This is a thrilling, fast moving story filled with memorable characters and a brilliantly realized setting. The narration was top notch, with a different narrator for each PoV character. I know this multi-narration is distracting for some folks, but it is mostly well done, with one extreme exception that potentially ruins the whole thing.
About 2/3rds through the story the POV shifts to Loaf for a bit, and we get what sounds like a drunk guy overacting to such a distracting and nonsensical degree that it is basically un-listenable. I can only imagine that whoever decided that this was an acceptable narration was also drunk, as I can't see how anyone of complete faculties could have allowed this mess to remain in the production.
The worst sin of any narration is to draw so much attention to itself as to detract from the story, and this guy really sounds like he was trying to show off instead of staying true to what had been established by the other narrators. He ruins the established characterizations, ruins the pacing, ruins the dialogue, ruins the description, ruins the whole section he reads in every fathomable way. It is so bad I had to stop listening several times just to take a break from it.
Even worse, it comes at a pivotal point in the story that I can't reveal without spoiling things. All I can say is what were they thinking?!
Definitely the better of the two Pathfinder books. I'm not sure if it is just novelty wearing off, or if there are just too many inconsistencies in the second. Great narration!
Somewhere near the top in some ways, but I've listened to a lot of audiobooks...
The narration was good. The time travel concepts worked for me, and seemed logical.
I wasn't a fan of the way the characters would occasionally bicker with each other. They argue at bad times for bad reasons, and it seems that bickering is used to fill up story that could be used for something else. I can't honestly say I liked any of the characters.
Orson loves the coming of age books, and he is a master of making our race better.... Smarter, giving us hope that yes we can make it out of our own weaknesses.
I enjoyed the two stories converging into one, and I like that he took all the rules of time travel, and threw them out the window.
Iliked all the narrators except for the one portraying loaf's character's point of view thank good it was only one chapter.
At the beginning of each chapter was a highly theoretical discussion about space travel, I though that was very interesting.
Pathfinder is classic Card. It's a fun story with well developed characters an interesting plot and exceptional dialog. If you prefer action to plot, then this will likely be a disappointment. If you enjoy watching a story unfold then then kick back and enjoy the ride. This one feels a bit more like Lost Gate than Ender's Game but it does have a healthy dose of power and politics along with some math and physics. Don't let that scare you though. Although OSC works hard to stay true some physical laws, this is fiction and he takes his liberties also. I was moved, amused and thoroughly entertained. This is Card at his best.
I fell in love with Card 20 years ago, like many after reading the Ender Series.
I really liked the way this story is broken into two parts with a quick glimpse of the back story at the beginning of each chapter, and overall it is an interesting world, and a interesting plot. I did enjoy the overall story and wanted to see how it came out, but the book get tedious in places. We are given the thought processes of everyone, reasoning out everything, at each new tiny step. In fact I think about half the novel was someone thinking about the possible motivation of others and the consequences of their actions. Card seemed to include all the stuff an author normally figures out, but doesn't usually actually put in the book. After a while I was begging them to get on with the plot. If the characters are acting in a realist, believable way, then you don’t have to include their entire thought process.
Mild spoiler: I know Card wanted to play around with a different version of time travel than most authors, he says so himself in the closing notes. I found it hard to believe someone of this of this pseudo pre-industrial society would sit around talking about the implications of time travel. They would probably just do it and see what happens.
I'll probably listen to the next book in the series, but I may wait a while.
Sixty years young. Surfer, Kayaker, Abalone diver, Backpacker. Rabid reader/listener. I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
No it was not because Rigg's character was so annoying.
Endless semantic babble by Rigg's character with Umbo as his lame foil.
I recently listened to the first Mithermage novel which is some of Card's best work ever.
Pathfinder was pale and weak by comparison, with nothing in the characters to engage the reader/listener.
Yes, the reader was fine, but the material has to be good, and it wasn't.
NO WAY, spend the energy on more Mithermage novels,PLEASE!
Most interesting and entertaining read I've had from Card in a while. The gist of the ending of this story was pretty predictable but I didn't mind. This story was pretty much about "getting there" from the beginning. I'm not wild about the theory of time Card opted to work with--and it proved to be pretty confusing in places--but the decision to go with a theory that is not "the usual" was, overall, a positive. In some ways, the story would have worked better as a magic-driven story rather than as a science-driven story. The intricacies of how time-manipulation work reminded me of some of the more complex magic systems in fantasy fiction. You need multiple volumes to sort it out.
Thoughts on the readers:
The one section from Loaf's point of view: overly theatrical. Dial it down a notch.
Otherwise, the reading was quite good. I don't see the need for multiple readers--any one good reader could have done the entire book just fine.
I felt this book was fairly slow moving, without any reason to be slow moving. Once Card got around to giving you the information at about halfway through the book the rest became immediately obvious. This made it a bit of slog to get through the rest.
The individual readers were good but the constant switching I found to be a distraction.
There are some interesting ideas about time travel. The characters diverge from some of the standard archetypes which was refreshing and depending on how the later books are reviewed I may try the next book.
If you're looking for an Orson Scott Card book, try Ender's Game or Empire first.
I would absolutely listen again.... So many twists and turns and intricacies---and they're all worth understanding.