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Scott Bowles’ “‘Ender’s Game’…” Crashes and Burns

In response to Scott Bowles’s 477‑word review of Ender’s Game on USA Today

By ,

Scott Bowles’ “‘Ender’s Game’ can’t eclipse its fantasy predecessors” sets lofty goals, and then sabotages those goals long before they are ever realized.

The purpose of a literary assessment such as this is to build intrigue in anticipation for a satisfying climax. Bowles undermines this by exhausting his tank and his reserves before the piece even gets rolling. This makes it all but impossible for the audience to remain riveted or even interested throughout the “build-up”, let alone see the author’s work through to the end. As a result, they will likely tune out well beforehand.

As if that wasn’t enough, the transition flow is disjointed at best, and consistency is practically nonexistent. It’s as if Bowles created a textual Frankenstein’s monster with spare parts harvested from the charred remains of lesser works. That not only reveals sheer laziness, but implies outright plagiarism.

Dare the reader persist anyway? Well it should also be noted that the author attempts to justify his rhetoric by drawing parallels between completely different universes. Apples and oranges may both be fruit, but that’s where the similarities end. Likewise, it is unjustified, even a little underhanded, to base one’s expectations on the strengths of adaptations that have no relevancy to the one in question.

Surely there must be some shred of positive to be gleamed here, right? Wrong. Lamentably, this self-sabotaging pile of sludge is devoid of any redeeming value whatsoever. Any reader foolhardy enough to peruse this, much less in its entirety, will find no payoff for the time and energy invested. Therefore, they should expend neither, as this is one game they simply cannot win.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation