I am a huge OSC fan, having read/listened to many books. This story is not as strong or mature as most stories. Feels half polished. The majority o..Show More »f the narration is good, but the second half of the book sees some narrator changes that are inconsistent and one chapter is downright annoying enough that I stopped playback 4 times. At times I felt like I was listening to Treasure Island. I wish the story and narration was as polished as the excellent Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow on Audible.
I'll start this by saying I'm a huge Card fan. Ender's Game is my favorite book, and I loved Pathfinder. I counted down the days until this was publis..Show More »hed, but now I'm left disappointed.
Card's usual depth and complexity are there in the story, and I cannot deny it isn't well written. But he significantly faulted, in my judgement anyways, by making the drama in this book all about the characters and their inabilities to trust each other.
A little bit of resentment towards each others is one thing, but there were whole chapters where the characters would argue or fight or just plain whine the whole time. It was distracting, removed me from the story, and even made me stop listening for chunks at a time. Honestly, it was so bad I wanted to slap the characters. It didn't really feel "real" considering what we'd known about them from the last book.
He's all set up for a climactic book three in which there will hopefully be real drama and conflict. This one felt forced, as though in order to justify a book two he forced out character drama that didn't need to exist and borderline overwhelmed the rest of the story.
I cannot wait for book three and I put my hopes on that one. This one felt as if half of it was unneeded, and downright annoying.
I was attending Orson Scott Card's Writing Workshop this year when I heard him mentioning how difficult it was for him to wrap up writing this book. H..Show More »e knew he had a real gem on his hands; this is easily his most ambitious series since Ender's Game. Seems that he truly thought this was one of his best, but he had only one, BIG problem: he had no idea how to end the story.
I was a bit shocked to hear this. The Pathfinder series is easily my favorite of his since the original Ender's Game. Yet as creative as this project was - and he had written a killer beginning and a good middle - he had been working on the project without actually knowing how it was all going to turn out. This process is typically known as free-writing, or letting the story tell itself as you write and lose yourself within it. However, the style has its drawbacks, one of which is that endings can be kind of weak and unsatisfying.
Then, at the workshop, Scott said that he had recently had an epiphany of sorts and that he finally knew how to end it up. He then proceeded to finish this novel while his students were working on the rough drafts of their assignment stories. This greatly relieved me, who had been waiting for this novel with much anticipation for the last couple of years.
Ultimately, this novel pulls off the ending that it promised. But boy, does it go in a lot of unexpected directions on the way there! At times, I felt like I could see where Card had struggled. The story itself meanders in places, seeming to get lost within itself. It goes off on tangents and I can't seem to figure out WHY Card even wrote those parts, or left them in the final novel.
But though there are frustrations at times, but in the end I feel it deserves 4 stars. Let me tell you that this book crams a LOT into its pages. This story goes way, way far away from its humble fantasy novel roots that were begun in "Pathfinder". There are tons of philosophical examples and conversations that are typical Card. There were a couple of story arcs that weren't that interesting to me. But I have to commend Card for being able to pull this one off. I really enjoyed the characters, most of which felt so alive to me that I know I'll remember them for a long time. It's actually kind of sad to see this series end. I could see it continuing on much further from here.
I would definitely recommend this series to any Card fans, even if you've just read Ender's Game. This remains my favorite series of his right beside the title that gave him his fame.