Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1)” as Want to Read:
Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Pathfinder #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  22,670 ratings  ·  2,360 reviews
A powerful secret. A dangerous path.

Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg's strange talent for seeing the paths of people's pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him--secrets about Rigg's own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has

Hardcover, 657 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published September 1st 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pathfinder, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Dan The robot/computer rulers in Pathfinder are similar to Card's own Oversoul in the Homecoming Saga…moreThe robot/computer rulers in Pathfinder are similar to Card's own Oversoul in the Homecoming Saga(less)
Jake You are crazy.
You asked:

"[When is? For gerererererererereret

And that doesn't even make sense. Maybe you are on drugs. Maybe you're a spammer. But…more
You are crazy.
You asked:

"[When is? For gerererererererereret

And that doesn't even make sense. Maybe you are on drugs. Maybe you're a spammer. But the answer is:

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,670 ratings  ·  2,360 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1)
Ahmad Sharabiani
Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1), Orson Scott Card

Pathfinder is a science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card.

The novel tells the story of Rigg and his unusual ability to perceive the "paths" of living things throughout time. It is the first book in the completed Pathfinder series, and is followed by Ruins and Visitors.

People from Earth have colonized a new planet, giving it the name "Garden".

This is accomplished with the assistance of human-like machines known as expendables.

A select
Spider the Doof Warrior
Apr 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-hate-this-book
Book readers, you know that feeling of reading a book and falling in love from the first few pages, gazing lovingly at a books words. Holding the book to your chest as you exclaim: THIS IS SUCH A GOOD BOOK, IT IS ONE OF THE BEST I'VE READ, IT'S GREAT and you just want to keep reading it and devouring it?

Yeah, this isn't that book. I'm trying, but I just can't do it. It's too dull. The characters are not interesting. They are flat, 2 dimentional. All they do is banter. OSC goes on about bodily fu
Morgan F
Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Ender's Game
Pathfinder is centered on Rigg, a thirteen year old boy who lives an isolated life hunting and poaching with his enigmatic father. Rigg has a strange ability; he can see paths, tracks in time that are remnants of every living thing ever to have lived. The only person whose path he cannot see is his father's, who dies one day in an accident. His father's last wish is for Rigg to find the sister he never knew he had. This leads Rigg to undergo a fascinating journey, with every step of the way lead ...more
Sep 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Sometimes, the cleverness and incredible adeptness and genius of the main character, Rigg, surpasses my ability to suspend disbelief. Not the spaceships and spacetime-jumping folds creating duplicate persons. Not the ability to become invisible or see the paths of all beings or slowing down time. Not even a ridiculous confluence of events. However, if I were to be trained since birth on game theory, different languages, etc. I could be half as able. Ok, no joke. One third. I do so wish that I co ...more
John Brown
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was once in a discussion about religion with a friend who happens to be an atheist and fellow science fiction and fantasy writer. He’s a great guy. The blog posts he wrote about the passing of the woman he loved who was lost to cancer were poignant and wonderful–full of beauty. I read them and wanted to be a better man. Still, he and I disagree about God.

I remember telling him that science fiction is the one genre that makes God more plausible than any other. At least, it makes my view of God
Aaron Vincent
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted here

I had to distance myself away from this book before I wrote this review. If I did not, I would have just hit the caps lock and type, THIS IS THE COOLEST YA BOOK EVER!! Shift 1. Shift 1. I just did exactly that, didn’t I? Oops. After being blown away by Ender’s Game last year, you think I’ve learned my lesson and expect nothing less from Orson Scott Card? I didn’t, but I know a lot better now.

Rigg can see path human and animals made whether it’s from the distance past or the
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was not terrible, but, frankly, it just didn't quite work for me. Nothing was quite as good as it could have been.
The characters were sometimes interesting, but sometimes unbelievable; as for example, Rigg seemed to know everything about everything, even at 13; or Umbo would randomly switch from jovial to jealous to insecure.
The plot sometimes moved well and kept my interest, but sometimes nothing would happen but them debating what to do for 50 pages.
The mystery of this world, what ex
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic sci-fi/fantasy time travelling romp. I loved it, and was engrossed by the disparate ideas and eager to learn how the two collided. It managed to be mysterious without being formulaic, have interesting insights into science and human nature, and a good set up for an epic series. I was heartbroken when I learned the second book isn't out yet. In addition to all of this, it seems that Card is revisiting the "genius child" that he explored in Ender's Game. Highly recommended. ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I am AT TIMES an Orson Scott Card fan....AT TIMES. This isn't one of those times. I'm forced to a one star rating here because that's the default rating when I can't make myself finish a book without threats...."keep reading or else". What I'd do to myself I'm not sure. To keep me interested in this thing it would have to be something pretty terrible.

