Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

pathfinder_orsonscottcardPathfinder is a fictional novel by Orson Scott Card. Twenty years after writing his most famous book, Ender’s Game, Card proves that he writes with passion and imagination. Pathfinder has a very original plot, and meshes both the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

This book tells the story of Rigg, the son of a trapper who has the unusual ability to see the paths of living beings— not your average superpower. Rigg is educated and clever, often using reason and tact to solve problems. When his father dies, Rigg receives parting instructions to travel to a faraway city to meet his long-lost family. And with that, his life changes from average to exciting as he makes his journey to uncover his real identity.
Scattered throughout the story are short passages following a completely different character, Ram Odin, who pilots a fleet of starships to colonize a planet. Though the side story is interesting enough, it is rather confusing to keep track of two storylines at once. Of course, the two stories are tied together quite nicely later in the novel.

The most important feature of Pathfinder is the creativity of its author. The plot definitely takes several twists and turns, ensuring that the ending of the story is wildly different than the opening setting. All of the characters are vivid and have distinct personalities, even the robots on Ram’s ship. Another difference separating Pathfinder from other sci-fi novels is the presence of politics. Political maneuvering and mind games take up almost as many pages as the action, and there is surprisingly little romance. Of course this can be seen as a positive or negative thing depending on what the reader enjoys, but it’s definitely worth noting.

Unfortunately, one aspect of the book keeps it from perfection. While the storyline is very original and creative, this comes at the cost of losing reader comprehension. Between multiple storylines and the poor explanation of events and people, I often had to reread sections to make sense of what was happening. Perhaps if Card had slowed down the pace to give more time to setting the scene, the book would be improved.

Overall, Pathfinder is a fun read that will give you many new ideas to think about. It’s already been out for a few years, so the entire series is completed. Perfect for a reading marathon!

-Phillip X.

Pathfinder is available for check out at the Mission Viejo Public Library.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s