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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. 

Browse more titles in the Ender Wiggin series.
©1977, 1985, 1991 Orson Scott Card (P)2002 Fantastic Audio, an imprint of Audio Literature

Critic Reviews

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

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

Featured Article: The Best Sci-Fi Audiobooks to Blast You into Another Galaxy


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What listeners say about Ender's Game

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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?).

933 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

350 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.




163 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

160 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

120 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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!

96 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Love the story, but the reader isn't great

This is one of my all-time favorite books. It is one of my "comfort" books - I can pick it up and just read from any point when I want a break from things. So I was really excited to be able to have it on my iPod. The reader of this edition has very odd speech patterns - some sentences become hurried, others drag out. It doesn't seem to make sense in context of what is being said, either. I'm still happy to have it, but I wish they had picked a different reader, or had a better director. Also, the fact that it is an older man with such a deep voice seems incongruent (to me) given how much of the story is 6-12 year-old children talking.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lord of the Rings for the 21st Century, Part 1?

This book is the first part of an astounding series of four books; Ender's game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Although interesting, deep and often fun in itself, Ender's Game serves a greater role of introducing the child Andrew Wiggan, his sister and brother Valentine and Peter, and the concept of another rational (the books use "sentient") Alien Species, known unaffectionately as "The Buggers". Ender is a sensitive but brilliant young boy whose combination of intelligence and desperateness for survival, and extraordinary empathy make him invincible in any setting, physical attack, mind games whatever. And hence set him up to be the potential saviour of the the human race in their war to the death against the Buggers. But this book is really a lot like "The Hobbit" is to "Lord of the Rings", and establishes characters who are in the later books a vehicle for astounding ideas and insights ranging across science fiction, physics, religion, psychology, romance, courage and self sacrifice. With a few small tussles between good and evil thrown in. I feel certain that in 100 yrs after their writing these books will be considered a pinnacle of a style of literary creation. Get listening ...

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Hated it

I am completely dumbfounded by this book's popularity. The author's disgusting penchant for naked young boys almost gave me nightmares. The ubiquitous child nudity (and worse) serves no purpose whatsoever; it is merely the author's own sick indulgence. I actually hoped that the entire plot would turn out to be a metaphor for the horrors of sexual child abuse, providing an explanation for these apparently unnecessary scenes. Yet, even the most liberal interpretation could not lead me to conclude that Card was condemning sexual child abuse in any way. Card's only villain is totalitarianism.

The other shortcomings of this book are trivial in comparison. Among the most distracting features of the book is the extremely juvenile dialogue. It is understandable that the author would attempt to contrast the children's emotionally immaturity with their advanced intellect, but instead the children come across as Dumb (intellectually) and Dumber (emotionally).

Among Ender's greatest achievements in Battle School are his innovative combat strategies, such as shooting your opponents as they enter the room and before they can deploy, or not positioning your troops in rigid configurations. Duh!!! Meanwhile, Ender's brother and sister earn worldwide fame and respect by writing empty political platitudes that any high school AP student could match. Card's inability to create plausible intellectual giants belies his own limitations. Without real intellectual achievements or smart dialogue, the book's heroes are distinguished only by their early promotions and self-promotion.

Contrast Card's crude, in-your-face approach to developing a protagonist that children will identify with to J.R.R. Tolkien's creative masterpiece, Lord of the Rings. What young reader doesn't identify with the Hobbits, who succeed not by overcoming their perpetual childhood, but by embracing it? Orson Scott Card, by contrast, treats childhood as a period of ignorant bliss, ineptitude and weakness.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just okay, I guess

I can’t muster up too much positive or negative emotion towards Ender’s Game. It was good in parts. It was not-as-good in other parts. There were exciting parts, and there were boring parts. It’s so well-reviewed on Audible and had been recommended to me by several friends that I figured it must be great. But it never got there for me.

It was an interesting concept, and Ender is an interesting character, but he is constantly beaten down, emotionally, from all angles. I started to feel bad for the kid. Then he fulfills his purpose (rather abruptly, I would say), and then it gets weird, and I ended the book confused. This won’t dissuade me from future sci-fi books, but this isn’t one of my top picks.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • V. S.
  • 06-17-05

You've go to read this!

