Sunday, November 25, 2012
Ruins by Orson Scott Card (Pathfinder book 2)
Rigg, Param, Umbo, Olivenko, and Loaf have escaped being murdered by the queen by going through the wallfold into one of the 19 territories that split in a time travel experiment. Rigg, Param, and Umbro have learned how to better use their gifts of time travel and they spend time exploring the colony of Odinfold. As they argue with each other and try to learn from their flaws, others are trying to kill them. They do not know who to trust and who not to as they try to save the world. They must learn to trust each other before they can make any progress on their quest.
The world building is brilliant and is one of the reasons I kept turning the pages. The effects of parasites and disease on cultures was done really well, not to mention the different scenarios involving the different territories was complex and intertwined with other plot elements. I admire how the author tackles the complexities of parallel societies and how they evolved over time.
My complaint is the characters. They change internally which adds tension, but the author tells and doesn't show. At times the characters sound preachy and the three young characters sound too much alike. I wanted their voices to be more distinct, like Loaf. His tell-it-like-it-is sarcastic voice is quite distinct from the others. I also got sick of the three teenagers arguing ad nauseum. And having too many philosophical merry-go-round discussions. I finally started skimming those parts because they were exhausting and didn't accomplish anything in the end. When one of the character's explains he hates philosophy because you talk and talk and talk but in the end you don't know any more than when you started I was nodding my head in agreement. Or nodding off to sleep.
I do wish I could walk through a wallfold and learn a language like the characters in the book. I ended up dropping French class and never learned to roll my "r's." I switched to Norwegian. Yah, I can talk like dat, you betcha. Maybe this book was too sophisticated for my brain. Try it! Decide for yourself.
3 out of 5 Smileys