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Book review: 'Ruins' features new characters, intriguing dialogues and exciting plot twists

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 17 2012 2:55 p.m. MST

"RUINS," by Orson Scott Card, Simon Pulse, $18.99, 530 pages (f) (ages 16 and up)

“Ruins,” the second book in Orson Scott Card's Pathfinders series, is full of new characters, intriguing dialogues and exciting plot twists. It is a book that intertwines fantasy and science fiction. Though the plot is drawn out at times, “Ruins” is still worth the read.

The book begins by reintroducing the reader to Rigg, Umbro and Param. We are reminded that these characters are from a world called Garden. The characters crossed the Wall, a section that divides their world into different sections. The main characters are in an unfamiliar section of their world and cannot detect the dangers that surround them. They quickly learn that Garden is in trouble and they must do whatever they can to save it.

Before reading “Ruins,” readers will need to review the main characters, the plot and major themes found in “Pathfinder.” Simply diving straight into the book will be confusing. There is little reference to the first book throughout “Ruins.”

The plot from “Pathfinder” to “Ruins” flows easily. Card picks up the story masterfully and makes it more complex and intriguing.

The only downfall of the book is time travel. It is hard to understand and seems too scientific for a fantasy book. Readers will have to pay close attention or they will be lost.

“Ruins” is a family-friendly book that is free of any inappropriate material. Because of the complicated plot and themes presented in the book, it is recommended for readers 16 and older.

Card is the author of “Enders Game” and “Speaker for the Dead.” He received degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.

Shelby Scoffield has a Bachelors in English from Brigham Young University and a Masters in Rhetoric and Composition from Stanislaus State University. She is currently working on her teaching credentials so she can teach high school English.

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