Card's classic finds a fresh format on audiobook. Review by Violet Kane

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On Audio
In his spoken afterword to this new, unabridged audiobook version of Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card names audio the ideal medium for his work. His classic novel certainly comes to dynamic new life in this twentieth anniversary edition.

Card's classic story begins as young Ender Wiggin, the third child in a family of prodigies, discovers that he is the first of his siblings to qualify for entrance into Battle school. It is a prestigious, but weighty honor; Battle school is the first step for young kids toward a military career in the allied armies of Earth. In this future, all major Earth powers have joined forces against the alien armies of a race of men evolved from insects. After fending off two interstellar attempts at invasion, the leaders of Earth are anxious to find the next commander who will lead them to victory. Unbeknownst to Ender, Earth's highest military officers have placed their hopes in him. As he slowly realizes that his adult commanders are manipulating the zero-gravity war games they play at battle school, Ender becomes increasingly aware that he has been tapped for something greater.

Book Cover

In Print
The story of Ender's Game can rightly be called a nouveau classic. My only complaint is that the characters sometimes seem too sophisticated for their ages (Ender is 6 at the beginning of the book), but they are, after all, supposed to be rare intellectual prodigies. Otherwise, this book has much to recommend it. The concepts, both of space warfare and of future Earth culture, are well and concisely drawn. The prose, as one would expect from Card, is finely crafted, smooth in its simplicity. As I mentioned briefly above, Card says in his afterword to this edition that he feels his prose is better suited to a spoken delivery, than to being read silently. This audiobook is one of the better narrated ones I've listened to, but part of the credit must got to Stefan Rudnicki, who serves as main narrator and producer, bringing together a cast of voices including Earphones award-winning Gabrielle DeCuir, Harlan Ellison, and even a cameo by Card himself.

Longtime fans of Ender's Game will delight in listening to this spoken version. It is also, I must agree with Card, an excellent way for new fans to get an introduction to his writing.


Violet "Violanthe" Kane is the Webmaster and Founder of ARWZ.com. She is an editor of ARWZ Literary Zine and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Medieval studies.