I have been using up the last of my audiobook credits at Scribd before canceling my subscription. So I have been listening to books that I wasn’t interested enough to purchase or are to short to justify the price.
A War of Gifts is short. It is 123 pages in paper, but most of the reviews comment about how few words are on each page and it is not quite 2.5 hours in audio.
The story opens with a fundamentalist preacher and his gifted son. The son has absorbed his father’s faith and while there is nothing he can do to stop being taken to battle school, he chooses to not participate. He fulfills basic requirements, learns to shoot and participates in the battles, but refuses shoot at another person.
The story revolves around the idea of religious freedom and culture at Battle School, but the idea isn’t explored very deeply. Ender is involved in the story, and ‘solves the problem’ at the end. But most of the action revolves around Dink. It is Dink that is interesting here. Ender is thrown in at the end and the power drops out of the story.
I appreciate that Card likes to write new stories in the Ender universe. But I also think that this is an example of a mediocre story that was marketed as if it were a full book. Card has done that a number of times to the detriment of his readers. Many fans will continue to buy, but the ongoing lack of effort will wear eventually.