Reviews for Ruins


Booklist Reviews 2012 August #1
*Starred Review* At the end of Pathfinder (2010), Card left readers' minds sugar rushing from some of the tastiest brain candy in recent memory. The head trip continues here and dives even deeper into deliciously paradoxical logic traps. The story is nearly impossible to describe without revealing spoilers. But the central crisis that faces Rigg and his time-manipulating companions is the impending destruction of life on Garden (a planet colonized by humans more than 11 millennia ago). Card doesn't craft the most artful of stories here, as the loads of explanatory passages can get a bit top-heavy. But the ideas he has his characters confront as they square off against hyperdeceitful machines, alternate versions of themselves, parasitic species, and dissension in their own ranks are so enthralling and tricky that it's easy to forgive him. This is philosophically challenging, mind-pretzeling stuff about time travel, engineered evolution, gene splicing, artificial intelligence, xenocide, and the very nature of what it means to be human and have a soul. Whatever sacrifices Card makes in craft are more than made up for in pure fascination. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Card is not only one of the best sci-fi writers alive, he is also the best-sellingest. Expect considerable demand from both the YA and adult crowds. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Rigg and companions (Pathfinder), having escaped from their home wallfold, will visit three wallfolds over the course of this sequel, learning that humans have evolved differently in each one. Card's mesmerizing storytelling skills are complemented by a philosophical examination of the ethics of his characters, the morality of their societies, and the metaphysics of the world. Cerebral, suspenseful, and provocative.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #6
In this sequel to Pathfinder (rev. 1/11), Rigg and his companions have successfully used their time travel abilities to escape from their home wallfold into a neighboring one. There are nineteen such wallfolds on the planet Garden, each one colonized by a replication of the original starship during its voyage from Earth. Rigg and company will visit three wallfolds over the course of the novel, learning that humans have evolved differently in each one. In order to realize the full implications of this evolution and how it can help them save Garden from imminent attack and destruction, they must get through the tangled web of lies and subterfuge strewn in their path not only by the native humans of each region but also by the artificial intelligence of the starships and expendable robots. Card is at his best here: his mesmerizing storytelling skills are complemented by a philosophical examination of the ethics of his characters, the morality of their societies, and the metaphysics of the world. This middle volume of a projected trilogy expands the world of the first novel, develops each of the characters in important ways, raises the stakes exponentially, and ends with important revelations that define the future course of action. Cerebral and suspenseful, this tale provocatively explores and examines the human condition. jonathan hunt Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
In this sprawling science-fiction sequel to Pathfinder (2011), three time-shifters discover that the secrets of the past threaten their world with imminent obliteration. Rigg, his sister, Param, and best friend, Umbo, have joined their abilities to slip through time and escaped from murderous pursuit, circumventing the invisible Wall that divides their planet into 19 independent evolutionary experiments. As they explore these new environments and encounter the ancient, intelligent machines that manipulate their development, a warning from the future reveals that ships from Earth are about to revisit their time-displaced colony--and won't like what they find. This setup allows the author to display his worldbuilding bravado in wildly imaginative scenarios; unfortunately, it also leads to 500 pages of little more than exposition. The company spends a year travelling and meeting characters conveniently prepped to dump vast swaths of back story. Switching viewpoints each chapter among the three young protagonists should provide some variety, except that their voices are mostly indistinguishable: Supernaturally self-aware and infinitely introspective, they brood over their flaws and failures, ruminate upon the nature of truth and trust, and obsess about the possibility of free choice and the definition of "human," with occasional jarring lapses into juvenile potty humor and teenage romantic crushes. Nonetheless, the writing is still infused with a compulsive readability that will keep the pages turning right up to the cliffhanger climax. Nobody combines gee-whiz, geeky speculation and angst-y adolescent navel-gazing better than Card; this series should prove catnip to his many fans. (Science fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #2

Continuing the epic science fiction series that began with 2010's Pathfinder, this overstuffed but fascinating second installment sees trapper-turned-royal-exile Rigg and his companions exploring more of their compartmentalized world, while mastering their various time travel-related abilities and negotiating complicated interpersonal relationships. The brilliant yet complicated premise, which sees the young quintet racing to save the world while unable to fully trust anyone they meet or anything they learn, is weighed down somewhat by roundabout conversations and overly angsty internal monologues in which characters simmer over perceived slights or insecurities. However, the way Card explores time travel, logic puzzles, and parallel societal development, as well as the clever fashion in which various problems are resolved and the engrossing details of the world he has created, keep the plot moving forward--and often backward in time. For all its twisty, intelligent, and thought-provoking intricacy, the story still seems best summed up by the observation of one character: "I really hate philosophy.... You talk and talk, and in the end, you don't know any more than you did." Ages 12-up. Agent: Barbara Bova Literary Agency. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 November

Gr 10 Up--"Conservation of causality," evolutionary divergence, preemptive self-defense, and what makes a being "human" are all topics explored in this sophisticated novel. Readers unfamiliar with Pathfinder (S & S, 2010) shouldn't begin with this one: the characters, their relationships, and the progress of the plot are too complicated to be understood by those who don't know the world of Garden. Rigg and his companions have entered Vadeshfold. Now that he has fulfilled his father's instruction to find his sister, Param, he is responsible for determining the direction of his journey. From Vadeshfold, they travel through the next wall to Odinfold, where the inhabitants inform the party that soon their world will be destroyed by a spaceship from Earth, and only Rigg and his friends will be able to save the planet. The more they learn, the more it becomes clear that no one, including the expendables or the ship's computer, has been completely honest with them. They must discover the truth and save the planet. Throughout their journey, the characters maintain a constant philosophical and intellectual dialogue to make sense of the time-shifting conundrums and the moral dilemmas inherent in their spectacular abilities. Card is definitely a master of his craft; from characterization to dialogue to setting, his work is flawless. Such inventions as parasitic facemasks that enhance the senses of the affected and mice with the intelligence of humans will appeal to mature readers who enjoy the challenge of an extremely complex premise.Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

[Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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