You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the move. Now what? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a modern classic and much beloved. Many people are going to be experiencing Ender’s world for the first time through the movie release this week, and old and new fans alike are going to be itching for something similar. Here is a list of five books that you might enjoy if you loved Ender.
This is another modern classic, and was one of the first dystopian books written to be seen that way. It’s a small book and a quick read, but it packs a lot of punch with great characters and a unique world. Here’s a blurb:
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
This is another book that was turned into a movie. Sometimes referred to as the grown-up version of Ender’s Game, this is a great read that makes you think about what’s important and the way we view the world. And there’s creepy alien bugs! Here’s a blurb:
The historians can’t seem to settle whether to call this one “The Third Space War” (or the fourth), or whether “The First Interstellar War” fits it better. We just call it “The Bug War.” Everything up to then and still later were “incidents,” “patrols,” or “police actions.” However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an “incident” as you are if you buy it in a declared war…
In one of Robert A. Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe—and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most alarming enemy.
Scalzi is widely popular for his interesting scifi books, and this is one of his best (and also happens to be his first). He manages to keep the characters really human, which is one of the best parts of Ender’s Game as well. That, combined with greag humor and fresh-feeling scifi makes this a great read. Here’s a blurb:
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.
The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.
So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What’s known to everybody is that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve your time at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine-and what he will become is far stranger.
This is a fantasy book, not scifi, but it’s another example of an exceptional child being put into interesting adult situations. This book is hugely popular, and Rothfuss creates a diverse and complex world filled with interesting people. Here’s a blurb:
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet’s hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.
This YA dystopian is unique and fantastic, and is a world of all boys and one girl trapped in a maze with no idea why they are there. There’s a great creep-factor, interesting mysteries, and wonderful peer dynamics that Ender’s fans will enjoy. Here’s a blurb:
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
What do you think? Any books we missed that you think fans of Ender’s Game will enjoy? Let us know in the comments!