You are unfamiliar with the master that is Orson Scott Card, then you must get this! It may be a science fiction type setting but the story is much more about character development. It's exciting, wonderfully paced and once you start listening you just can't stop - you care so much about Ender.

The narration is just about flawless, and the use of different narrators adds to the interest and depth.

After this one - get 'Speaker for the dead' - it's even better than 'Ender's Game', and is probably my favourite book of all time. I cannot praise these two books enough.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aeraphos
  • 03-11-15

Stick through the first few chapters

It took me a while to get into Ender's Game. At first I disliked all of the characters because they were such cruel and boneheaded people. Not just the children but also the adults putting Ender through the training. However, as I read on, some of the characters began to reveal the good aspects of their personalities. This provided the story with a much needed break from the constant bullying and military pressure.

I really started to like this book once the war games started. I enjoyed the zero-gravity combat scenes because of the well-described strategy involved. I loved the anticipation of finding out if Ender would win or not, and how he would do it. Once I was immersed in the story, the plot did not meander. I was constantly involved in what was going on and the ending took me by surprise in a very satisfying way.

I have mixed opinions about a couple of the narrators. The narrator who voices Ender's chapters has a great reading voice, but it's too deep to impersonate children accurately. It's easy to forget you are reading about kids when 8 year old Ender sounds like a 30 year old man. Also, the woman who voices Ender's sister's chapters sounded irritatingly melodramatic with every word.

So after initially doubting my ability to enjoy this book, I pushed through the first few chapters and realized what a great story it was. The writing style was clean and simple, the story was excellent, the narrators did a good job, despite a couple of minor problems.

Overall, Ender's Game is a great book about children being trained to command sci-fi armies with a side plot of children taking over the world via internet blogs (I don't get that last part either).

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • 01-13-09

A fantastic find!

This is the first Orson Scott Card book I have read, and I have now booked two more of the 'Ender' series in my Wish List. It was one of the most touching and memorable books I have read, and this from an author, who in my ignorance, I had always characterised as a pulp sci-fi writer. From start to finish the book captivated me with its depiction of a reluctant boy-soldier who is pushed to the limit in the military's pursuit of a worthy commander to save the human race from an imminent alien invasion. This book is introduced as an 'Audible Kids' production but do not be fooled - it is a clever, mature book for children and adults alike.

It is a science fiction book at its core, but the characters are brought to life by beautiful writing and excellent narration. You will remember Ender Wiggins and his story for a long time.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 06-16-15

Amazing Story!


Story – 5/5

I finally got around to this audiobook, and it was well worth the wait. Having watched and moderately enjoyed the film, I wanted to read the original source, especially as it is heralded as the best Sci-fi book of all time by so many. It didn’t disappoint either, it is certainly the best sci-fi I have read (although I haven’t read many)

The depth of character and emotion were superb, Orson Scott Card really gets us into Ender’s head. The strategies employed in the battle room and against the buggers were highly entertaining, and extremely detailed and well written, so you are able to picture exactly what is being described. The bits I enjoyed the most was the elements of the story about Ender’s siblings though, and also the inserts between chapters of the battle commanders discussing Ender’s training, which you don’t get in the film. It really helps to understand why these kids are so intelligent and how they are seen by the adults.

Are there any Negatives? I certainly couldn’t find any. I am looking forward to the next book in the series; even though I know it is completely different.


Performance – 4.5/5

Although it has multiple narrators, I can’t say it added much to the story like other full cast productions have. Each were very good in their own right, it just wouldn’t have been any worse if just 1 of them read it.

The main narrator, I think it may have been Stefan Rudnicki, was especially good, and I will keep an eye out for other audiobooks read by him.


Overall – 5/5


4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-14-06

Great presentation

I came to this book having already listened to Enders Shadow, a book written considerably later but occupying some of the same characters and taking place over the same period.

The book is great, worth the acclaim it rightly garnered. The presentation of the book is also fantastic, well read so you can get a feel for the characters, going quickly enough to not dawdle and remain interesting, whilst slow enough that you never miss the important parts.

I would highly reccommend it to anyone who enjoys well written, well produced and original Science Fiction.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve Kirkwood
  • 12-02-13

Sorry I waited this long to read it

Would you listen to Ender's Game again? Why?

