Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I borrowed this book a few months ago from the library, read the first chapter then got an email the same day from the library saying it was due back. I returned it and put it straight back onto my reserve list. Luckily the wait was not too long and when I picked it up this time I started reading it immediately and finished in only a few days.
Set in the future, human's have narrowly survived two wars with an alien race and in preparation for the inevitable third war are training future fleet commanders. The world's smartest children are trained at Battle school using increasingly difficult games. Ender Wiggin stands out even in this group of geniuses and proceeds quickly through the levels. Meanwhile his brother and sister are back on earth making their own power play.
This a pretty easy and very enjoyable read, with some good twists in the plot. The characters are interesting and there are numerous ethical dilemmas presented in a very real way. Ender has to face the good and bad that is in each of us balancing his empathy with people and his strong will to survive in hostile conditions. Sometimes there really isn't a "good" action to take.