Book Review: Pathfinder and Ruins

Orson Scott Card recently started a new series called the Pathfinder series. The series is time travel heavy, so it can be a bit tiring to delve into the conundrums and challenges if time travel were possible. I guess if you are going to do a book with time-travel you might as well have your character’s delve deeply into it. In order avoid giving away too much of the story, and ruining the process of discovering the story bit by bit I will only give a short introduction. The story begins by following a young man named Rigg. He discovers that the paths he sees living creatures leave behind theme are connected to their past times. With the death of his father, lots of questions, and the discovery of a few friends with similar time travel related gifts Rigg sets out to figure out who he is and who his father was. What he learns surprises him and places him in a position to completely change the world around him, and his abilities give him a responsibility that he could never have imagined. There is an interesting little trailer on Card’s Youtube for the book.

I enjoyed the thorough exploration of different methods of time travel, their possible implications about how one might travel through time, and how that time travel might affect the world around them. The characters are generally young, so their immaturity may be overly evident. However, in my opinion life never has perfect heroes, so this clearly flawed protagonists don’t bother me too much. If it did, I would watch very little television and read very few books. It is always easy to find reasons to dislike a character.

The main characters largely come from small towns outside of the major cities with a culture and accent which is looked down on by the rich and powerful in the major metropolis’. In some ways I can relate to Rigg. I come from a small rural town in North Carolina, and since I graduated I have lived in urban areas of Utah, California, and Colorado. Most people do not initially have very much respect for the culture and accent of the rural South. At times, when I have been driving through rush hour traffic in the interstate here, or was working as the only personal staff for two Utah state representatives I would wonder at how I had arrived to these places. I remember in middle school I met a girl who hadn’t been farther than a hundred miles from Sanford, where I grew up. Some people rarely get a chance to go beyond their immediate surroundings. Maybe Card communicated this so well because he lives in North Carolina himself. One thing I like about books like this is comparing the character in the first chapter to the character in the last chapter. It helps you have a greater appreciation for the character the development that the author does.

Pathfinder and Ruins  are the first two books in a trilogy. The book has yet to be published. To me, the first book ends somewhat abruptly and the second book was shorter so I quickly read the second book. However, many of the time-travel conundrums can be a bit tiresome to follow, so if might be wise to give yourself a bit of a break between the two books. I did enjoy the two books. I doubt there is anything like them out there. I usually enjoy Card’s style, and for that reason I was able to read through the books quickly. I am looking forward to the third book. I would recommend this book to someone who knows they like science fiction and, preferably, also Card’s previous work. Don’t take my word for it, check out the beginning for yourself. On Amazon and Google Play you can get free samples of the beginning of the book.

 

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