Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Ender's Saga book one.
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.5 stars.
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.
Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
I had had at least one or two people recommend this book to me, saying it was like Hunger Games and they thought I would enjoy it. And with the movie coming out and all...let's just say I was happy to finally pick this one up :)
Ender Wiggin has just had his monitor removed. They were watching him and now they won't be. His brother will be able to beat him up when he comes home. The bullies at school too. He knows this. So when the bullies attack, he fights back and doesn't hold back. He wins, more than wins. And now they are a little more than impressed. Because they're still watching. A short while later they come for Ender. They didn't take his sister or brother but they took Ender.
He's going to battle school to be train to fight buggers, aliens that look rather like insects who have tried to invade, twice, many years ago. The battle school trains officers to pilots to anyone who will be part of those fighting against the buggers for whenever they return...or if they become ready and attack back first. So at six Ender becomes a target as his teachers seek to put him in tough situations and push him to his limits. At six. But then he's their hope for the buggers destruction...
Pros:Could I say the whole book? Because it kinda felt like that. Seriously, the world building made me want to go and just research the whole place. It was so interesting!! And the book is mostly in space too...so it's just wow. Really fun and exciting. This book definitely kept me reading too! There were fights and just the sound of battle school sounds fun right? They have anti-gravity battle rooms and wars there. It kinda made me think of a Clone Wars episode I saw (with gravity) where the clones were training in a sparse room going through battle formations. There are different armies at battle school, once you get old enough to be in one and there are battles and personal and army standings. And it's like this whole ranking thing going on in several ways too! It seriously was intense. That and what follows for Ender. The plot was super interesting and the ending was wonderfully shocking...I never would have expected it! So yeah plot and world, amazing. I really did like Ender and boy was he a smart and strategic boy! There is a lot of cool strategy going on in this book as well. You can see right off why the teachers and people in charge want Ender to become a general or whatever. Someone big.
Cons:There were times when Ender had been pushed and pushed and I just felt sorry for him :( But apart from those times and a couple confusing things (they never explain some things on earth and at the beginning it's hard to piece what you know together) there are no complaints from me!
Content wise there is a good bit of language (not overly much but a bit), 63-ish cuss words, some crude jokes, beating someone up, injuries, and battles.
Overall, this book was so good. There was so much development character wise, plot wise and the way everything came together was perfect. If this book has been recommended to you, go read it. If it hasn't, I recommend it to you. It's a great science fiction/dystopian book! I would recommend to 14+ teens who enjoy science fiction, good plotting, and some excitement.