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Ruins (Pathfinder Series #2)

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Overview

From the author of Ender’s Game, the soon-to-be major motion picture!

A complex fate. A deadly path. Book two in the New York Times bestselling series Publishers Weekly calls “an epic in the best sense.”

When Rigg and his friends crossed the Wall between the only world they knew and a world they could not imagine, he hoped he was leading them to safety. But the dangers in this new wallfold are more difficult to see. Rigg, Umbo, and Param know ...

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Ruins (Pathfinder Series #2)

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Overview

From the author of Ender’s Game, the soon-to-be major motion picture!

A complex fate. A deadly path. Book two in the New York Times bestselling series Publishers Weekly calls “an epic in the best sense.”

When Rigg and his friends crossed the Wall between the only world they knew and a world they could not imagine, he hoped he was leading them to safety. But the dangers in this new wallfold are more difficult to see. Rigg, Umbo, and Param know that they cannot trust the expendable, Vadesh—a machine shaped like a human, created to deceive—but they are no longer certain that they can even trust one another. But they will have little choice. Because although Rigg can decipher the paths of the past, he can’t yet see the horror that lies ahead: A destructive force with deadly intentions is hurtling toward Garden. If Rigg, Umbo, and Param can’t work together to alter the past, there will be no future.

The adventure, suspense, and time travel continue in this second installment in the critically acclaimed New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestselling Pathfinder series.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Rigg Sessamekesh possesses the power to see the paths of those that have gone before, but as he and his friends cross the Wall, they are entering a unknown realm in which they could face annihilation. In this standalone sequel to the series-starting 2010 Pathfinder, Rigg, Umbo, and Param wrestle with a past that they must change and a future of unforeseeable horrors. A mind-expanding fantasy by a renowned genre master.

Publishers Weekly
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.)
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441820341
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Series: Pathfinder Series , #2
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Orson Scott Card
Born in Richland, Washington, in 1951, Orson Scott Card grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He lived in Brazil for two years as an unpaid missionary for the Mormon Church and received degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. The author of numerous books in several genres, Card is best known for Ender’s Game and his online magazine, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show (www.oscIGMS.com). He teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University and lives with his family in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Biography

Any discussion of Orson Scott Card's work must necessarily begin with religion. A devout Mormon, Card believes in imparting moral lessons through his fiction, a stance that sometimes creates controversy on both sides of the fence. Some Mormons have objected to the violence in his books as being antithetical to the Mormon message, while his conservative political activism has gotten him into hot water with liberal readers.

Whether you agree with his personal views or not, Card's fiction can be enjoyed on many different levels. And with the amount of work he's produced, there is something to fit the tastes of readers of all ages and stripes. Averaging two novels a year since 1979, Card has also managed to find the time to write hundreds of audio plays and short stories, several stage plays, a television series concept, and a screenplay of his classic novel Ender's Game. In addition to his science fiction and fantasy novels, he has also written contemporary fiction, religious, and nonfiction works.

Card's novel that has arguably had the biggest impact is 1985's Hugo and Nebula award-winner Ender's Game. Ender's Game introduced readers to Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, a young genius faced with the task of saving the Earth. Ender's Game is that rare work of fiction that strikes a chord with adults and young adult readers alike. The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, also won the Hugo and Nebula awards, making Card the only author in history to win both prestigious science-fiction awards two years in a row.

In 2000, Card returned to Ender's world with a "parallel" novel called Ender's Shadow. Ender's Shadow retells the events of Ender's Game from the perspective of Julian "Bean" Delphinki, Ender's second-in-command. As Sam to Ender's Frodo, Bean is doomed to be remembered as an also-ran next to the legendary protagonist of the earlier novel. In many ways, Bean is a more complex and intriguing character than the preternaturally brilliant Ender, and his alternate take on the events of Ender's Game provide an intriguing counterpoint to fans of the original series.

In addition to moral issues, a strong sense of family pervades Card's work. Card is a devoted family man and father to five (!) children. In the age of dysfunctional family literature, Card bristles at the suggestion that a positive home life is uninteresting. "How do you keep ‘good parents' from being boring?" he once said. "Well, in truth, the real problem is, how do you keep bad parents from being boring? I've seen the same bad parents in so many books and movies that I'm tired of them."

Critical appreciation for Card's work often points to the intriguing plotlines and deft characterizations that are on display in Card's most accomplished novels. Card developed the ability to write believable characters and page-turning plots as a college theater student. To this day, when he writes, Card always thinks of the audience first. "It's the best training in the world for a writer, to have a live audience," he says. "I'm constantly shaping the story so the audience will know why they should care about what's going on."

Card brought Bean back in 2005 for the fourth and final novel in the Shadow series: Shadow of the Giant. The novel presented some difficulty for the writer. Characters who were relatively unimportant when the series began had moved to the forefront, and as a result, Card knew that the ending he had originally envisioned would not be enough to satisfy the series' fans.

Although the Ender and Shadow series deal with politics, Card likes to keep his personal political opinions out of his fiction. He tries to present the governments of futuristic Earth as realistically as possible without drawing direct analogies to our current political climate. This distance that Card maintains between the real world and his fictional worlds helps give his novels a lasting and universal appeal.

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    1. Hometown:
      Greensboro, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 24, 1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Richland, Washington
    1. Education:
      B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Water

Rigg saw the stream before any of the others.

Loaf was an experienced soldier; Olivenko not so experienced, but not untrained, either; and Umbo had grown up in the village of Fall Ford, which was almost like living in the woods.

But only Rigg had tramped the high forests above the Upsheer Cliffs, trapping animals for their fur while the man he called Father taught him more than Rigg ever thought he would need to know. Rigg practically smelled water like an animal. Even before they crested the low grassy rise he knew that there would be a stream in the next crease between hills. He even knew it would be only a rill, with no trees; the ground here was too stony.

Rigg broke into a jog.

“Stop,” said the expendable they were calling Vadesh.

Rigg slowed. “Why? That’s water, and I’m thirsty.”

“We’re thirsty,” said Umbo.

“You cannot drink there,” said the expendable.

“Cannot? There’s some kind of danger?” asked Rigg.

“Or a law,” suggested Olivenko.

“You said you were leading us to water,” said Loaf, “and there it is.”

“That’s not the water I’m taking you to,” said Vadesh.

Only now did Rigg realize what he wasn’t seeing. It was his inborn gift that all the paths of the past were visible to him. Humans and animals all left traces behind them, paths in time. If they ever traveled through a particular place, Rigg could tell where they had gone. It was not something he saw with his eyes—his eyes could be closed or covered, or there could be walls or solid rock between him and a path, and he would still know where it was, and could figure out what kind of creature made it, and how long ago.

There had been no human traffic at this stream in ten thousand years. More tellingly, few animals had come there, and no large ones.

“It’s poisonous,” said Rigg.

“Is that a guess?” asked his sister, Param, “or do you know somehow?”

“Even animals don’t come here to drink,” said Rigg. “And no human for a long time.”

“How long?” asked Vadesh.

“Don’t you know?” asked Rigg.

“I’m curious about what you know,” said Vadesh. “I have not known a human who can do what you can do.”

“Nearly as long as since the beginning of human settlement on this world.” Rigg had a very clear idea of what paths that old were like, since he had just crossed through the Wall between his home wallfold and this one, by clinging to an animal that, in the original stream of time, had died in the holocaust of humans’ first coming to the planet Garden.

“That is off by only a little less than a thousand years,” said Vadesh.

“I said ‘nearly,’” answered Rigg.

“A thousand years this way or that,” said Param. “Close enough.”

Rigg still didn’t know Param well enough to tell if her sarcasm was friendly teasing or open scorn. “What kind of poison?” he asked Vadesh.

