by: Orson Scott Card
published in 2010
Is this science fiction? Or is it fantasy? I'm not sure. Orson Scott Card twists the two so well that it really doesn't matter. I love Debbie Carton's review of Pathfinder for Booklist, and try as I might, I couldn't do better, so here it is:
The first in a series, Card’s latest title has much in common with his Ender Wiggins books: precocious teens with complementary special talents, callously manipulative government authorities, endlessly creative worlds, and Card’s refusal to dumb down a plot for a young audience. Here he takes the notions of folding space and time, embracing paradox, “adopting a rule set in which . . . causality . . . controls reality, regardless of where it occurs on the timeline.” Thirteen-year-old Rigg is a Pathfinder, one who sees the paths of others’ pasts. Rigorously trained and thoroughly educated by his demanding father, Rigg is horrified when Father dies unexpectedly after a final order to find the sister he never knew he had. Rigg is accompanied on this journey by a small group of friends who have powers of bending and manipulating the flow of time. Card also skillfully twines a separate story line into the plot, featuring earth’s colonization of distant planets, led by the idealistic young pilot Ram Odin. Fast paced and thoroughly engrossing, the 650-plus pages fly by, challenging readers to care about and grasp sophisticated, confusing, and captivating ideas. As in L’Engle’s Time Quartet, science is secondary to the human need to connect with others, but Card does not shy away from full and fascinating discussions of the paradoxical worlds he has created. Grades 8-12. --Debbie Carton
You already know how I feel about Orson Scott Card. I think he's a genius--not just sort of a genius, but a Benjamin Franklin, Mensa should be so lucky-type. I think this is one of his best. I was so excited about Lost Gate, but after reading this one I remember what genius is. Debbie Carton was right to compare Rigg to Ender. This book still hasn't toppled my triumvirate of OSC books (Ender's Game, Speaker For The Dead and Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus) but Pastwatch is teetering...