DISCLAIMER (FEEL FREE TO SKIP): First off, let me just say that I read extensively in the genre (20 - 30 books per year), and that I am a HUGE fan of Orson Scott Card. This book didn't change that. However, I feel he did a lot of things with this book which he did not do before, and it really didn't work for me. I feel like this warrants a poor review, because I do believe that this book appears to be marketed at adults of a certain reading level, but fails to rise to it. I'm all for guilty pleasure reading from time to time, but this book's flaws were simply too glaring—too irritating—to get past. I don't wish to "flame" this book in any way. There are plenty of positive reviews, and I just think it's important for there to be a helpful negative one to represent an alternative perspective.
Characters: It's important to develop characters that are interesting. Giving a character superpowers doesn't automatically make them interesting, though. Just ask anyone who saw Superman Returns. There needs to be a sense of gravitas to the main character. Rigg is flat as a pancake, though. It's also important to drop a main character into the "thick of it," which Card does do. I'll give him that. The scenario of the characters is sadly clichéd, but at least it's a proven formula for success. I won't spoil it with details. Finally, a character needs to be RELATABLE. Even the best villains are relatable in some manner. Don't expect yourself to find Rigg relatable, though—or anyone else in this book, for that matter. Most characters are so stupidly stubborn, so exceedingly arrogant, and yet so ignorant, that I doubt many such people exist. If they did, they certainly wouldn't be the type to read books. Hence, the characters are unrelatable. I docked 1 star for this.
Plot: The plot is contrived. Again, I don't wish to spoil anything, so I won't go into much more detail. If you know what "contrived" means, you will likely find this plot to be such. It's got a few twists of originality in the details, but on the broad scope it's a story I've encountered far too many times. I can't really dock it for this, though, as many people may not have read as widely as I have. I just thought it was worth mentioning.
Storytelling: This is by far the worst part of this book. I have (as I write this very review) Orson Scott Card's book "How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy" sitting on my desk here. It's fantastic, so I know the man knows his stuff. However, he breaks all of his own rules, and I can't figure out why. There wasn't a single piece of description in the first chapter, and very little in the second chapter. Why? Exposition. Card is so pleased with his constructed scenario, that he uses the WORST INFO DUMP I've read in probably 10 years. Funny, because he has a section in his writing guide that states, "Too much raw information up front, and the reader can't keep it all straight…The audience quickly learns that you don't know how to tell a story, and you've lost them. Instead, information must be trickled into a story, always just enough to know what's happening." You can construct the most interesting scenario in the world, but if the story isn't told well, you will fail to create a good book. I docked 2 stars for this.
Narration: You can decide for yourself from the sample if you can tolerate the narration. I personally didn't mind it all that much, but to each their own.
Competent readers, beware. This is probably Card's worst book to date. Try Ender's Game or Bean if you're looking to get started. You won't be disappointed in those. I promise.
A childs style story, just plain silly. No complexity, almost like a Mother Goose story for young teens.
The preformance was probably fine the story line and character's were just so lame I could't get past it.
All of them.
You should be warned that this is a book to get you to buy another book and another book. I so was not expecting it to just stop. I actually looked at my player to see if something was wrong with it and the author came on to talk about it. A long 17 hours to end there.
I'm a huge OSC fan, and Pathfinder has seriously whetted my appetite for the following books in this series. Some may feel that this book is a bit too predictable...which it is. But looking at the book from the end, it seems an elaborate set-up for the rest of the series. OSC has created this really neat world with all it's very interesting complexities, but the explanation of it all takes a lot of set-up.
I will say that it took me a while to straiten out the different stories that run through the book. At first it was a bit confusing, but it works itself out. I really enjoyed the different narrators narrating from the different perspectives. It gave the book some nice flavor. I just wish Scott Brick had a greater roll in the narration. Stefan Rudnicki's voice takes a bit to ease into, but I found that I always welcomed his narration when the story switched back to his perspective.
I can't wait for Book 2!
First, the narrators are extremely pleasant ; they are the same as the series. Second, Orson Scott Card is as mind-blowing as always ; pooling Earth's ressources to build colonization ships, folds in space-time continuum, pushing Sci-fi's limits in order to reach the fantasy genre.
It's a mix between Homecoming Saga and Ender's Saga. 17hrs well spent.
