Monday, July 9, 2012

Ruins: review

Title: Ruins (Pathfinder #2)
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genres: sci-fi, time-travel, adventure
Summary: From the internationally bestselling author who brought us Ender's Game, a brand-new series that instantly draws readers into the dystopian world of Rigg, a teenager who possesses a secret talent that allows him to see the paths of people's pasts. Rigg's only confidant is his father, whose sudden death leaves Rigg completely alone, aside from a sister he's never met. But a chance encounter with Umbo, another teen with a special talent, reveals a startling new aspect to Rigg's abilities, compelling him to reevaluate everything he's ever known. Rigg and Umbo join forces and embark on a quest to find Rigg's sister and discover the true depth and significance of their powers. Because although the pair can change the past, the future is anything but certain?

I started to read Ruins less than a day after I finished Pathfinder. Now, that’s 672 pages of time travel, followed by 544 more pages of time travel. These books are quite heavy, and require paying lots of attention.

I didn’t quite pay enough attention. The time abilities are so complicated, and since OSC said he made sure to defy all normal rules of time travel in fiction/theory, well, my small knowledge in the matter became null. For the most part I got what was going on, but if I had to explain it to someone, I don’t think I would be able to remember most of the semantics. (So that’s a good excuse for you to read it, right?)

There are more religious…views? values? in Ruins. Maybe not more, but more prominent, I noticed more. At least that’s how I interpreted it. An example is when he explained how there were only a few thousand years of human history on Earth. And the fact that there is only one main character that’s a girl doesn’t do well in my opinion either. Parem is the princess, and a stinking spoiled one at that. She is written to be very weak and dependent on her companions; when walking, she is unused to the exercise and tends to complain and get carried a lot. Oh, but all four boys in the party are all amazing and strong. Yeah, not so cool. A few other minor things, but I’m not going to dwell.
I don’t mean offence, please. Just as a non-religion person and feminist, I couldn’t just ignore it.

Something I missed from Pathfinder: At the beginning of each chapter of Pathfinder (and Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow for that matter), there is that other-fontly mysterious point of view that lasts from a paragraph to a page and a half. I really liked those. It kept me reading onto the next chapter, and trying to figure out how it related to the main story. Ruins didn’t have it! But, I got over it eventually.

More technology is introduced, including more information on the starships and expendables. It’s fun to see how Rigg and co. react to the strange words and seeing what simple objects fascinate them. We also meet more fascinating colonies in other Wallfolds…not all that friendly!

Okay…geek moment here…slight spoiler, but it’s not that bad. There are MICE in here.  Does that mean anything to any other geeks out there? That’s right, they are the masterminds! Not the only ones, but basically they become a huge part of the story, and are super smart and control the world. Ah, thanks for that little Douglas Adams tribute there, Card. I really appreciate that!

I also really like the way philosophical/ethical questions pop in Rigg’s decisions all the time. It makes the story that more thought provoking and exciting.  Especially concerning the facemasks; don’t worry, you learn about those in the first chapter.

So even though I had to reread a few passages when some timeslicing/jumping/whatever went on, you get used to all the technobabble soon enough.

I am curious how many books plan to be in the series.

Four stars!


No comments:

Post a Comment