Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Pathfinder #1


Rate this book
** New edition 2019 (re-edited/expanded) **

Shai discovers he is a pathfinder and is desperate to find a genetically suitable partner to prevent his extrasensory talents from running amok. Unfortunately those talents make him a target for the brutal crime lords and other violent denizens who inhabit the city of Nhil-Rhar. Shai needs to learn how to use his pathfinder senses—no matter how much they terrify him—before he's trapped in a partnership that will enslave him for the rest of his life. (M/M)

Novel (76,000 words)
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Gay, Romance



First published January 1, 2003

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

J.A. Jaken

25 books98 followers
J.A. Jaken has been writing homoerotic fiction for more than ten years. She got her start in the profession writing slash fanfiction, where she has published numerous stories under the pen-name Rushlight. Over the years she has written erotic short stories and novels in genres ranging from science fiction/fantasy to gothic horror to modern detective mysteries.

She realized at a young age that she was attracted to the darker side of life in the fictional stories she felt compelled to write. She feels there is something enormously satisfying about putting a character through intense physical and emotional hardship, and then carrying him or her through out the other side. She believes that is the main reason why she tends to write stories with a darker edge to them. Characters are the most interesting when they've had all of the baggage, all of their many masks, stripped away from them and they're left with nothing but the purest core of who and what they are.

Outside of writing, her interests include studying foreign languages, riding horses, practicing martial arts, and collecting medieval weaponry. She speaks a little bit of French, a little bit of American Sign Language, a little bit of Japanese, but she's not really fluent in any of them (although she's trying!). She's endlessly fascinated by just about everything she sees around her and is constantly looking for new ways to learn and improve her knowledge of the world.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
152 (22%)
4 stars
208 (31%)
3 stars
205 (30%)
2 stars
67 (10%)
1 star
37 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 76 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
940 reviews
May 19, 2013
What would you do when you've been beaten to pulp a little too often during the 16 years you spent in orphanages and on the streets?

You make sure to fly under everyone's radar.

Which is exactly what the slender, green eyed Shai does. Especially now that he has finally managed to get a job in a nightclub, he's not willing to endanger his hard fought securities in a city in which The Agency and several ruthless syndicates wreak havoc, in a constant battle for territory and power.

Then one fatal night, Shai's working in the club when he locks eyes with a girl. Panic rushes through him when he realizes: this is no ordinary flirt. The 'sweepers' of The Agency have tracked him down. But why? Why him?

Before he can even attempt to flee to the streets again, Shai's brought into The Agency, with its clinical white rooms. Here he learns something that turns his life upside down. He's a pathfinder. He can sense people's thoughts, the past and the future. You think this is an awesome gift? Wait until you hear the catch! Most pathfinders don't make it to adulthood. They get sucked into their visions. Their minds get lost. That's why there's a built-in security in the form of a genetic imperative: a pathfinder must imprint on a 'guide', someone with the ability to keep him grounded during his mental endeavors. There's more. The pathfinder doesn't really have a choice in the matter, as imprinting is something that can be forced upon him...

All in all, what it seemed to boil down to was that Shai's life was seriously fucked. For someone who had always been fiercely proud of his independence, the thought that he was fated to be dependent on another human being for the rest of his life was a crippling blow.

Wow, this might be even creepier than Jacob from Twilight imprinting on Bella's baby girl! No wonder Shai rebels. But soon he discovers there's a fate far worse than the semi-consensual relationship the agency has in store for its new guinea pig. In a city that's drenched in anarchy, Shai's gift doesn't go unnoticed. Syndicates are out to claim this rare and shiny 'weapon'. And they will not shy away from brute force to have Shai imprint on a guide of their own choice.

Shai closed his eyes, trembling. "You're a guide." The hand on the back of his neck turned disturbingly affectionate, stroking lightly over his skin. "I am." Shai sucked in a long breath, trying not to panic. "But I..I already have a guide. You can't---"
"Your bond with him isn't completely formed yet. It will be easy enough to break." Shai's skin felt like it was trying to crawl off of his body.