I am a lover of stories, particularly stories that let your imagination run wild. Just because something doesn't exist is no reason for it to hamper an excellent story from being told. If I can do my work while listening to an excellent story, then I am one happy guy
I have always been a huge fan of Orson Scott Card's writing style, he writes his books like he intends them to be read out loud. The Ender Series is by far his best work (Speaker for the Dead takes the cake), but this story is so unique and enthralling that I could not stop listening. I usually sit and multi-task while I listen to my book, doing homework, working, driving etc. but this book I would stop other things and just sit and listen. OSC did a fantastic job creating another whole new universe and magic system, and plays around with the laws of time travel. Nothing is too confusing, which is rare for a Time travel book. My final word: Well done Orson Scott Card, This book is a keeper for my audio folder as well as my shelf.
I really liked this book, much more than I expected going on the other reviews here.
But I really just want to explain the complaints about the change in narrators. I LOVE Rudnicki I must say, and can understand at first glance the complaints about having the others in there.
The thing is that if you pay close attention when the other narrators are talking, the entire writing style changes with the other two main narrators, which incidentally is likely why they even have them here. When the story is told primarily from Riggs point of view we have Rudnicki, when it's Loaf and Umbo as the lead perspective we get different narrators (for each) and vastly different writing style and attitude of the characters as interpreted by each of these characters. From Loaf's view of reality he sees Umbo as incredibly whiney for example. And this is reflected in the way they are written. At first when it happened it felt like a section of the book was written by a different author till I realised what was happening.
I think that if Rudnicki had done it all by himself it would have been very disjointing when this occurs.
One good narrator for the entire book.
The first part of the book was fine but in Chapter 42 that narration changed to an extremely annoying voice actor. Just as I getting into the mood and groove of the story, this "talk like a pirate" narrator shows up, out of nowhere, and ruins the whole mood of the book. The first part of the book has a nice mellow narration style then out we are subjected to this grating voice that over plays the characters. I went from liking the characters to wishing they would go rescue the real characters from the "talk like a pirate" narrator, that hijacked the story half way through. I don't know if can adjust and finish this book, having to listen to this new grating voice.
The first half of the book was a little difficult to follow with the many references and discussions to the space/time paradigm, so much so that it lost my interest and I skimmed over some parts, but the narrators ( yes plural...there were 2) we're easy voices to listen to, so I trudged along and stayed with it, hoping to make sense of it all. Though, I will say the narrators (both) sounded old and that was hard to listen to young 13 year old Rigg with a gravelly old man voice.
The second half of the book switched to another male narrator - things went from somewhat bad, to awful! This narrator was so ANNOYING that after listening to only one chapter, I couldn't just listen anymore and gave up. What a shame. His voice was loud, grating and irritating -- left me tense and with a headache...seriously! Just couldn't torture myself anymore.
Never have I written a review, but I read other reviews before buying. Therefore, to others out there like myself, if you depend on a good reader with and easy voice, that knows when and where the inflections belong...this is not the book for you. Audible should provide a sample listen of book 2, so you can hear what you are buying...a royal headache.
Not with these narrators. Maybe if another narrator.
I wouldn't know... Never made it to the end and am frustrated and feeling rather negative about the story because of the above. Talk about ruining a story...pick a bad narrator(s)
Find another narrator. Let members hear all voices that narrate....especially book 2!
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Rigg is a boy that lives with his father in a forest hunting animals for a living and selling their skins for money at the nearby town. Accept for his awkward way of living, he seems to be an ordinary boy. Yet Rigg is different from other children in one other way, he is able to see the paths of living creatures even though they had trodden them months and even years ago. He is a natural born pathfinder.
But appearances can be deceiving. With the sudden death of his father who got trapped under a tree, Rigg discovers that the world is not what he thought it was. He discovers that he might not be another nobody, but a very sought after person in the People’s Republic.
Orson Scott Card starts a story of time travel, path finding and search for identity in a very engaging way. This story promise to be more intriguing than the Gate Thief trilogy, the other major story that he is currently busy writing.
Different narrators read parts of the book that represent the different views of separate characters. Yet Card’s way of writing doesn’t seem to lean itself to this way of reading the story. I think George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire will be better enhanced to this type of reading. Various narrators often carries the risk that one or more narrators may estrange the listener as he/she might not identify with a specific reader. There is a possibility that some of the accents of the narrators do exactly that. As for myself, I didn’t find any of the narrators lacking.
The story holds a lot of promise and I can heartily recommend Orson Scott Card’s first book in the Pathfinder series.