Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pathfinder (Serpent World #1) by Orson Scott Card

PathfinderA 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 the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain. 

Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead. He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent…or forfeit control of his destiny.

First Look: ***** This looked pretty interesting.  The cover isn't all that exciting, but the premise looked fantastically amazing.  I love time travel.

Setting: ***** 
It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad, either.  The world was richly imagined and complex, but I still just couldn't picture myself there.  Some aspects of it didn't even make sense and left me *metaphorically* scratching my head in confusion. And there was no map, which didn't help.

Characters: *****  
Again, they were interesting, well-developed characters, for the most part, but I just couldn't connect with them.  I felt no emotion whatsoever from them, even when I should've been crying or something.  I just couldn't find a reason to absolutely love them, and I never really cared whether they succeeded or not.  Rigg would've made a fascinating character, had I not felt so disconnected from him. Umbo was quite amusing, though.

Plot: ***** 
Aaaaargh. This is so frustrating.  This plot had so much promise, and there were moments where I was starting to really get into it, but it just didn't pull through for me. My main problem was that it was about three hundred pages too long.  Seriously.  There were action scenes, yes, but they weren't enough to keep my attention throughout the entire book.  It would just spend five pages with the characters simply going over their present situation and making plans.  We don't need to see that.  And besides, the intrigue fell a little flat.  The whole story just should've followed the spaceship; that would've been cooler.

Uniqueness: *****
It actually was fairly unique.  You've got a fantasy novel...with some story about a spaceship at the beginning of every chapter.  I loved that aspect of it.  

Writing: *****
Nothing was ever over-described, yet it was still too long-winded for me.  Things were repeated over and over and over, when I got it the first time.  The writing just felt so...disconnected from the story. 

Likes:
I loved all of the complex time travel stuff.  Because I'm just weird like that.  And the spaceship stuff was pretty cool.

Not-so-great:
I've read the entire book, skipping nothing, and frankly, I still have no clue why the series is called Serpent World.  And to argue with the tagline on the cover: It was really Umbo that could change it, not Rigg. 

Total Score: ***** 
This was an okay read.  The premise was interesting enough, and some aspects really followed through with that.  Others, though, just fell flat. I couldn't connect with the characters, and the story failed to pull me in.  There was so much unneeded information during the story, making it way too long, even for someone like me who loves huge books.  If it looks really interesting to you, try it, but otherwise I'd pass. 

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