Man, what a terrifying concept! Imagine what it would be like to be stripped off your free will and be forced to bond with someone purely based on a genetic imperative. Feel me shiver and shudder through the computer!
And let me tell you, Shai's being put through the wringer. So please be warned that this story contains, however genetically invoked lust, non-consensual sex that some readers might object to. The author does not dwell on these parts though, making it clear that they are a necessity to the story. And although Shai is 16 years old, which is something that might bother you as well, this fact barely registered with me since he behaves as someone who is quite a bit older. So yes, there are a few tough and angsty moments, but nothing that made my stomach actually churn. And I promise, I'm not THAT tough, ha!

That being said; Pathfinder was remarkably good! I enjoyed every minute of this fast-paced, somewhat dark science fiction story. J.A. Jaken can write! At first, she appeared to be trying a little too hard to show off her writing skills, which resulted in a few beautiful descriptions of the city, but also in overly flowery language. However, as soon as she got caught up in her own story, she dropped that act entirely. The plot of Pathfinder is jam-packed with a cocktail of adventure, world-building, action, angst and hints of love, and kept me on the edge of my seat constantly.

The only complaint that I have is that everything felt a little rushed. I think some of the story's potential got lost in the execution. The author stuffed a bunch of intriguing ideas and tidbits in Pathfinder, that just screamed for further exploration. For instance, this book is populated by a few intriguing (side) characters, that I wished were fleshed out more. Also, I'd have liked a creepier build up to Shai's experiences with the syndicate, a little more insight in The Agency's freaky experiments and some time to reflect on the things Shai had to endure throughout the story.

Do I sound like an unsatisfied brat now? Because I'm honestly not. The only reason why I'm bringing up these points at all, is because I enjoyed Pathfinder so much that I craved more, more and MORE! So if you're into a fast-paced, science fiction story with a dash of angst and twistedness, then definitely give this book a shot. I know I look forward to reading more from this author.

Profile Image for Bookwatcher .
746 reviews120 followers
February 1, 2012
Warning: noncon and violence... underage main character... and a very good surprise. Free but a superb quality of writing and plot.
It's no long available as a freebie (Review edited, January 2012. Original Review from September 2011)

Yes I think this review must start with a warning, because don't read it if you have problems with kidnapping, rape, and most of all, a 16 young-old main character.

The sci-fi plot is worth the reading?

YES. Certainly I'm VERY satisfied by its originality.
After world war 3, and an atomic cataclysm, the world had been reduced to an inhabitable wasteland (for what the main character know).

Humans are now living inside a wall closed metropolises. The main character was born and raised in Nhil-Rhar, a city full of corruption and violence.
Shai Lunaran is an ex street boy, and young but already very conscious of how humans can treat a weak boy like him... orphan, and from the age to 12 to 14 he live in the streets... so yes, some sad stuff happen to him (just mentioned, not detailed explained).
When the story begin Shai is "happy". He is not the happiest person of Earth, but he is ok, cleaning tables and working for someone that finally is giving him an option... because in those hard times is not easy to find a employer that take someone just to work... boys like him are nothing more than merchandise, in a world where moral rules don't exist he is luck to don't be a prostitute or a slave.

The extrasensory powers of Shai

Very soon the story will be VERY dark, so again, my warning... don't read it if you have problems with noncon.

Shai is not a human like others. In this sci-fi world, right before the cataclysmic facts of the war something changed forever humankind. Using genetic engineering to improve human race the "pioneers" unleash powerful capacities.
Pathfinders:Humans with an uncommon insight, able to feel or see things away from them, enter other humans minds, telepathy etc. There is no limit to this human power. Pathfinders, in theory, can also predict the future, so obviously their are priceless... why? Because it's rare, in the time of the story is told, to find one. Almost all pathfinders are now closed controlled by Endgeress, also called "The Agency".
Guides: the controllers of the pathfinders. The founders knowing very well the risk of powerful humans like pathfinders create another genetic altered human, the guides. They form a bond with the pathfinder, being able to restrain and control the pathfinder skills. It's not only something done to protect humankind, but also to protect pathfinders. Without a Guide the Pathfinder could just leave his body, expanding his conscious and losing themselves. There are not so rare as a Pathfinder, so the number of guides is far above the number of pathfinders.

