Book Review: PATHFINDER

pathfinder coverAuthor: Orson Scott Card

Number of Pages: 662

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: September 1, 2010

“Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him–secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead. He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent…or forfeit control of his destiny.”

– Goodreads.com

I swear, everything that Orson Scott Card writes is perfection.

Ender’s Game is my favorite science fiction series, so I went into this novel with a little hesitancy. Would it feel flat in comparison to Ender’s Game? Would my expectations be too high? What if it’s length also meant it was slow and boring? As it often is, all my worrying was for nothing. This book did not disappoint!

Once again, one of my most favorite things about Orson Scott Card’s novels is the magnitude of intricacy they contain. Garden, the world he creates in this novel, is both similar to our own and vastly different. There are variations in geography, complex local politics, and several different dialects that are used. It’s easy as a reader to become fully immersed in this fully functioning world that Card constructs around you. In this novel there are elements of both fantasy and science fiction, which I enjoyed a lot. For the fantasy fans there are royals and secret conspiracies, and for science fiction lovers there is time travel and tangled theories of evolution. Card blends these two genres together so seamlessly that you hardly even notice it until you sit back and take time to soak it all in.

Another thing I really liked were the two different story lines. At the beginning of each chapter there is a page or two about a guy named Ram who is on a spaceship, and at first it seems completely random and out-of-place. But as the novel progresses and the two story lines intertwine and converge, everything suddenly clicks together like pieces of a puzzle. There is so much to think about while reading this book that although it is over six hundred pages long, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It is a perfect balance of detailed and fast-paced, which makes for an engaging and fascinating read.

As always, Card’s characters are spot on. Rigg has so many sides to his personality that he seems like he could almost be a real person. Umbo is easy to relate to due to his common flaws, and Loaf is witty and strong. It’s remarkable how much thought Card puts into developing his characters. He makes them grow early on to fit their purposes later in the story, which is a really interesting thing to watch unfold. For example, Rigg is educated by his Father so he is prepared to deal with high-class city people in the future. It’s little details like this that really make me appreciate a great story.

Overall, I loved this book. I honestly have no complaints about it and would recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction, fantasy, or adventure stories. There’s a little something for everyone here! I’m definitely looking forward to reading the sequel!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely!

Have you ever read this book before? What did you think of it? What other books by Orson Scott Card would you recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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