A WAR OF GIFTS by Orson Scott Card


An Ender Story
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Seems that Card (Invasive Procedures, 2007, etc.) can do anything he likes with his monumental child-warrior Ender’s saga—except actually end it.

Young Zeck Morgan, gifted with an eidetic memory, is the son of abusive, fire-breathing, Bible-thumping preacher Habit. When called up to join other talented seven-to-nine-year-olds in the orbiting Battle School, where all expression of religion is forbidden, Zeck adheres to his fundamentalist Christian indoctrination and refuses to contemplate killing, not even opponents in battle games, and so is shunned by the other students. Then Dink Meeker, a Dutch student, starts exchanging gifts with others as a celebration of Sinterklass. It begins as a joke, but soon turns into a serious revolt as Dink insists that Santa Claus is not a religious symbol. Battle School’s authorities disagree; Zeck likewise refuses to participate and ultimately is forced into a psychological crisis—mediated, of course, by the great Ender Wiggin—in which Zeck must confront the true nature of his relationship with his father and his faith.

A Little League stocking stuffer that nevertheless makes several cogent points. Ender lives on.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1282-2
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2007


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