It’s release day for PATHFINDER ~ book one in the Serpent World series!
It’s a dryly humorous young adult science fiction novel which includes the elements of time travel and the building blocks of an amazing and science filled world.
My Blurb: Our main character, Rigg, is a teen boy who has a special ability that he has taken for granted. He can see the paths of almost every living thing including those who have existed in the past. He lives in what appears to be a “medieval like” world which is not as it first appears. He is joined by a variety of interesting characters including several other young adults with other curious abilities all related to time travel, as well as a few supporting adults. All setting up for what I imagine to be an epic young adult hero series.
Here is the interesting bit - juxtaposed through the story is a ship traveling through space which houses another young man, Ram, who is the human caretaker of its immense and valuable contents. As the ship does some time travel of its own, which the author blends via multiverse theory, both stories are linked and interwoven and will keep the reader guessing.
Thoughts: I love young adult science fiction, and this is it at its best. Although we are given only a taste of what the extensive world will entail in this first of the series, it’s just enough to excite me to read more when the others are released.
Orson Scott Card has included some great characters - strong women, men of character, feisty teens, and with antagonists that are not clichéd and which feel human yet flawed. There are some interesting lessons for the main targeted audience, young men (and perhaps geeky girls), such as rhetoric theory, and the beginning of understanding a business savvy of sorts. The author does a wonderful job of telling the story from dialog which I think a lot of young men would enjoy. There is light potty humor and realistic and light references to sexuality which grounds the book for a mature young adult audience.
My only niggle about the book would be my inability to “completely get” the “magical time travel” aspect of the story. It was just beyond my grasp and I was left feeling confused. So instead I focused on the science, character building, great dialog and dry humor, and trusted in the story’s process. The version I read was an ARC so perhaps some of this concern was addressed.
The most exciting bit is that there are quite a few interesting scientific theories progressing within this first book of the series. It looks like this promising world will bring in some theory around genetics and what appears to a grand biological experiment. But that’s the thing with experienced story tellers, you can only guess what will happen next since they toss you little bits at a time.
As my first foray into Scott Card’s fiction writing I would say that I enjoyed this book immensely and would rate it a 4 star, and am very much looking forward to finding out what this promising world entails.
*This book will be a great holiday gift for a number of nerdy folks, children and adults – highly recommended!
For more information on Pathfinder please see Layers of Thought’s preview for the book, which includes publisher’s blurb, author data, as well as purchasing links.
This book will be included in The Basic’s Challenge, The 42, and The Speculative Fiction Challenge.
Thanks for reading!