“A parasite,” said Vadesh. “It can live out its entire lifecycle in the stream feeding off the bodies of its siblings, ancestors, and descendants, until one of them eats it. But if a larger animal comes to drink, it attaches to the face and immediately sends tendrils into the brain.”

“It eats brains?” asked Umbo, intrigued.

“No,” said Vadesh. “It infiltrates them. It echoes the neural network. It takes over and controls the host’s behavior.”

“Why in the world would our ancestors bring along such a creature when they came from Earth?” asked Umbo.

“They didn’t,” said Olivenko.

“How do you know that?” asked Loaf. His tone showed he was still skeptical of Olivenko, who was only a member of the city guard in Aressa Sessamo, rather than a real soldier.

“Because if they had, it would exist in every wallfold,” said Olivenko, “and it doesn’t exist in ours.”

Olivenko thinks the way Father taught me, thought Rigg. Don’t assume: Think it through.

Vadesh was nodding. “A very tough little creature, the facemask.”

“Facemask?”

“What the humans of this wallfold named it. For reasons that would have become tragically obvious if you had bent over to drink from the stream.”

Something didn’t ring true about this. “How can a creature that evolved on Garden successfully take over the brains of creatures from Earth?” asked Rigg.

“I didn’t say it was successful,” said Vadesh. “And you are now as close as is safe. To avoid picking up facemasks from the wet ground beside the stream—they can attach to any skin and migrate up your body—you should follow in my footsteps exactly.”

They followed him in single file through the grass, with Rigg bringing up the rear. The path Vadesh took them on was the highest ground. Each time they reached a damp patch they jumped over it. The rill was narrow here. No one had trouble overleaping it.

Only when they got to higher ground several rods beyond the rill was Rigg able to continue the conversation. “If the parasite wasn’t successful, why is it still alive here?”

“The parasite is successful in attaching to humans and Earthborn beasts of all kinds,” said Vadesh. “But that’s not really how we measure success in a parasite. If the parasite kills its host too quickly, for instance, before the parasite can spread to new hosts, then it has failed. The goal of a parasite is like that of any other life form—to survive and reproduce.”

“So these facemasks kill too quickly?” asked Umbo, shuddering.

“Not at all,” said Vadesh. “I said ‘for instance.’” He smiled at Rigg, because they both knew he was echoing Rigg’s earlier testy reply when Vadesh told him his time estimate was off by a millennium.

“So in what way did this parasite fail?” asked Rigg—the way he would have pushed Father, an attitude that came easily to him, since not just in face and voice but in evasiveness, smugness, and assumption of authority this expendable was identical to the one that had taken Rigg as an infant from the royal house and raised him.

“I think that with native species,” said Vadesh, “the parasite rode them lightly. Cooperating with them. Perhaps even helping them survive.”

“But not with humans?”

“The only part of the earthborn brain it could control was the wild, competitive beast, bent on reproduction at any cost.”

“That sounds like soldiers on leave,” said Loaf.

“Or academics,” said Olivenko.

Vadesh said nothing.

“It sounds like chaos,” said Rigg. “You were there from the beginning, weren’t you, Vadesh? How long did it take people to learn of the danger?”

“It took some time for the facemasks to emerge from their chrysalises after the disaster of the human landing,” said Vadesh. “And still longer for the people of Vadeshfold to discover that facemasks could infest humans as well as cattle and sheep.”

“The herders never got infected?” asked Loaf.

“It took time for a strain of facemasks to develop that could thrive on the human body. So at first it was like a pesky fungal infection.”

“And then it wasn’t,” said Rigg. “Facemasks are that adaptable?”

“It’s not blind adaptation,” said Vadesh. “They’re a clever, fascinating little creature, not exactly intelligent, but not completely stupid, either.”

For the first time, it occurred to Rigg that Vadesh was not just fascinated by the facemasks, but enamored of them.

“They can only attach to their host in the water,” said Vadesh, answering a question no one had asked. “And once they attach to an air-breather, they lose the ability to breathe in water. They only get their oxygen from the blood. You know what oxygen is?”