In a poor comparison, I would say Pathfinder are like ships, able to fly and go everywhere they want. Guides are their anchor, keeping pathfinders pinned on earth.

Shai is a Pathfinder and unfortunately he is also a rare case of one that life so much without knowing his own capacities, so were never spotted before.
Of course now with 16 year-old his time as a free human being will end. The agency want him... a drug lord want him... probably all free guide (one without a pathfinder) want someone as Shai. Force a bound to a pathfinder is not impossible... is just need: a lot of skin to skin contact, and of course, sex is the quickest way to forge a bound.

With a many twists of facts and surprises this story keep me anchored, as a pathfinder is with his guide. I couldn't stop reading... it's cruel, forced sex in a such young men is something that made me want to scream, but I couldn't put it down... because I read, read, and read... suffering with Shai, and hoping with all my heart that he would have his HEA... somewhere, someone would help him, save him... and well, I wasn't disappointed.

I can't and I wont give less than 5 stars, and I must tell you I'm very glad I had the courage to read it. It was not a easy reading, but its quality and originality is impressive.
I certainly recommend it, but saying also that it's cruel... very cruel... and I love it though

Edit (January 2012): "Note: Pathfinder will be published in 2012, so it's no longer free. For further details please visit the author's webpage http://www.jajaken.com/ "

YEY! It will be published! YEY!
Profile Image for Elizabetta.
1,219 reviews34 followers
December 29, 2014

4.5 stars

His pathfinder abilities, prescience being one of them, always seemed like a curse to Shai. The lapses into a kind of psychic trance had certainly gotten him into trouble and earned him beatings as a child living in the orphanage. So he learned quickly to suppress and ignore them. Now, at sixteen and living a hard-scrabble life on his own, Shai learns that his ability is the result of genetic engineering and is coveted by others who would lay claim to him to use for their own gain. And, he learns that a curse can perhaps become a force to keep him safe from abuse; if only a pathfinder can find his own path.

I love this premise and the world that Jaken shapes; a dystopia ruled by ruthless factions all vying for supremacy inside city walls built to protect against the devastation brought on by a Third World War. Shai’s story unfolds with gripping action as he is forced to discover whether he is ruled by that genetic engineering or whether he can make his own choices and be valued as much for who he is and not merely what he is. This, as much as anything, is the crux of the story-- finding one’s worth. Will he forever be at the beck and call of those who would use him?

This story reminded me a little of Lisa Henry’s great novel, Dark Space, another sci-fi story about a symbiosis between the two main characters. In that story Brady and Cam’s codependency meant life or death. The consequences for Shai are similar. He must find his “guide,” someone (whose name I’m withholding as a possible spoiler) also genetically bred to help him develop and control his trances as well as keep him from getting lost in them. I love that this takes the idea of being tied to another, so intrinsic to the romance genre, a step further by making their lives dependent on it. That Shai’s connection to his guide is enhanced by sex adds erotic spice to the mix (warning: there is non-con/rape; and the main character is under-age). I only wish that there had been more time devoted in the story to Shai’s developing relationship with his guide. It does look like there will be a sequel, a good thing as I’m sorry to leave Shai and his world, and there is a lot more story to be told.

I have become a great fan of Jaken’s work having read her wonderful The House of Silence - Volume 1 series (2 books so far), also highly recommended.
Profile Image for ⚣Michaelle⚣.
3,672 reviews204 followers
April 17, 2019
Looks like this is getting a re-release, expanded edition...and a sequel, both to be released later this month. SIGN ME UP!!!

