I went into Pathfinder as a relative OSC novice. After having read Ender's Game just recently, I was excited to hear that a new Card book was coming out! It certainly did not disappoint. This is a complex look at the tried and true sci fi theme of time travel and time manipulation. We meet Rigg, a young boy who has recently lost the man he has always known as his father and is now off on a quest to discover his heritage. Along the way he picks up Umbo and Loaf, and together they head off to discover the secrets of Rigg's inheritance and his strange ability. At the beginning of each chapter, we also meet Ram, the only human astronaut awake aboard a ship full of sleeping humans off to colonize a new world. I must admit that I didn't figure out exactly how these two stories connected until about 200 pages in when a light bulb went off and I finally began to see some connections. These are all great characters and the author does quite a bit of world building by just letting us in on what is going on in their heads.
Rigg's relationship with his father and his then masterful handling of the political intrigue that he finds himself immersed in are a shining testament to the power of not merely education, but an education in critical thinking. Reading the character of Rigg is highly entertaining. His verbal sparring with bankers, politicians, and even his friends is so incredibly well written, it turns a book that is essentially driven by a scientific concept into a compelling page turner that I did not want to put down.
This is an adventure tale told in a fashion that will be a bit subtler than some teens are used to. There's plenty of excitement, interesting science concepts to ponder, and memorable moments to keep any sci fi fan reading away. My only fault, and it's a small one, is that the character's constant comments over how difficult the whole time travel thing was to understand got a bit tedious after awhile. The strength of this book lies in the intrigue and mystery surrounding Rigg, and it's this that in the end keeps the plot moving and the reader interested. A recommend for any sci fi fan, whether teen or adult.
Oh, and one final thing: the ending was incredible! I really hope there's a sequel!
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