Monday, June 04, 2007

Flight and Ender's Game..some reviews!

So not much has been going on in my life other than I've been reading a ton of books on the light rail, which makes me feel the need to make a little review:


Flight – Sherman Alexie. Pretty disappointing book. The book is about a kid who affectionally calls himself zits, who in the act of perpetrating a ridiculously violent act is whisked away to inhabit the lives of other people for a brief time, including an Indian at the battle of the little bighorn, and eventually his father.

The book is short, only moderately interesting, and touches on the same themes that his previous books do - tragedy of America’s Indian policies, the social and economic disparity between modern Indians and the rest of the world, and the loss of identity that native Americans face along with the disparties, etc… In previous books I’ve read by Sherman, these themes have all been tackled with a sense of prozac humor, and some pretty gripping drama, but this book is just flabby, busted, shit.

The book actually ends with this touchy-feely hallmark ending that makes you close the back cover, look up and say “what the fuck?!”

I don’t know, Flight is a shit book by an otherwise good author. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
– This book was recommended to me by a friend, its actually really good.

In the introduction to this book, Orson Scott card mentions that he started this book as a short story based around one portion of the novel version: the battle room. That’s the thing that stuck in my head so much about it. ¾ of the book is about the battle room – a place where children learn a counter-strike-like game that is a proxy for real military training. Set in the Future when humanity is faced with destruction by an insect-like alien race, the gifted children of the world are taken to a military space station and trained to become military officers. Its great, kind of a war-games meets D.A.R.Y.L type thing...

The last ¼ of the book is a rushed add-on to the story that essentially relates ender’s military training to the real world. He finds out that much of the simulations during his training were actually real live battles. He saves the world from the aliens by directing a massive interstellar campaign that he believes is just training.

And then of course, there’s a random, completely unnecessary side plot concerning his brother and sister taking over the world by posting on internet messageboards – a task that I have already tried to accomplish myself with no avail. This was a really far-fetched idea that was 1. completely unnecessary to advance the story, and 2. wasn’t fleshed out enough to make you interested in its outcome…Ender gets done saving the world from aliens, goes home and then “oh yeah, remember your loving sister and your snotty asshole brother? Yeah…they took over the world in a non-violent coup-de-tat using nothing but fake usernames and messageboard bulletins”

There is a sequel to this book, which I think I'll pick up since I found Ender's Game to be compelling enough. hooray for SCI-FI!

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