08Mar2019: 4 Stars

Criminally underrated as whole here at GR.

But I will say that several of the reviews do make a point - that there is a subtle lack of emotional connection between Shai & Lorne, and what there was seemed to be rooted in the Pathfinder/Guide bond; really would have liked to read more of them developing as a couple in order to believe in the romance. (As horrible and abusive as he was, I almost felt there was more chemistry between Kalil and Shai.)

I LOVED the dystopian setting, and pointing out how even the syndicate with "noble" intentions, one rooted in the old ways and scientific advancement, still fostered a cartel-like atmosphere in order to compete with the "gangs" was a nice touch. The road to hell and all that...

A follow-up book would not go remiss, especially considering how the Outriders are so intent on founding a new, independent city...that story could be interesting.
829 reviews1 follower
August 25, 2012
Very well-written, well-told story of relationships in a science fiction world with a genetic compulsion.

Everything was well explained and believable, at least sorta. I think I wish everything had been explored in more depth. There was a lot of rape and near rape, based on the genetic/psychic bonds of the characters, but I felt like a lot of the characters could have been explored in more depth. Aaron Nichols, for example, was introduced at the very beginning but never really explored. And Shai had lots of other relationships that were mentioned. And then there was the Agency and I don't think the implications of the semi-consensual relationships of the pathfinders in the Agency were fully explored.

I also don't feel like I ever got lost in the world.

But I did like the ideas and the writing and sex and relationships.

One of the most interesting bits was the politics drifting around the edges. The City was anarchic with competing 'bands', 'corporations', or 'cartels' as the author calls them. And because of this, no one in the City was truly free. They were trapped in the City, slaves to greed and hunger and seeking safety. It mentions at one point that the Agency extorts protection money from surrounding businesses - that would be called a tax if the Agency was recognized as a government and had a legitimate monopoly on the use of force.

On the other hand, the 'Outriders' are free because they take care of themselves and each other and all contribute to their community what they can to make a complete, cooperative community, where everyone is free to leave, do what they do best, or contribute however they can. There's no real tax, but there's also no real sense of private property - it is communism at its most idealistic - in small communities.
Profile Image for Jo * Smut-Dickted *.
2,038 reviews462 followers
March 1, 2013
Loved almost all of it. Exactly the type of story I like. Guy discovers he has some unique abilities. All sorts of bad guy organizations want him - and he ends up in a heck of a situation where, unfortunately, he is not consenting truly to what is happening. The SciFi world is the ideal location for stories such as this. It was totally believable that a pathfinder and a guide would cement a relationship/develop the bond by physical means including sex. Kalil's personality made sense in light of what had occurred, and the Agency was just still creepy enough to bother. I did feel it lost just a tad bit of steam with Lorne - but only because I didn't feel the sizzle between the two of them enough. There was some chemistry - but whether that was only the bond or influenced by other personal means just wasn't clarified enough - and that dropped it a star. The ending also was sort of anti-climatic and so the last huzzah to add depth to the relationship sort of fizzled for me.

Warning: Underage main character. I don't have many limits so this didn't bother me. However it is non/con with rape. If you don't like this stay away.

I am rushing right out to get the author's other works!
Profile Image for Neyjour.
305 reviews57 followers
August 14, 2019
I really loved this story. I just could not put it down, and read the entire thing in one sitting.

The reason why I didn't give it a full 5 stars is because the ending did seem a tad rushed. Also, the relationship between Shai and Lorne was left sort of "up in the air" at the end. It leaves you feeling happy and satisfied enough that they'll have a future together, but at the same time it also leaves you begging for a sequel. But unfortunately, I don't think there is one.