“The breathable part of air,” said Umbo impatiently. Olivenko chuckled. Of course, thought Rigg—Olivenko was a scholar, and Umbo had studied for a time with Rigg’s father.

But Rigg noticed that Loaf and Param seemed to have no idea what Vadesh meant. How could air be divided in parts? Rigg remembered asking Father exactly that question. But there was no point in explaining the point now or soon or, probably, ever. Why would a soldier-turned-innkeeper and a royal heiress who had fled her throne require a knowledge of the elements, of the behavior of gases and fluids?

Then again, Rigg had thought, all through his years of education, tramping with Father through the woods, that he would never need anything Father taught him except how to trap, dress, and skin their prey. Only when Father’s death sent Rigg out in the world did he learn why Father had trained him in languages, economics, finance, law, and so many other subjects, all of which had proven vital to his survival.

So Rigg started to explain that invisible air was really made of tiny particles of several different types. Loaf looked skeptical and Param bored, and Rigg decided that their education wasn’t his job.

He fell silent and thought about parasites that could only attach to humans in water, and then they lost the ability to breathe on their own. Rigg filed the information away in his mind, the way Father had taught him to do with all seemingly useless information, so he could recall it whenever Father decided to test him.

I’ve been on my own for a year, thought Rigg, and still in my thoughts he’s always there, my pretended father, my kidnapper for all I know. He’s the puppeteer who, even dead, is pulling all the strings inside my mind.

Lost in such thoughts, Rigg did not notice the first building that came in sight. It was Loaf, ever alert as a soldier should be, who saw the glint of metal. “It’s like the Tower of O,” he said.

It was indeed, in that it was tall and of a similar substance. But it did not rise to a point and was not rounded like a cylinder. And there were several of them nearby, and none of them was half so tall as the Tower of O.

But they were impressive nonetheless, and tall enough that it took two more hours of walking after they first saw them for their little group to come close enough to see that these towers were made from the same material, and formed the skyline of a city.

“How could they build with this . . . substance?” asked Loaf. “People have tried to cut into the Tower of O many times over the years, and neither tool nor fire can affect it.”

“Who would try to damage it?” asked Umbo.

“Conquerors who want to show their power,” said Olivenko. “Rigg’s and Param’s people arose only lately. The Tower has been there ten thousand years.”

The talk of duration made Rigg realize something he should have noticed at once, as soon as they knew it was a city they were coming to. There were human paths again, as there had not been near the stream, but all of them were old. None more recent than ten thousand years.

“How long has this city been abandoned?” asked Rigg.

“It isn’t abandoned,” said Vadesh.

“There hasn’t been a human being here for a long time,” said Rigg.

“But I’ve been here,” said Vadesh.

You’re not a human being, Rigg wanted to say. You’re a machine; you leave no path. A place that contains only you is uninhabited. But it seemed too rude to say aloud. Rigg saw the absurdity of his attitude: If he truly thought of Vadesh as only a machine, rudeness would not be an issue.

“Where did the people go?” asked Param.

“People come and go in the world, and where there once were cities there are only ruins, and where once there was nothing, cities rise,” said Vadesh.

Rigg noticed how nonresponsive Vadesh’s answer was, but did not challenge him. Rigg trusted Vadesh too little to want him to know he wasn’t trusted.

“And there’s water here?” asked Loaf. “Because my need for it is getting pretty urgent.”

“I thought you field soldiers drank your own piss,” said Olivenko.

“We do pee into canteens,” said Loaf. “But only so we can bring it back for the officers of the city guard to drink.”

It could have been a quarrel, but to Rigg’s relief, Olivenko just smiled and Umbo laughed and it went nowhere. Why did they still irritate each other so much, after all they had been through together? When would rivals become comrades?

So all the people of this city were gone. Rigg began to scan for the paths that would show a great migration out of the city, but before he could make much progress, Vadesh led them into a low building of ordinary stone, which showed its many centuries of weathering.

