Trying to find a book that compares to Ender’s Game?
Orson Scott Card and his works have been the subject of much controversy and outrage. The author is still embroiled in controversy over remarks he made about the LGBTQ+ community. Ender’s Game is now even more compelling because of this.
Social issues raised in the book are ones we’re still thinking about today. What is a monster, and how do we define it? When it comes to war, what is the point and how far should we go to win? Ender’s Game is a story about war and how people deal with it.
In a future where humans and an alien race known as “Buggers” have been at war for 100 years, Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin, a young boy, may hold the key to saving the world. Due to his years of playing what he believes to be merely simulated war games, Ender is a tactical genius.
Science fiction has never been more entertaining or thought-provoking than in Ender’s Game and its follow-ups. They force us to reevaluate the tactics and strategies we use in war. If you’ve already read Ender’s Game and are looking for more books in the same vein, here are a few suggestions.
Books like Ender’s Game
The Roar, by Emma Clayton
In books like Ender’s Game, themes of dystopia and ethical dilemmas are frequently explored. People in The Roar are now confined behind a high concrete wall that extends from Canada to the east of England and the United Kingdom. Everything south of the wall is dead or infected because the wall was built to keep out a plague spread by animals.
Mika and Ellie are identical twins who share a genetic ancestor. The twins’ telepathic connection leads Mika to believe that Ellie is still alive even after she goes missing. Mika and the other children are forced to learn war games on simulators and compete in competitions that could make their families wealthy as part of the government’s plan to get them out of the wall.
Ender’s Game-style plot twists and turns abound in The Roar. This is a fast-paced, suspenseful story with a climax that you may or may not see coming, but that will keep you reading.
Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
In books like Ender’s Game, a mirror is held up to our own reality. Starship Troopers, originally published in 1959, is best known today thanks to the 1997 film adaptation, which emphasised the story’s alleged satire.
Young Johnny Rico is put through the most difficult boot camp in history before being assigned to a mobile infantry unit to fight in a war against a supposedly hostile alien force. Heinlein was a soldier, and his admiration for the military is evident in his work.
Heinlein may have been attempting to convey his own sense of service and the bonds formed as a result of that service, if you read between the lines. Consider whether or not there is such a thing as a “just war” as an alternative. However, this is a high-voltage sci-fi action-adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
When a young hero like Ender’s Game is destined to be a “great hero,” only to discover that they don’t have all the facts, it’s a common theme.
There is no crime or fear in the world of The Giver, where Jonas lives. Like the other kids, he will have a job by the time he turns twelve. In order to do this job, he must undergo extensive training, which he will do for the rest of his life. In order to maintain the status quo, Jonas is selected as the next ‘Memory Keeper,’ a role that entails having one person store all of the past’s memories, both good and bad.
Having the title of “Memory Keeper” limits Jonas’s enjoyment of the finer things in life. The more Jonas discovers, the more he realises how secretive his society has been. The Giver will keep readers guessing and debating long after they finish reading it, whether they are children or adults.
What if you’ve already read this book? Check out our list of other books that are similar to The Giver!
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
Computer games and computer-generated worlds are used frequently in books like Ender’s Game to tell their stories. Wade Watts, the protagonist of Ready Player One, lives in a dystopian 2044 in which virtual reality is the only source of comfort. Companies are vying for power over the populace as governments fall apart.
Oasis creator reveals that he has hidden three “easter egg” secrets within the Oasis, and a madcap quest begins around the world to find all three before anyone else. Wade believes he has a chance to make a significant shift in his life. So does everyone else in the world, which is a real shame.
Anyone who grew up playing video games in the 1980s and 1990s knew and loved Ready Player One before it was made into a movie. Wade’s motivations and relationships, as well as the Oasis’s world, are explored in greater depth here than they could be in the film.
Prepared Player One will have you rooting for Wade Watts. It’s a lot of fun, and it follows a quest structure that any video gamer can understand.
What if you’ve already read this book? We’ve compiled a list of books that are similar to Ready Player One.
The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley
The Light Brigade, like Ender’s Game, asks the kinds of moral questions military leaders and governments don’t want people to ask about their military operations. Deconstructing soldiers into “light” in Hurley’s world allows them to be sent to the front lines of Mars as quickly as possible.
Dietz, a new soldier, notices combat drops that don’t match those of his platoon. Is he insane, or is there something else going on here? Hurley’s previous sci-fi novel, The Stars Are Legion, was a favourite of mine, so I was eager to dive into this one as well.
Dietz is a likeable and empathetic protagonist to follow in the Light Brigade, which is populated by chillingly believable corporate entities. Dietz and his fellow recruits are reduced to light particles by a device modelled after the transporter technology from Star Trek, but with a much greater range of motion.
To emphasise Dietz’s problem, the story jumps around in time, making it a time-bendingly entertaining and thought-provoking tale.