"How To Milk A Franchise For Every Redeeming Quality"
I hardly know where to begin. After having read all but the last "Shadow Puppet", I feel mentally exhausted. Firstly from 2,708 pages of sheer boredom, and secondly from a feeling of being duped. This book/series came heavily hyped by a friend, and I was fairly certain that it must be good, since I've heard of the name, even if I never read it. And like the fool that I was, I made an impulse Amazon.com purchase to buy the first six books in two boxed sets.
Ender's Game, the first book was a good book. Notice that I didn't say "great". I suppose if this book preceded WarGames, I might have been inclined to say great. But since it hasn't, my mind instantly recognized the similarity, even though the exact situations were reversed*. Neverless, this book was enjoyable, even though OSC likes to paint his characters with Mensa-prequalified, earth-shattering intelligence (and believe me that this meme is severly abused.) And thusly is embued the main character Andrew (Ender) Wiggin, a genius, along with his parents, and two older siblings. Rating: 4 Stars
Ender's Shadow is book two of this series, and focuses on one of the characters who was mostly ignored in the first book. His name is simply "Bean" and he is an orphan. However, this time around, OSC has a new trick up his sleeve: Bean is so super-super-super intelligent, he makes Ender look like a drooling neanderthal-era idiot. This book is mostly written from the a revisionist point of view, showing how Bean truly manipulated the scenes in the first book, so that events only turned out the way they did, because of his behind-the-scenes actions. Rating: 3.5 Stars
For these last four book, I urge you to avoid them like the clichéd plague. I do admit though, that I very much enjoyed the introduction to "Speaker for the Dead" (Amazon's Search Inside this book.) After that you can safely put down the book.
In WarGames, the plot revolves an adolescent who plays a game with a computer, in which it simulates a nuclear war strategy game, only that this computer belongs to the government and controls the real-life nuclear arsenal. In Ender's Game, a 6-year-old boy plays computer games that simulate war, only to find out that he was remotely fighting and directing a real galactic war.