“Did someone live here?” asked Umbo.

“It’s a factory,” said Vadesh.

“Where did all the people sit to work?” asked Olivenko.

“A mechanical factory,” said Vadesh. “And most of it is underground. I still use it, when I need any of the things the factory makes. But they needed safe water for the supervisors and mechanics, and for the people who hauled things in and hauled things out.” He led them through a doorway into a dark chamber. As they passed through the door after him, a bright light came from above. The whole ceiling was aglow, very much like the lights inside the Tower of O.

The others gasped in awe, but Rigg was noticing that the paths of humans into this chamber were few and ancient. This building had only been used for a few decades at the most. It had been abandoned by the same generation of people who had built it.

Vadesh touched the front of a thick stone pillar and at once they heard the sound of running water inside the pillar. Then he touched another place, and a portion of the pillar came away in his hand. It was a stone vessel halfway between a drinking mug and a waterbucket in size. He handed it to Loaf. “Because your need was so urgent,” said Vadesh.

“Is it safe?” asked Rigg.

“It’s filtered through stone. No parasites of any kind can possibly get into this water.”

Again, Rigg noticed that while Vadesh answered, he only answered about the likelihood of parasite infestation, not the actual question Rigg had asked.

Loaf handed the water to Param without tasting it. “You need this most,” he said.

“Because I’m a frail princess?” Param asked with a hint of resentment.

Well, she was physically frail and she was a princess. Until their mother tried to kill her and Rigg, she was assumed to be heir to the Tent of Light. Years of living in the narrow bounds of captivity had made her physically weak, and the journey to the Wall had only improved her stamina by a little. But no one was rude enough to point this out to her.

“You need it most because you and Umbo lived on your water for an extra week that we didn’t live through,” said Loaf.

Param took the water and drank. “It’s perfect,” she said. “It tastes fresh, and nothing else. Except a tinge of something . . .”

“Trace metals,” said Vadesh. “From the rock it filtered through.”

Umbo drank next. He tried to pass it to Rigg, but Rigg would not take any until Loaf and Olivenko had also drunk.

“There’s plenty,” said Vadesh.

“Then finish it, Loaf,” said Rigg. “I’ll drink from the second serving.”

“He thinks I spit in it,” said Umbo.

“Didn’t you?” said Loaf. “You usually do.” Then Loaf drank it off. “Delicious,” he said, as he handed the empty vessel to Vadesh for refilling.

Rigg did not know why he did not trust Vadesh. This expendable had no mannerisms that were not identical to those of Rigg’s father. Perhaps that was the cause of his suspicions. But he was sure that Vadesh was deceptive and dangerous, not because he deflected questions and clearly had his own agenda—those were Father’s constant attributes as well—but because of which questions he wouldn’t answer.

Father would have told me why the people were gone from this place. It would have been the first thing he explained, because telling me why people do the things they do was always his favorite topic.

Vadesh isn’t educating me, that’s why he doesn’t explain it.

But Rigg did not believe his own excuse. As Father had taught him, he did not believe the first explanation his mind leapt to. “It will often be right, and as you get more experience of life it will usually be right. But it will never be reliably right, and you must always think of other possible explanations or, if you can’t, then at least keep your mind open so you will recognize a better explanation if one emerges.”

So Rigg did not trust Vadesh. Moreover, he was sure that Vadesh knew that Rigg did not trust him—because Father would have known.

When Rigg got his water from the second cupful, it was as delicious as the others said.

He poured the last water from his canteen onto the floor and then moved to put it into the space the stone vessel came from.

“No,” said Vadesh. “One reason this water can be trusted is that it is never used to fill any container but this one. It won’t work anyway. It only pours out water when this is in place.” Vadesh reinserted the stone cup, and again the water could be heard gushing into the stone.