But despite that, this was a wonderful, entertaining read with terrific characters and worldbulding, and never a dull moment. I've had some bad luck lately, with books I've bought that turned out to be pure dreck, so I was extremely happy to stumble onto this wonderful gem of a freebie. I highly recommend it. :)
Profile Image for Silkeeeeeereads.
1,381 reviews91 followers
March 2, 2013
After reading the reviews, I was expecting this book to be a lot darker. Yes, Shai was only 16 but the way his character was written, he wasn't mentally sixteen. So, even though he's under age, the rapes he endured we're much more about just the fact that he was raped and no lingering effect due to the fact that he's only sixteen.

He is a Pathfinder. In our culture he would be considera psychic. All Pathefinders had to bond with a Guide to keep them emotionally grounded. Two men tried to force the bond on him and a third bonding was due to need and want.

This was not a bad read. I didn't hate it. It didn't produce a whole lot of emotion in me. I just didn't become invested in the characters. The sex was just kind of there. Wasn't arousing.

Yes, there was kidnapping and rape, so be aware of that.
Profile Image for Laylah Hunter.
Author 29 books49 followers
July 5, 2012
This was definitely a can't-put-it-down read -- I had every intention of taking it slowly and instead I read the whole thing tonight. Jaken does a really good job of taking the pitfalls of the soulbonding trope seriously and exploring the ways that ~erotic destiny~ can complicate both withholding and giving consent. I also really liked Shai as a main character; he doesn't have much of the power that's respected in Nhil-Rhar -- the ability to enforce his will through violence -- but neither does he come across as completely helpless. He's learned survival strategies that work for a disadvantaged kid like him, and even when he's in a bad situation (and boy, does he spend some of this book in bad situations) he never just resigns himself to his fate.
Profile Image for Dreamer.
1,789 reviews128 followers
April 17, 2017
Competent readable sci-fi m/m adventure with a non-con element. Shai turns out to be a gifted psychic 'Pathfinder' but he needs to bond with a 'Guide' to help keep him grounded in this world.

"Are you only what the Founders made you to be? Or are you a product of your upbringing? Or are you something else? Your choices are what you make of them, Shai. More than anything else, you need to find your own path."
Profile Image for Tamarrion Lash.
327 reviews33 followers
July 22, 2012
Я в первый раз это читала, когда оно было еще на сайте у автора выложено. Эта версия какбэ переписанная, ну я не заметила никаких добавлений, опечатки разве что убрали.

Интересная история, концепция, правда, сплагиачена у одного сериала, и гл. герой ну совсем тряпка. Но тем не менее мучают его довольно миленько, и в конце выдают хэппи-энд.
Profile Image for David Sandó.
Author 9 books8 followers
Shelved as 'abandonados'
July 27, 2021
DNF at 30%, after the kidnaping/rape (aparently only the first one of a bunch of them) of the MC (a 16 yo boy).
There should be a triger warning on the blurb.
Profile Image for Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews.
1,206 reviews43 followers
January 9, 2013
4 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews


Shai finds out the hard way that he is a pathfinder, he has been told that he has to have a guide who will be bonded with him, and Shai has no choice about whom that guide will be. Being a pathfinder places him in danger when a crime syndicate snatches him, and tries to force a bonding with their very own guide. Now Shai is on the run with an Outrider guide, a guide who doesn’t want a bond to form, and who Shai is beginning to trust.

This is a great science fiction story of a lost science which scientists are trying to revive. Shai is just slightly different from the others, sometimes he just knows things, he works quietly at The Hunted Lord until the night the Agency sweepers come looking for him, and from then on it is a journey of discovery, fear and resentment. Lorne is an Outrider, his clan lives out in the outside roaming the land and avoiding the city; Lorne was captured during a raid for medical supplies. Together they escape from their captor and begin a reluctant partnership.

The characters are all well written and the storyline is brilliant, it isn’t a nice and easy relationship and it isn’t a happily ever after. Both Shai and Lorne are in a position that neither of them wanted, but they try to make a go of it even while they both try to decide what they want to do. Shai has no choice, but to find a guide and Lorne might be the only one that he has any real choice in, Lorne doesn’t want another pathfinder as his last bond-mate died, but as they get to know each other they decide to take a chance. It isn’t easy for any of them though as they have the Agency and a crime syndicate looking for them.