Mr. Card is capable of writing an excellent book. I'm waiting for him to go on with one series and picked this one up as I waited. As has happened
May 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was straight-up terrible. If I hadn't read it in audiobook I probably would have dropped it (although many a time did I wish that it had it in dead tree form so I could skim the endless, boringly repetitive discussions of time-travel paradox.) The characters have the same conversations over and over again; when they're separated, they have to go through the same process of figuring out the same problems, and then talk about them again. Each time someone joins the party they have to exp ...more
Eva Mitnick
Mar 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
While I really liked the premise and the story of Pathfinder, I found it to be WAY too long and in desperate need of an editor.

I don't need gigantic explanations about how the banking system works. I don't need to be told time and time again the rules of the special powers. And I especially don't want to sit through these lengthy, logical reasons for each of the characters' actions every time they do something.

Orson Scott Card has this obsession with creating characters who can navigate through
Hadn't even heard of it till I saw it at Costco and luckily this spontaneous purchase paid off. It was the perfect rebound book after the ultra disappointing end to the hunger games series. Pathfinder starts off feeling very similar, in fact, with a kind of futuristic/post-apocalyptic vibe. It wasn't as nail-biting or gruesome as hunger games, but the political intrigue is there and quite a bit of mystery--very much like Ender's Game. I read it just as fast those, too-- little more than a day. R ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 but I rounded up. Time travel gives me a headache though and Rigg is more like a 50 year old with a degree in astrophysics than a 14 year old boy, but I care enough about the characters to see what happens next. I have always been a fan of Card's work. This book is a little dry for my tastes. I'm also not sure that even though the main characters are children that this book is actually a young adult novel. I don't think Card's best work, Ender's Game, was originally meant to be a young adult ...more
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
group read for Erodorks.

Geez, this book is listed as young adult. Kind of humiliating to admit how I struggled with the time-folding, space-traveling, and quantum physics involved. And I mean really, really struggled. I skimmed some parts because no matter how many times I read and reread certain chapters, I never did get clarity.

Still, I’m giving this 4 big stars. The verbal swordplay is hysterical, the characters are likeable and, for me, the story line is fresh.

Rigg can see the paths others
Cori Reed
My reading year has had a very weird start! Luckily I have already read a few books I really enjoyed as well.

Pathfinder wasn't for me. It was so overly confusing and had a weird sci-fi thing going on. I like long books, but this time I just wanted it to end.

Also, I knew before reading this that Orson Scott Card is a bigot, but I looked into it more and WOW. Dude's an ass.

Ryan Lawler
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pathfinder is the first book in Orson Scott Cards Serpent World series published by Simon & Schuster in 2010. Well known in the Sci-fi world for the Ender Saga (notably Ender's Game), and the Homecoming Saga, Card seems to be branching more and more into the fantasy genre with better results each time. With Pathfinder, Card has taken a number of the more complex sci-fi elements and used them to create a quality YA fantasy story that is original, easy to understand, and fun to read.

The story cent
Colleen Houck
I love the name Rigg. Cool things should happen to people with that name. Wildly inventive. I really appreciated the author's note at the end. It really helped clarify where the story was going. Very interesting to see how the kids' powers worked together. ...more
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rigg is a 13-year-old boy who lives in seclusion with his father, surviving as a trapper and only occasionally going to the nearest town to sell animals’ pelts. He is successful as a trapper in part because he has a unique ability: he can see the “paths” people and animals have taken, in the form of a colored trail that stretches behind them, showing where they’ve been. This way, he can track almost anything — “almost” because the only person who doesn’t have a trail is his father...

Of course, m
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, sci-fi
Torn on this one. Card writes very ambitiously for children, expecting them to keep up with a lot of information that's bound to be way over their heads, and usually that's an excellent thing. In "Pathfinder", I felt like something was missing, or something was too much. Mainly that the characters were drawn in big hacking brushmarks, while the time-travel was a little blinding. I came away interested in the themes (well, -ish), and sort of baffled by the actual plot.

I've just reread "Ender's Ga
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Orson Scott Card's Pathfinder is a fantastic science fiction/fantasy adventure story that slowly unfurls in such a way as to make it difficult to describe without ruining the pleasure a reader would derive from reading it all themselves. I'll try to avoid spoilers, but aim to do better than the vague jacket copy, reproduced verbatim at the top of the book's Goodreads record.

