It's us versus them. The Earthlings versus the Buggers (yeah, it took me a while to get over that too!). They've tried twice to wipe us out. Against overwhelming odds we somehow survived and beat them back. Now we've got to take the fight to them. Strike at their home world before they get a chance to come back at us.
The Buggers are some kind of hive mind like species that communicate instantaneously telepathically, controlled by their queens but individually incapable of independent thought. We cannot understand them nor make ourselves understood by them. A fight to the death is the only option.
So, our mightiest fleet is converging on their world, an all or nothing attempt at victory. What's needed is someone to lead them. Someone so gifted at tactical thinking that they can win against a much larger force that constantly and instantly adapts to whatever strategy is used against them and reacts at lightning speeds. Ender is to be that person. Bred for the task, this book follows his childhood as he is to be put through the most gruelling training programme in order to prepare him for the task ahead. We follow the trials and tribulations of Ender as he is ruthlessly used, manipulated and honed into our ultimate weapon.
None of the above is a spoiler which might surprise you because you might have been expected a little more mystery at the start. Perhaps it would have been a better story had the reader been a little more in the dark about where the story was headed. What surprises there are later in the story are fairly obvious, you can spot them a mile off, but this is still an engrossing read. Ender has a mountain to climb, to reach beyond the limits of any normal person's endurance and achieve this all while he is still a child.
The style of writing is quite plan and functional. It is not a sophisticated literary piece by any stretch of the imagination. It's probably aimed at the younger reader but still has something to offer a reader of any age. I enjoyed it and am curious to see where the series goes next.