I will give everyone fair warning Shai is 16 years old and to some of you that will be underage, there is also rape and dubious consent. But being honest it actually adds to the plot and storyline, it is all drawn together and makes an unfortunate kind of sense, no matter how you look at it the baddies are desperate and only care for results. The characters are all good and you can see where the Agency is coming from, but it doesn’t mean you agree, and the Outriders seem to be the only ones who are still truly free and believe in free will.

I will recommend this to those who love futuristic, science fiction, escapes, chases, trying to make the right choices and having a slight hope of a true romance.
Profile Image for Serith.
263 reviews10 followers
August 19, 2013
Pathfinder plays out like a dark and guilty fantasy (giving a trigger warning now that this contains dubcon/noncon situations). I... shouldn’t have loved it as much as I did. But I really, really did. Seriously, I have tons of respect for the author to make the erotic elements SO relevant to the plot line. The concept was captivating, the pacing flawless, the world ironed out, the details revealed naturally, and I love how the circumstances drew the characters closer and closer. I found myself liking every direction the author threw the plotline. It all flowed so nicely that I never felt the presence of the author pulling strings to make things happen the way they did.

I adored Shai; he was a good victim but still has a spine to back him up. You can't help but sympathize with him right from the very start. His skittish nature fit the dystopian setting and made it all the more intimidating. Brought the danger to life. H was the perfect main character for the story.

So... I only have two critiques. One is a subjective opinion: I’m not a huge fan of reversing roles in bed. Switches make good characters mind you, but Shai seemed too submissive to top so it threw me off when it happened. It altered the dynamics. The second critique is it needed just one more round of editing to remove repetition:

HOWEVER. This story -in all its entirety- was so good that I won’t allow any of that outweigh my final rating or the fact that Pathfinder has placed as a Favourite Novel. I need this book in print now. Yes need.
Profile Image for Cat.
221 reviews7 followers
January 18, 2018
I don’t know if I just missed what the other reviewers liked or what but I thought there were bad themes in this and I couldn’t enjoy it.

Let me first say that I’m not squeamish when it comes to rape or torture or even dubcon but it has to enhance/advance the story in some way and the aftermath has to be handled.

The storyline I thought was intriguing (why else would I read it of course) and I felt for Shai in his position and I couldn’t wait to see how he handled things.

I thought Shai was a great character. Despite being 16, you really got the feeling of how he had to grow up fast. He was smart, strong and the author did a good job balancing his youth with the fact that he’s older in mind/spirit because of what he’s gone through in his short life.

I felt bad that he was going to suffer but really looked forward to him meeting his “real” guide... but then I realized that Shai’s main relationships were going to be Kalil (Shai’s rapist who considers him a tool and his owner) and Lorne (a over 40 straight guy who lost his pathfinder wife and is still missing her). There was no happy ending in sight for him but the main problem I had with this was how the rape was handled. There was no dealing with the fallout and Lorne ends up having dubcon sex with Shai right after he’a been raped multiple times and beat up!

Even if you take the stance that Lorne HAD to do it to save Shai (because his link with Kalil was breaking) there should’ve been MAJOR fallout between them afterwards. I really thought the use of rape in this story wasn’t handled well at all.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Justin.
11 reviews5 followers
August 11, 2012
Plenty of rape. What? You were expecting a preamble? Rape is basically the theme of the book. Of course I mean this in a sexual as well as strictly denotative context. I do not strictly enjoy a book that lavishes itself in non-consensual sex while not providing an adequate need within the plot. While I felt some of the encounters were not necessary, the saving grace was that I felt a lack of reveling on the writer's part in that the scenes could have been far, far more explicit. The plot then managed to contain the acts in a reasonable necessity so that the story was endearing. At no point does it actually become sweet and I can't fathom the mind that would insinuate that there was genuine romance involved, or even a form of love beyond deep compassion. With all the rape, I'm not sure Shai would be a believable character if there were; He's remarkably well rounded for someone so abused, and if Jaken had made it a sweeter tale I would have balked.

