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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Pathfinder Restores My Faith in OSC

(Image from Indiebound)

Even though Rigg's spent most of his 13 years traipsing through the woods with his father, communing with more animals than humans, he knows he's different than other people. His gift makes him odd, unique, even dangerous. So, he uses his strange ability to see the paths left by all living creatures to help him trap animals, whose pelts he and his father then sell in the marketplaces of nearby towns. It's a life that suits Rigg, even if he does find his father's endless "lessons" irritating.

Rigg doesn't question his nomadic lifestyle until the day his father dies, whispering secrets with his last breaths. It's only then that Rigg realizes how much the old man has been keeping from him. It's only then that he begins to wonder who he really is, where his gift came from, and what he's supposed to be accomplishing with it. It's only then that Rigg understands how little he really knows about himself, his world, and his purpose in it.

Desperate for answers, Rigg embarks on a dangerous journey to the capitol city. Along the way, he finds friends, foes, and everything in between. Using his special gift to help find the truth, he makes shocking discoveries that will change everything he knows - or thought he knew - about his past, his present and his future.
So, you may have noticed that I'm not the hugest Orson Scott Card fan. I didn't get Ender's Game (nor did I bother finishing it), I liked his Women of Genesis series, but didn't love it, and I found some of his other books disturbing (The Lost Boys, Saints, etc.). Given all that, I never would have picked up Pathfinder if it wasn't a contender for this year's Whitney Awards. That would have been a crying shame, too, because guess what? I thoroughly enjoyed Pathfinder. Yes, really. I know. Surprised me as well. I'm not going to pretend to understand all the science behind it (even after the dummied-down explanation OSC gives in the "Acknowledgments" section) - suffice it to say, my head's still spinning - but I found the storyline compelling, the characters engaging, and the whole idea fascinating. Some of the science-y parts got dull for me, yet, most of the book's 657 pages kept me completely riveted. And the ending only made me hungry for the sequels that will be coming. I never understood OSC's genius before. Now? I might finally be starting to get it ...
Readalikes: Reminded me a fair bit of the books in Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series - The Knife of Never Letting Go; The Ask and the Answer; and Monsters of Men)

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for mild language (no F-bombs) and some vague sexual innuendo
To the FTC, with love: Another library


  1. I've seen a lot of positive reviews of this book. I did enjoy Sarah and I read Enchanted even though parts of the book made me uncomfortable. I'll have to read this one.

  2. This is on my list, and I LOVED Ender's Game - read the whole series. Thanks for the great review!


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