They all emptied their canteens of the stale traveling water they obtained when they last filled at a stream two days before, then refilled them from the stone vessel. With enemies pursuing them, they had not dared to stop even for water on that last day before they crossed the Wall.

“It’s getting near dark outside,” said Loaf. “Is there a safe place to sleep in this city?”

“Everywhere here is safe,” said Vadesh.

Rigg nodded. “No large animals ever come here,” he said.

“Then is there a comfortable place here?” asked Umbo. “I’ve slept on hard floors and on grass and pine needles, and unless there’s a bed . . .”

“I don’t need beds,” said Vadesh, “and I didn’t expect company.”

“You mean they didn’t make their beds out of stuff that never decays?” asked Olivenko.

“There is nothing that doesn’t decay,” said Vadesh. “Some things decay more slowly than others, that’s all.”

“And how slowly do you decay?” asked Rigg.

“Slower than beds,” said Vadesh, “but faster than fieldsteel.”

“And yet you seem as good as new,” said Rigg. “That’s a question.”

Vadesh stood by the water pillar gazing at him for a long moment. Deciding, Rigg supposed, how to respond without telling him anything useful.

“My parts are all replaceable,” he said. “And my knowledge is fully copied in the library in the Unchanging Star.”

“Who makes your new parts?” asked Rigg.

“I do,” said Vadesh.

“Here?” asked Rigg. “In this factory?”

“Some of the parts, yes,” said Vadesh.

“And the other parts?”

“Somewhere else, obviously,” said Vadesh. “Why do you ask? Do you think any of my parts are defective?”

Now, that was interesting, thought Rigg. I was going to ask him if he ever had enough parts to make a complete new copy of himself, but he assumed I was doubting that he was functioning perfectly.

This made Rigg assume that Vadesh himself had doubts about his functionality.

“How could I know if a machine so perfect that I could live with one for thirteen years without realizing it wasn’t human is not up to par?” he asked.

“Exactly,” said Vadesh, as if they had been arguing and Vadesh had just proved his point.

And maybe we were arguing, thought Rigg. And whatever Vadesh might have done since I met him, he certainly did not prove anything. All he did was make me wonder if he’s broken somehow. Did he do that for a purpose? Is it an illusion, so I will underestimate his ability? Or is it a symptom of his imperfection, that he could raise doubts in my mind when his goal was to reassure me?

“Thanks for the water,” said Rigg. “I think we’ll go out of the city to sleep on softer ground. Unless there’s a couple of you who want to sleep on stone.”

There were no volunteers. Rigg led the way out of the building, following their own paths back out of the empty city. At first Vadesh seemed to assume he was welcome to come with them, but Rigg disabused him of that notion. “I don’t believe you sleep,” Rigg said to him. “And we won’t need you to find us a resting place.”

Vadesh took the hint and returned into the factory—leaving no trace of himself for Rigg to follow. Just like Father, Vadesh was pathless; only living beings made paths through time. Machines might move about, but they left no track visible to Rigg’s timesense.

It would have been so useful to trace Vadesh’s movements through these buildings over the past ten thousand years, since all the people left. And perhaps even more interesting to trace his movements for the thousand years before that, when the people were still here. What was he doing when they left? Why did he still come here, if all the people were somewhere else?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 8, 2011

    THIS SERIESE IS AMAZIMG

    I wish this book had a better circulation rate because i has a hard time finding the title of this book. But is is still a wonderfully complex storyline

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Interesting but full of ramblings

    The themes and plot points of this sequel are as interesting as the first book, but for every page of something enjoyabe to read there's two pages of circular, unbelievable dialouge and a focus on petty squabbles that are not needed in the book and give the feel of nothing but filler to triple the books size.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    This story is compelling and thought-provoking, very well though

    This story is compelling and thought-provoking, very well thought out. However, THE NOOKBOOK IS NOT THE FULL BOOK!!! It is a heavily edited and abridged version that castrates Card's normal depth of thought and his storytelling voice. This is a SHAM, Barnes & Noble!!! SHAME ON YOU!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    GREAT book

    This was an amazing book. It kept me on the edge of my seat.
    Even better than the first.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    AWESOME BOOK!!!!!!

