Sacramento Public Library



Ruins - Orson Scott Card

Engaging Story: 5/5
Overall Writing Quality: 4/5
Character Development: 5/5

Ruins is the second book in the Pathfinder series by Orson Scott Card. It tells the story of Rigg, a teenager on the planet Garden who is trying to prevent the destruction of his planet by visitors from Earth. However, Rigg is no ordinary boy. He and his friends have certain talents that allow them to control and travel through time. They must use these powers and work in a group with the untrustworthy robotic expendable, Vadesh, in their quest to find out why the humans from Earth decide to destroy their planet. In their travels throughout the land and through time, they learn many valuable things, but their main lesson is this: trust no one.

The plot of Ruins is too complicated to cover in a simple review. There are many layers to the storyline, including space jumps, time warps, advanced technology, biological engineering. Card expertly combines various science fiction elements with moral conundrums and social systems to create an engaging and complex novel. The plot simply flows; everything happens naturally as a result of something else, creating a feeling of continuity. The only downside is the slow pace of the book, but trading pace for quality is a good exchange. As with most of his books, Card uses figurative language frequently. He mostly uses imagery. This gives the reader a picture in their head of what is happening. Card goes the whole nine yards. He describes the scenes in the book and allows visualization of his writing. Excellent character development is also par for Orson Scott Card. He describes the characters’ thoughts and feelings in great detail. In addition, he shows through their actions what their personalities are. The only two-dimensional characters are the robotic expendables, and even they have motives behind what they do.

I recommend this book to all readers with a long attention span. It may not be a fast-paced Rick Riordan book, but it is still very entertaining if you can put up with the slower pace. However, I still recommend you read the prequel, Pathfinder, first.

- Carl, 15