I was torn between a three-star rating and a four-star. I was satisfied, with a substantial list of things considered, enough to push for the fourth star.
Profile Image for Sarah.
485 reviews6 followers
August 22, 2022
It’s been about 10 years since I first read this and found myself enjoying the re-read probably more than the first time because I’ve seen the lightness of book 2 and what is to come. JA Jaken has a lovely writing style, the pacing is fast and reading her work feels effortless. She has lots of intriguing and original ideas in this dystopian/sci-fi fantasy, some of which are pretty dark but they aren’t dwelled on and despite some full on scenes involving rape of the MC they don’t feel unnecessarily heavy or graphic for shock value only. It feels like they are relevant to the story. I do imagine the MC as older in my mind but that is because he acts much older and it works better for me. Book 2 is absolutely necessary to read as it really fulfills the story and balances out book 1 beautifully.
Profile Image for Rosemary O'Malley.
Author 2 books34 followers
September 13, 2012
I loved this!! Pathfinder is an exciting sci-fi adventure that, despite the numerous threads running throughout, was tidy and easy to follow. There's just a touch of existentialism going on in there, too, which I thought added to the overall result. I like the world JA has created. My mind had visuals reminiscent of Dick and Gibson; good things, in my opinion!

This one has some intense, dark moments. There's underaged non-con (our hero is 16) and some viscious violence, but they are handled as tastefully as possible and certainly not glamorized.

I'd like to see more of Shai and Lorne, and more of the world in general. I can only hope more tales will be forthcoming!
Profile Image for Joanne .
435 reviews5 followers
July 5, 2012
I had to wait ages for it to be released by Forbidden Fiction before I could read it, and it didn't disappoint. A wonderful book which left me with a warm glow and a smile when I turned the last page. Well worth 5 stars
Profile Image for Teresa.
3,288 reviews35 followers
October 14, 2012
Warning: this book contains scenes of violence and rape and an underage main character. However, if you can handle that, it was a well written book with a good ending. My only pet peeve - in a society that has fallen, who is still manufacturing lube?
Profile Image for Lamar54.
53 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2012
I hope this becomes a series after publication.
Profile Image for Kristy Maitz.
2,464 reviews
July 7, 2012
I am disappointed with that book. Story itself would be much better if there wouldn't be so much sexually harassments and so much drama.
Profile Image for Amber.
1,294 reviews32 followers
September 23, 2018
This had some intriguing ideas for world building but didn't have the length and depth to fill in all the details. Where the book shines is Shai. The opening of the book did a great job of hooking me into the character and really caring about what was happening to him. His confusion about his powers that could have killed him and still might. The unfairness and harshness of what happens to Shai is typical for many of this author's works but it made me keep turning the pages to finially see Shai get at least some sort of a happy ending
Profile Image for Levi.
454 reviews16 followers
August 7, 2021
wow ... i wasn't accpacting this!

I liked the story, be aware of detailed non con in the book.
Profile Image for Maiko-chan [|].
1,226 reviews24 followers
April 4, 2017
The description of the book itself intrigued me, but reading through some of the shelves other users have listed this under turned the book into a read-now rather than a read-later. And I’m really glad I made that decision.

JA Jaken begins by introducing the main character Shai – who is not, in fact, shy – and the world in which Pathfinder takes place. Her writing is definitely great, and I fully enjoyed every moment of reading this story to the point that it was hard to pull away for even a moment. It definitely has a fast-paced, action-y feel to it that works to its advantage, pulling you along for the ride just as Shai lives it.

This probably isn’t a read for the faint of heart. Shai’s world isn’t a nice one, and bad things happen to him .