    This book is so good! I love the plot and the writing and everything. It is on my top 5 best books ever list.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Lame

    I felt it started out having nothing to do with the first book so all in all is f in fetarted doesent even deserve ster i would rate it-2 negative two lame book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    A sequel is a sequel

    I enjoyed reading this book, but it was not as fresh or original as the first one. I have always appreciated Orson Scott Card's creativity and strategic thinking in his writing, and the time travel component is intriguing. However, Ruins felt a little misdirected and confusing-- sometimes getting muddled in emotional conflicts, sometimes doubling back over and over in a noxious spin of time travel entanglements. Pathfinder had more strength and clarity. While I still liked reading Ruins, I would have liked it to be a little less like a sequel and more of a powerful continuation of an already remarkable story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2012

    Loved it. The story held a lot of introspective moments but the

    Loved it. The story held a lot of introspective moments but the characters change throughout the story and their developments are interesting. We get to find out what really happened to the king who passed through the Ramfold wall in the first book. Rigg and Umbo gain better control of their powers and Param matures enough to stop disappearing every time she gets scared or upset. The author's world-building talents are in full force as we get to explore a handful of new wallfolds and the different ways their societies developed over the last 11,000 years. I look forward to the next installment in the series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 8, 2012

    This was an interesting follow-up to Pathfinder, both more and l

    This was an interesting follow-up to Pathfinder, both more and less detailed at the same time, as the group visits several different wallfolds, gradually learning more about what the expendables are up to, and fearing the coming of more visitors from Earth.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    As good as the first!

    If you enjoyed the first book, you will love this one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2014

    Anonymous

    I really love Orson Scott Cards books,his writing is incredible, intelligent and enjoyable!! So it pains me to write a bad review. The storyline is ok. the first book in this series pathfinder was incredible, I loved every minute of it,but I have to say Ruins is such a dissapointment so far by page 120 I really hoped the incessant childish, annoying and irritating, bickering, nitpicking and truly enraging insecurities of all the characters except for olivenko would have ceased already. It is probably one of the most regressive books I have read. After everything these 5 have gone through together in the first book... you think they would have evolved and grown up, but they act like they are five years old. I am sorry if this sounds harsh because Orson Scott Card is truly one of my top 2 authors of all time, I feel the man is a true genius!, and it pains me to write this review but the insecurities amongst 5 characters that I really came to love in Pathfinder is just so annoying!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Camp Eagle Borderline Security

    This are is not designated as a Camp Eagle area and/or borders for Camp Eagle. All Camp Eagle Persons here without permission will be fired, and/or demoted

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Bios

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Lyra

    Name: Lyra Age: 19 looks: curly blonde hair, pale skin with freckles, blue eyes. Weapons: bow and arrow primarily with twin daggers a well. Wears: white cami, holey stone washed skinies, black leater jacket and black combat boots. Two silver skull rings; one for each middle finger.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Hunters bio

    Name:hunter, age 16, appearance: he is a ginder, persolity, not o trusting at first

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Next book

    When is the next book coming out? Ive been waiting 2 years

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER!!!

    This is an absolutely amazing book with a complex story line that qill keep you on the edge of your seat. The ending really is cliff hanger. Leaves you bursting with want to find out what happens next! You will love this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Enjoyable YA novel

    This story is another good one by OSC. He continues with the Pathfinder series by expanding on Rigg's and Umbo's character traits, abilities, and weaknesses. I enjoyed the plot but also found the banter dialogue to be enjoyable. The only weakness I saw was an overuse of teenage boy bathroom humor, which served well for believeability with the characters but seemed a little over the top at times.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Got this for my son

    He loves it! He's enjoyed the entire series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Ok but not the best

    This was a good book but I didn't like the ending. It also seemed like it was sooo boring. It took me forever to read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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