Pathfinder tells two stories simultaneously. Each chapter begins with a little bit of Ram Odin's story. He's commanding a s
Kitty G Books
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
I would give this book a 3.5* rating which is not bad but not brilliant either and unfortunately the reason for that somewhat average rating is because I feel that this book suffered a bit from 'first book syndrome'. I read this as a co-read with Amanda and we read it in various chunks and analysed it as we went which really helped break down the story and weigh the true quality of the book whilst also being fun for us to catch up and talk about books!

This is the story of two parallel storylines
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, audiodrama

1st Read (Hardback): 03/10/2011
2nd Read (Audiobook): 12/22/2020

Recommend Reading a Print Copy vs Audiobook

The audiobook has a talented crew of narrators & production. However, the flaws of the story are more apparent while listening vs reading. The changes in POV was less awkward when I read the book vs listening to it.

I enjoy the concepts a lot, there are interesting characters with cool abilities, and just enough mystery to keep you going into the series.

Overall, a fun, YA adventure stor
Marsha Ramnanan
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Started off wondering what the voice of the astronaut and the story of Rigg had to do with each other...then wow!
This was such an excellent, well-written and totally original feeling book! Totally loved it!
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book asks you to be a smart reader, or at least, not a lazy one; the powers the characters possess are interesting; the logic the characters employ to figure out situations in the book is fun to work through; and the sci-fi parts didn't overwhelm the characters and relationships (which is good if you're not really a sci-fi fan).

The basic premise is that Rigg can see the past--anywhere an animal or human (with one exception) has been leaves a path that he can see. He discovers, though, that
Alias Pending
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
SHORT REVIEW: A two star rating cannot be quibbled with.

LESS SHORT REVIEW: What is this story about? Quibbling. Lots of quibbling from every character in every scene. Not debating, not hypothesizing, not conflicting, just quibbling over every issue that is in front of them, large or small. Which leads to problem 2. All the characters are exactly the same. They may be described differently, but they all quibble exactly the same.

What else? This is where I can quibble with myself because there is s
Christopher Smith
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this down for the last few days, a fact that has considerably inhibited my school work and screwed up my sleep schedule. If you love time-travel stories as much as I do, then you will love the mind-bending maze of paradox Card has constructed here. Plenty of wry and witty dialogue keeps it from ever getting tedious. I also enjoyed the blend of fantasy and science fiction, which reminded me somewhat of Card's earlier Treason and Homecoming novels.

As usual in Card's novels, the worl
Mar 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
4th time editing my review.
This book had some really good parts. The very beginning was set up pretty well, and did make me want to read on. The beginnings of the chapter were also very good. They were like a bit of a sub-story that I found entertaining to read, mainly because it was very different from the main story line.
There were really two big things that I didn't like about this book. One was the characters. I didn't like any of them. I thought that they were all fairly dumb and made irra
Nov 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, e-books
3 Stars

First, I am a huge Orson Scott Card fan so my review and feelings are biased. This coming of age fantasy is perfectly matched for the young adult crowd. There are some great scenes in this book. The pacing is fast and the novel is the right size. I enjoyed this read and will move on in the series. This book is not without faults but it will be enjoyed by fantasy fans and of course by fans of Card himself like me.

The magic is the best part of this novel. The characters are all likable and
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A man stands alone in a forest staring intently at the world around him. He looks up, noting the beautiful array of white clouds through the tall green leaved trees. To his right, he sees a small gray squirrel running through the length of the forest over the soft, yet packed, dirt mixed with pebbles and rocks. Inching its way perpendicularly towards the squirrel is a snail, backed with a large brown shell. Yet, the man does not capture the full picture of t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2)
  • Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
  • Orson Scott Card's Speaker For the Dead #2
  • The Chestnut King (100 Cupboards, #3)
  • Department Nineteen (Department 19, #1)
  • Darkwing (Silverwing, #0)
  • The Skin Map (Bright Empires, #1)
  • Leepike Ridge
  • The Legend of Sam Miracle (Outlaws of Time, #1)
  • 100 Cupboards  (100 Cupboards, #1)
  • The Unsettling Stars
  • Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2)
  • Flatterland: Like Flatland Only More So
  • Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)
  • Halo: Mortal Dictata
  • El guardián de la marea
  • Los Ángeles de la Torre
  • Grimpow: The Invisible Road
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th

Other books in the series

Pathfinder (3 books)
  • Ruins (Pathfinder, #2)
  • Visitors (Pathfinder, #3)

Related Articles

  Few things compare to the electric anticipation of the next entry in a series you're obsessed with–you get to drop back into worlds your...
64 likes · 15 comments
“For children love is a feeling; for adults, it is a decision. Children wait to learn if their love is true by seeing how long it lasts; adults make their love true by never wavering from their commitment.” 114 likes
“Maybe that's all demons ever are. People like us, doing things without even knowing what we're doing.” 29 likes
More quotes…