Even with all the horror that befalls Shai, this is a surprisingly heartwarmingly sweet story with equal amounts of inspiration. Granted, there’s a lot of detail work about the pain Shai goes through and all the wrongness of that, but there’s also so much that’s done right that doesn’t really make up for the pain , but that does make things better. This was a pleasant surprise, since going into this I expected there would be even more pain and horrors for Shai to deal with . Mostly, I really liked that this story had so much beauty to it, toward the end anyway, since the majority takes place in a horrible world in the aftermath of a World War.

But I really got the feeling that this was a story about finding your place in the world. About gaining personal acceptance for who and what you are, finding happiness and joy even in a world gone wrong, maintaining hope for the future, and understanding that trust in and dependence on another is not a weakness, but can sometimes be what gives you more strength than absolute independence, and that such companionship can help to heal the worst of wounds and fears. Jaken also does a great job of showing the importance of choice throughout life’s events, and especially the importance for people to establish more than just consent and trust in relationships: the need for equality between people (especially partners) to maintain a healthy relationship on both sides.

Overall, if you can get past the cruelties that Shai faces in the world of Pathfinder, it’s definitely worth the read.

EDIT: 04/02/14
So apparently there's going to be a sequel to Pathfinder. This is something I can definitely get behind! My god I'm so excited for this!!
45 reviews
October 4, 2013
Well I read the reviews and I heard that there would be rape and but I had already bought it so I though, what the hell. Then I read it and let's say I have to agree with lots of the other opinions.

1. I couldn't identify with the characters at all and that really bothered me. There was no time to get to know Shai and what we found out about him were some fragments of his past and only in a very...let's say sober and emotionally detached way. Also the other characters were only *there* but they didn't seem too have much depth; we had the victim (Shai), the brave and good-hearted, the guy who's only out for profits but wouldn't actually hurt anyone and lastly the guy who hurts everyone. That's it.
2. Short introduction and BAM everything happened at once. He was at the agency one day then at Mosaics for i think it were barely two days and there was mostly sex and violence going on, then he was outside the city for another couple days so I think the book lasted for about one week. Which was all it took for him to find someone he trusts, people he likes and a place where he feels safe.

So basically there was no time to find my way into the story and it seemed all very rushed. Could have been extended A LOT (not sure I would have liked that though) and I felt like many ideas were there and they were good but not very elaborated. Not the worst I've read but could have been a lot better. At least it was a quick read.
Profile Image for Sally.
94 reviews29 followers
December 22, 2017
I wouldn't ordinarily read a book like this, I'm not a fan of young MC and I really don't like dark novel (and a lot of reviews said it would be just that) but,there was just something about this book that drew me in the longer I read it. I was intrigued.

Shai amazed me, I knew he was 16 years old but throughout this story, I only felt his age on a few occasions. He is extremely resilient and I admire that about his character, he's suffered a lot during his short life, I like the way he reasons. I really liked him.

Ollenbach was slimy and I didn't like him one bit.

I don't even have enough words to describe Kalil, but suffice it to say he's a dick.

I liked how Nhil-Rhar was portrayed, I could almost picture it in my mind.

My favorite quote from this book would be : "It's a funny thing, choice," he said, thinking the words through carefully before he said them. "Are you only what the Founders made your to be? Or are you a product of your upbringing? Or are you something else? Your choices are what you made of them, Shai. More than anything else, you need to find your own path."

I honestly wouldn't mind reading a sequel to this book.
Profile Image for Danielle.
1,284 reviews11 followers
March 13, 2014
It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. The one big issue I have is the book doesn't feel like it has an ending or maybe it an open ending and I get to decide how it ends.

Aside from the underage rape, which yes is disturbing, but makes sense in the context of the book. The book and conversations were so repetitive that I honestly found myself skimming quite a few pages. And the random descriptions peppered into the dialogue didn't help with the flow.

On a side note the world sounds a lot like the world for the comic Judge Dredd. The whole unemployment, living in megablocks, people with mental abilities there was just a lot of similarities between the two societies.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 76 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.