Book Review: Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Published By: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 2010
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Library

This review is going to be short and sweet because this book will be truly ruined if I give away too much. I want to fully admit that Science Fiction isn't really my genre, but I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone a bit. I also had heard great things about Orson Scott Card's writing. Furthermore, I always have great books to recommend for female readers, but few for males. I thought this book would help me accomplish several goals at once.

The main reason I gave this book 3 birdies is that I spent more time during my reading being confused and having to reread than truly enjoying the story. There are basically two major plot lines unfolding. One follows Ram, a human on a spaceship, who is working with machines (aka Expendables) and computers to make the planet, Garden, fit for human colonization. The second one follows the story of Rigg, a talented teen who can see the paths of animals and humans. I found the moments of Ram's plot line to be tedious and distracting. I knew that the two stories had to connect somehow and I had my ideas, but I felt extremely frustrated while reading and piecing things together.

I have to wonder if I had trouble making sense of things and not zoning out during tedious moments how a teenager will tackle this book. Certainly there are many who will devour it with relish and understand every word, but there are many who may not give this book a chance due to the difficulty. I also felt somewhat relieved that Orson Scott Card had to explain several key points in his afterward because he knew people would be lost. I admit that he is an extremely gifted and creative writer, but this book was more frustrating than enjoyable for me. However, I am proud of myself for sticking with it until the very end.

One Last Gripe: I had a lot of trouble visualizing what I was reading with this one. This may be because I am not a science fiction reader.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: Rigg's time with the scholars and his library visits - I found the logic he engaged in to be fascinating

First Sentence: Saving the human race is a frantic business.

Favorite Character: Rigg

Least Favorite Character: General Citizen

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.


  1. It's definitely tough to read outside your comfort zone and I applaud you for trying! I try to force myself to read something that I wouldnt usually read every couple books (or else all that I would ever read is paranormal / dystopian YA lol).

    If you wanna give Orson Scott Card another chance, try out The Lost Gate (I know we talked about this on twitter). It's more fantasy than scifi and I really did enjoy it.

  2. @Serena - Thanks for reading the review. I am going to read Ender's Game for sure. I will also add The Lost Gate to my TBR list. I think this one was just too much for my first experience with Card's writing.

  3. Andrea, I found myself having to study Ender's Game instead of getting caught up in the story, similar to your experience. It was worth it, but it was not my typical snack-reading.

  4. @Paula - Don't tell me that! It may scare me off Ender's Game for a bit. I just don't think I could handle the frustration of it so close to this one.

  5. I won this from a giveaway and haven't read it yet. I hate that you were confused.. Makes me want to stick it at the bottom of my TBR pile. :P

  6. @Michelle - It's not a bad book. It just requires a lot of effort and concentration. I was not in the right mindset for it at the time. I am pretty sure Card intended for there to be some confusion since he had to explain crucial points in the afterward, lol.


Post a Comment

We love your comments!