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Ruins

Review

Ruins

When the starship carrying the earth settlers and the pilot, Ram Odin, launched towards the planet of Garden to create a new colony, no one could have expected they would be transported back in time over 11,000 years and copied 18 times. Thus the wallfold was created to separate the 19 different colonies thereby eliminating any interaction and keeping their respective presences hidden from each other. No one had ever been able to cross the wallfold until the time travelers, Rigg, Umbo and Param, along with their friends, crossed at the end of the first book in the Pathfinder series. What they find, though, may be more frightening than the journey itself.

"If the time travel in PATHFINDER made you hungry for more, then get ready to indulge in RUINS. The essence of time travel becomes the center point for the main conflict in this sequel, and your brain might just explode from trying to make sense of it all."

The small group immediately comes into contact with the wallfold’s expendable, a human-like machine called Vadesh. Expendables are programed to help, but Rigg and his friends soon learn that Vadesh is only there to spread lies and keep secrets. Secrets such as why there are no humans within this particular wallfold, and what is going to happen in the near future. Rigg manages to gain control of the colony’s starship and also the many wallfolds themselves. Armed with this new power, everyone decides to explore the remaining colonies and learn as much as they can about the people on Garden.

Nothing can prepare them for what happens next. As they cross into the neighboring colony, they discover that people have been waiting all their lives for Rigg, Umbo and Param to come. Rigg, Umbo, and Param learn that only they can stop the destruction of Garden. Apparently, a second starship is coming in the near future, and they are expecting to find only one colony 11 years old. How exactly would this new starship react to 11,000 years of advancement and 19 separate civilizations? Messages from the future tell of a complete annihilation of all life on Garden.

With time running out, the options are limited for these supposed saviors. Param has to ignore her inclination to split time and essentially disappear into the future. Umbo wants to help, but his jealousy of Rigg’s natural leadership and upbringing sways his focus from what really matters. For his part, Rigg realizes he may be the only one who can help save Garden, but is learning that sacrifices must be made to save the future --- sacrifices Rigg may be unwilling to make.

If the time travel in PATHFINDER made you hungry for more, then get ready to indulge in RUINS. The essence of time travel becomes the center point for the main conflict in this sequel, and your brain might just explode from trying to make sense of it all. I always felt a little unsure about what Rigg, Umbo, and Param were working towards, but that all becomes crystal clear this second time around. As with all Orson Scott Card books, logic abounds in every conversation and argument, and fans will enjoy the complex thinking of the characters. I have a feeling more is to come, and that’s not because my future self came back in time to tell me!

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on November 27, 2012

Ruins
by Orson Scott Card

  • Publication Date: September 3, 2013
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • ISBN-10: 1416991808
  • ISBN-13: 9781416991809