Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review: Ruins, by Orson Scott Card

After thoroughly enjoying Pathfinder, I was excited to get back into the world Card created in Ruins. I did enjoy Ruins, with some minor complaints.

Ruins has all the same characters from Pathfinder on the world called Garden. Card does a good job of reminding us of important points from Pathfinder without summarizing the whole story. They have gotten through the wall at the end of Pathfinder and are now exploring a new wallfold. Throughout Ruins they actually visit several other wallfolds, and each one is very unique.

The strength of Ruins is the world-building. Card has basically created 4 completely different worlds, with very interesting creatures. Our main characters meet many challenges, and ultimately are trying to save Garden from annihilation.

The time-shifting element again plays a huge part, and I still find myself confused at times about how that all works. Especially because there are different kinds of shifting -- forward and backward. And sometimes the characters are actually THERE, and sometimes they just go back and observe. Anyway, I didn't fret too much about it.

Unlike Pathfinder, I did find Ruins to be a bit long. I especially got tired of Umbo's introspections about his life, and his fate, and how unlucky he was. This happens over and over, and I didn't think we needed to keep bringing it up. Rigg does some of the same, but not as much as "poor Umbo."

There are some surprising revelations that keep the reader's interest. But, ultimately I was extremely disappointed with the ending. It's not even what I would call a cliff hanger. I think the story just stopped. I didn't understand what really happened at the end, and what it all means. I suppose I'll have to wait until the next book -- which I do intend to read -- but just be warned. No information on if or when the third book will be published.

I'm in awe of the imagination of Orson Scott Card. Like I said, the worlds and the history of their development is fascinating and I can't imagine what kind of mind it takes to come up with this stuff. If you enjoy science fiction that is quite intricate and adventurous, I would recommend Pathfinder. You can't really read Ruins without reading the first book. Well you could, but just don't.

Published by Simon Pulse, 2012
Copy obtained from the library
530 pages

Rating: 3/5

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