An Odd1's Reviews > Pathfinder

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
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's review
May 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy

**** "Pathfinder" can see where animals, including people, have gone over planet Garden, for 1191 years. The isolated trapper is 13, voice cracking, going on precocious 19 from his intensive home-schooling, and the last words of his "Father" are to find his sister in the capital city, where a royal conspiracy awaits. Typical Orson Scott Card, the assiduous teacher has kept secrets, and taught others with time altering powers. A parallel story starts on a colony spaceship whose robotic first mate sounds suspiciously like "Father". Colonists in stasis, they are pioneers to try a space jump and the only awake human, the captain's genetic power skips them, surprise, 1191 years back to inadvertently replicate 12 copies. Card has snappy retorts, yet wastes pages on boring time travel paradox justifications. I like how fortuitously new members join the orphan's journey and get diverted, unlike a traditional quest. Enough trailing ambiguities leave space for sequels and companion stories, much like my favorite "Ender's Game", and I did like the basic story enough. Finally a decent ending with loss but not excess mutilation or bloodshed.

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