Yes, very enjoyable book - will try others in the series next

What did you like best about this story?

The human element, focusing on the difference betwen the three children and their interaction with each other and society.

Did Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

The reading was very believable, especially the adult charaters. Having a six year old child narrated by an adult sometimes makes you lose perspective on the fact that Ender is a child.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

A nice twist at the end, not entirely unexpected, but completed the book nicely

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Huw
  • 07-20-13

Loved it!

What made the experience of listening to Ender's Game the most enjoyable?

The voice work and characterisation was superb.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ender's Game?

For me the most memorable moments were between Ender and Alai.

What about Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison ’s performance did you like?

Both actors were excellent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't stop.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave Coleman
  • 11-28-10

Just fantastic

I'm looking for the button to click six stars

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 06-27-15

Outstanding

I first read Enders Game in my teens many years ago and having watched the movie and felt thoroughly disappointed I decided to revisit the book in audio format.

The delivery and performance is fantastic - the novel flows. Getting lost in the story is easy unlike a lot of the audiobooks I've listened to.

It's such an enjoyable listed I've bought extra Audible credits to get Speaker For the Dead (with. the same production team).

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Mac
  • 05-15-15

Engaging story

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this story and finished it pretty quickly. Ender is an unusual character that you quickly become invested in and want to know how his story ends.

The multi-actor performance works well - in his postcript at the end the author says he writes from a stageplay background, so the spoken performance suits his work well.

As a tiny note, the main narrator's voice is very deep so I found it difficult to listen to on my phone using the speakers (it got lost too easily in background noise) and needed to use headphones to make it louder. Maybe I'm just getting old!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bennett
  • 01-25-18

Brilliant cast brings the story to life

All of the actors have their own segments.

None of them copy the other's performances.

Makes it like a story told by different people's point of view.

Makes it more real.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam Bush
  • 04-22-20

Enthralling.

I was sceptical at first. I mean the movie was ok and I like science fiction stories but I wondered if this book was worth it. Turns out...it totally IS!!! This book is awesome and is very detailed and goes into what people think about and worry about in small school like environments. This was really well narrated too. I highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gabe
  • 04-11-19

Yes

Great book with a great story. However, the in my opinion the voices given to some of the characters don't match the, but this is easily overlooked. Overall I highly recommend this audiobook as well as also reading 'Ender's Game' if you prefer.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thanh
  • 01-29-19

One if the most gripping audio books ever

I came from the movie and found that every moment I got, I was playing Enders game. Highly recommended and the movie does not do it justice.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tomas sims
  • 07-10-18

half good

the woman that reads this constantly does this breathy, very drawn out voice when ever she is narrating. It's excruciating to listen to

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JDavid
  • 08-03-22

The movie does not live up to the book.

Only reason I found this book was from watching the film back as a teenager. It really leaves out so much of the story when focusing entirely on ender for the film, but the book spreads out to not just ender, but the siblings on Earth & the planet itself being affected by said siblings. Really makes you have more empathy for the Formics & Humanity.

As a teenager, I never understood why Ender's game never had a sequel. I understand now, because the amount of information is just impossible to put in a film. You would need mountains of information from all sides. This amount of building blocks of story is just baffling and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amy
  • 05-29-22

amazing

loved and amazing by the whole family. ❤️ ♥️ and nice adventure book!!!really good

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Saleeba
  • 12-06-21

All round excellence

I enjoyed the story much more than the movie. As is usually the case (and Orson would be happy about that).

The narration was great too. I chose this version over the theatrical one because that other one said the performance detracted from the story. I see other books in this series have more theatrical performances, so I'll see how I go with them.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-21

A new favourite character

Love this book. I was reading this as a side book. I wish I didn't, i could of easily read this as a main book. I love it so much. I discovered this book after reading another review for my other favourite book red rising. The review compared Ender to the main character in Red Rising. After I finished Enders Game. I wanted to read it again and again. I found myself trying to think like Ender. Even asking what would Ender do? If you love sci fi, twists and tactics you'll like this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-21

my first audiobook. PERFECT

a little it lightweight on the Scifi aspects. more like a drama in space
Just get it. it really is an awesome book and narrator.