Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: Pathfinder

Oh man, is my mind blown. Again. By Orson Scott Card. Again. Writer of the innovative modern classic "Ender's Game", Card has written some very good books over the years. I love a good WOW book, and Card certainly delivers!

"Pathfinder" is about a group of people with special timey-wimey powers (nods to Doctor Who). Okay, here's an actual synopsis, copied from Goodreads:

A powerful secret. A dangerous path.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.
I really liked Rigg. I enjoyed hearing about all the amazing things he learned from his father and how he would apply that knowledge to his new life. Card writes such sympathetic, rich characters and in a way that feels fresh and fascinating. But best of all, he tackles the ever-problematic issue of time travel, coming at it from an original, fearless angle.
Not being a huge fan of time travel-y stuff, I haven't really read a lot of sci-fi, but I have seen many movies and TV shows, and I know that time travel is tricky, tricky, and often the very act of including it will tear readers out of the story as they become caught up in the impossible variables and situations involved. Card faces these variables head-on in a way that is, admittedly, a bit confusing, but still well written enough that I didn't feel like it was distracting. 
This is a wonderful addition to your personal library and perfect for youth who are mildly interested in sci-fi, but not totally committed and ready to jump into something by Asimov... like me... except for the "youth" part. 
Book two of the Pathfinder series is also out, and I will be reading it just as soon as I finish "Fragments" and "An Unommon Reader" and "Speaking From Among the Bones"... so many books... 

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