's list. And not only science fiction fans, but anybody searching for a great performance of a great book.

114 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cathleen
  • 2003-02-22

Just the beginning...

This book was a strange choice for me,(I didn't know Card, and rarely read Sci Fi) but I was browsing, and chanced upon it. For some unknown reason, it intrigued me, so I tried it.
It was, then, to my utter astonishment, that Ender, and his story, somehow catapaulted within me to earn a place on my list of all time favorites!(Lit major,former teacher,I've read a bunch).
The story itself is a good one, but I think that, it is its unraveling, that speaks to one's soul.

But to experience all the depth and wonder of the series, you must start here. Card himself admits, that he basically wrote this book to set the stage for the next one, which is "Speaker for the Dead"(my favorite...so far)
I encourage you, even if you don't usually read this type of book to try it.

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, waiting for audible to offer "Xenocide",(the sequel to Speaker), and hopelessly addicted to Ender's story, I wandered on to listen to the others in the series. I actually READ "Ender's Shadow", because I didn't want an abridgement (I craved every single word!). I thought that these other books would have little impact on me, since Ender's character is only a peripheral element.

Was I wrong!
In the "Shadow" series, like the peeling of an onion, Card reveals layer after layer of the characters he creates in this book, and I found myself caring as much about them as I did about Ender.

I understand that Card is in the process of writing a book about Ender's mother.(As is probably obvious, I became obsessed with Ender, and had to find out everything I possibly could.) Before I read the "Shadow" series, I thought, "Who would want to read a book about Ender's mother?" Now I know the answer: ME.
If you start with "Ender's Game",and then go on to the others in the series, I think the answer might also be YOU!

92 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AudioAddict
  • 2014-06-17

Worth all the hype!

STORY (futuristic sci-fi) - Ender's Game is an award-winning book and the basis for a blockbuster movie starring Harrison Ford. Earth needs a hero to protect against potential invaders from another planet (the Buggers). Ender is among a group of genius children who leave their families to attend Battle School, where they will be trained to command Earth's fleet and, hopefully, save the human race from extinction. The training is primarily through battle games the children play in a zero gravity room and with battle simulators. Ender immediately stands out as Earth's greatest hope for salvation, and this book is basically about his arduous journey through Battle School.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a unique story that is never dull. The ending is great and will catch you totally by surprise!

PERFORMANCE - There are three narrators, two male and one female. It's refreshing to have the distinction between characters, but their voices are way too mature to pass as children. IMHO, the performance is good enough, but not great. I've also listened to the four free chapters of Ender's Game Alive, which I think is perhaps slightly better, but it's a close call.

OVERALL - I'd recommend this story for everyone - adult, children, guys, girls. There's some fights among the children which are semi-violent, but no sex or cursing. This is a series so the ending is left slightly open, but this book can definitely stand on its own.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • 2013-10-17

Excellent entertainment with an emotional punch

I was twenty when I first read “Ender’s Game” back in 1987. I was completely absorbed in it, turning the pages eagerly to know what would happen next and being shocked, even outraged, when I understood the sustained deceit and betrayal on which the book was based.

Twenty-six years later, I decided to listen to the audio book version. It was a delight. The narrators give it the feel of a radio play without missing a word of the original prose.
Perhaps because I knew the ending or perhaps because I am older, this time my attention was caught by the sadness of the book. Ender is almost always alone, almost always being pushed into situations where none of his options are good, and always burdened by the knowledge the choices that he takes change who he is. I was also more sympathetic to the adults who do the terrible things that shape Ender’s fate; knowing that they are terrible, necessary and unforgiveable. Ender’s assailed innocence and the compromised integrity of the adults are a lesson it what it means to be “grown up” and why children deserve to have time to be children.

The book focuses relentlessly on the violence we are willing to commit and the “sins” we are willing to live with in order to survive. It doesn’t glorify these things but it doesn’t diminish them either. It tackles what it means to be different and how often an inability to communicate turns difference into conflict.

At its heart, “Ender’s Game” tells us that all games are real, all choices matter, everything that creates an enemy has a consequence. What makes the book remarkable is that it tackles all this while doing a good job of seeing the world through the eyes of a (very bright) vulnerable, lonely, child who is equally gifted with empathy and ruthlessness.

Re-reading the book more than twenty years on adds other points of interest: Card’s imagining of the role of the web, the “desks” the children work on and the concept of war executed by tele-presence are all pleasingly accurate. This time round I was very aware that the ending of the book felt like an add-on to set up “Speaker for the Dead” – which I also read twenty-six years ago.- whereas, on the first read, I saw it as a slightly clumsy effort at redemption. The audio book includes an interview with Card, where he explains that he did indeed rewrite the ending and how that came about. I now find Card’s politics a little thin and unconvincing – too American to be truly global- but I found the way he writes Ender’s sister much more moving than before.

The movie will be out soon. I don’t have high hopes of it, although I’ll watch it all the same. In my view, the most entertaining and engaging way to experience “Ender’ Game” is to listen to this audio version. I recommend it to you.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AayRick
  • 2003-01-01

Harry Potter has nothing on Ender Wiggin

Don't get me wrong. Although this is a story about a child, it's not written for children. A child might enjoy it, but it is a story about war, violence and politics. It is a classic tale of the weak overcoming extreme adversity.

Ender faces many trials during his training to become the savior of the world in a futuristic setting. He is a character I could identify with and found myself cheering him on at each challenge.

An excellent book. I can't wait to listen to the related stories to find out what happens next to Ender and what happened to his friends and family.

87 people found this helpful