Tag Archives: scifi month

Movie Review: Ender’s Game

Every once in a while, there’s a book you feel a strange and unknown draw towards to read, and Ender’s Game was that for me earlier this year. I think it was partly due to the movie coming out, but not completely, as there are plenty of book-to-move adaptations that I don’t pay attention to. But the story sounded interesting and I wanted to check it out. I was surprised by how dark and gritty it was for a book about children, but it’s painting a picture of a desperate society who has barely survived war once and is on the brink of another. It’s a cautionary science fiction tale of how far we will stretch someone, particularly a child, to receive a desired result.


I don’t think I realized how much I got from the book emotionally until I watched the movie and felt much of a lack of emotion. I know this sounds like the start of a negative review, but it’s not. It is just to say that the book is about warfare and its psychological damage and the real-life causalities of it, as seen through the eyes of the child. I don’t think the movie adaption of Ender’s Game expressed this as fully as it could have, yet at the same time, it did help recall those feelings I had from the book.


I saw this movie with my husband and two friends. My husband has not read the book, but thankfully he was somehow able to follow along with what felt like an extremely accelerated pacing in the movie. The highlights are all there (or at least in my opinion, one friend missed the Peter-Valentine subplot, which I get the point of but I can take it or leave it) in terms of scenes. But we don’t get to experience the full development of Ender’s mental battle in Battle School or his relationships with Valentine, Petra, Bean, and others. The relationships were my favorite part of the book, so while we see glimpses of these in the movie, they are more of a quick acknowledgment. I do think the relationship that was best represented in the movie was probably that of his and Petra’s, even though I wanted so much more of it! And speaking of Petra, I loved Hailee Steinfield’s portrayal of her. Really, I felt all of the main actors did a solid job in their roles, and even most of the minor kid actors.


The movie does not really take liberties or change a whole lot, it just mostly skims. The ending of the movie also felt less strange than the ending of the book, and I was satisfied with it. Another part of the movie I thought was really well-done was how everything looked: the Battle school, the technology, etc., I felt all looked great and believable.


As a supplement to the book, I’d give Ender’s Game the movie four stars, but as a stand-alone, I would give it three. So overall, I’ll average it out for 3.5 stars.

3.5starsI do feel it would be a decent introduction to the ideas of science fiction to someone who may be skeptical, but I feel it’s too obvious in many plot points instead of being delivered organically as it is in the book. Though the movie was already two hours, another half hour at least could have really made it a better film.

Have you seen Ender’s Game? What were your thoughts on it as a standalone and as compared to the book? 


Elements from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine I’d Like to See in a Book

While I know that Deep Space Nine and the other Trek series have their own books, and I might check them out some day, I wanted to create a list of the certain elements from DS9 I really like and would like to see in otherwise completely different stories.


1. Space Station Life

ds9-lifeThe show Babylon 5 also executed this extremely well, but I would love to read a YA book where life is set on space station (not a spaceship, and I’ll explain the differences in a minute) and you really get the full feel for it. A ship is always on the move, and it largely has the same people on it. Since people live there, it does include many of the things a space station also would, but there are some things it does not include that the station does. Deep Space Nine included shops, a school, a bar (where you can eat, drink, play darts, and gamble), and holodecks, and it was all there not just for the regular crew of the station (and their children), but also for the guests coming and going in and out of the station. Having so many people come into the station also means a wide variety of aliens are likely to be there at any given time, which also makes it all the more interesting!

2. A Secret Agency, a la Section 31

sloanI don’t want to say too much about the role of Section 31 on Deep Space Nine for anyone who has not seen the series, and I only mention it since anyone who has seen Star Trek: Into Darkness will be familiar with it already. The concept of a covert, morally ambiguous organization within a larger organization like Star Fleet is something that just fascinates me. I’d love to see something like this played out in a book.

3. An Unlikely/Untrustworthy Friendship

Bashir_and_GarakFor me, one of the most interesting dynamics of Deep Space Nine was that of Dr. Bashir and Garak. The two have a very odd friendship, where they frequently dine together and Bashir will never stop insisting that he believes Garak is a spy. In the episode “The Wire,” when Bashir discovers just how much Garak has lied to him, he asks him what was actually the truth, and Garak tells him, “It’s all true, especially the lies.” This, in a nutshell, describes Garak and his relationship with Bashir, and really with everyone. He’s never straightforward and sometimes you think you can trust him, but sometimes you know you can’t. I would love to read about a friendship as complicated and dynamic as theirs.

4. Important Arcs for Secondary Characters

vic&nogOne of my favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine is “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” (BTW, if you’re ever going to watch the series, do NOT look up the synopsis for this episode! Major spoilers!) The whole episode centers on Nog, a secondary character whose name does not ever show up in the main credit sequence. And it is an amazing episode, because it’s about a defining moment in Nog’s life, and the arc he experiences in the episode alone does more for Nog than some characters get out of a whole series of a show. For this much emphasis on a secondary character for a book, it would probably need to be a series, but just the same, I’d love to see amazing growth from secondary characters in books in addition to the primary ones.

I could think of more elements from DS9 I’d love to see in a book, but talk about spoiler city! There’s just so much goodness to be had, so watch the show and discover it!

What elements from Deep Space Nine or your favorite science fiction show would you like to see in a book? 


Sci-Fi Month Intro Post!

It’s November, which means it’s Sci-Fi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads! I was very excited when I found out about this event, as the sci-fi genre has been creeping into my life in the form of movies and TV for well over a decade now. It all started with…

star-warsOf course! I thought it was a lot of fun! And then one day I caught a marathon on TV of this show…

The-Twilight-ZoneAnd fell in love with this particular kind of science fiction that examines humanity. Then while dating my husband he introduced me to…

Star-Trek1We watched the original series while dating, and after TRYING to watch the first few episodes of The Next Generation (those first few episodes really are pretty bad), we put the rest of the series on hold until after we married. But now I’ve seen it all and love them all! But in the meantime, we were introduced to…

fireflycastSuch a unique and awesome (but sadly short-lived) series! Then after we finished Star Trek, we watched…

babylon5It’s crazy underrated. I mean seriously, how many TV shows do you know of where the creator/writer of the show had the entire series plotted and planned out beforehand? Amazing story and character arcs in five seasons (or four… the fifth season sadly didn’t live up to the rest of the show in terms of great stories). And currently we’re watching…

Fringe-season2Most of these movies/shows will come up again in my posts this month! And now I’m starting to gain interest in sci-fi books as well, though I think the only true sci-fi book I’ve read so far is Ender’s Game. I liked it pretty well and I’m planning to check out more sci-fi books! But since I will not be reading anything new this month due to NaNoWriMo, I will have no new reviews of sci-fi books to share, and will be focusing exclusively on the movies and TV shows that made me fall in love with the genre over time. Here’s my personal schedule of posts that you can look out for:

November 7: Elements from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine I Want to See in Books

November 11: Ender’s Game movie review

November 18: Memorable Characters of Sci-Fi

November 22: Science Fiction World Building

November 27: My Top 3 Earth-Bound Sci-Fi Movies

If you’re participating in Sci-Fi Month as well, leave a comment and let me know! And if not, I hope you’ll enjoy some of these posts!

What’s your favorite element of science fiction?