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If a Tree Falls
Saving the human race is a frantic business. Or a tedious one. It all depends on what stage of the process you’re taking part in.
• • •
Rigg and Father usually set the traps together, because it was Rigg who had the knack of seeing the paths that the animals they wanted were still using.
Father was blind to it—he could never see the thin shimmering trails in the air that marked the passage of living creatures through the world. But to Rigg it was, and always had been, part of what his eyes could see, without any effort at all. The newer the path, the bluer the shimmer; older ones were green, yellow; the truly ancient ones tended toward red.
As a toddler, Rigg had quickly learned what the shimmering meant, because he could see everyone leaving trails behind them as they went. Besides the color, there was a sort of signature to each one, and over the years Rigg became adept at recognizing them. He could tell at a glance the difference between a human and an animal, or between the different species, and if he looked closely, he could sort out the tracks so clearly that he could follow the path of a single person or an individual beast.
Once, when Father first started taking him out trapping, Rigg had made the mistake of following a greenish trail. When they reached the end of it, there were only a few old bones scattered where animals had torn the carcass many months ago.
Father had not been angry. In fact, he seemed amused. “We need to find animals with their skins still fresh,” said Father. “And a little meat on them for us to eat. But if I had a bone collection, these would do nicely. Don’t worry, Rigg.”
Father never criticized Rigg when it came to his knack for pathfinding. He simply accepted what Rigg could do, and encouraged him to hone his skill. But whenever Rigg started to tell someone about what he could do, or even speak carelessly, so they might be able to figure out that he had some unusual ability, Father was merciless, silencing him at once.
“It’s your life,” said Father. “There are those who would kill you for this. And others who would take you away from me and make you live in a terrible place and make you follow paths for them, and it would lead to them killing the ones you found.” And, to make sure Rigg understood how serious this was, he added, “And they would not be beasts, Rigg. You would be helping them murder people.”
Maybe Father shouldn’t have told him that, because it haunted Rigg’s thoughts for months afterward—and not just by giving him nightmares. It made Rigg feel very powerful, to think that his ability might help men find criminals and outlaws.
But all that was when Rigg was still little—seven or eight years old. Now he was thirteen and his voice was finally changing, and Father kept telling him little things about how to deal with women. They like this, they hate that, they’ll never marry a boy who does this or doesn’t do that.
Copyright © 2010 by Orson Scott Card
In Pathfinder, the first of a fascinating space adventure/time travel trilogy, Orson Scott Card builds an intriguing new world in which two young boys are propelled on a path of destiny that will have repercussions for the entire human race.
After cataclysmic events on earth, a decision was made to send two colony ships into interstellar space. One ship was equipped to make a daring leap across the void, to start life afresh on a new planet. The other would take 11,000 years to make the journey.
Now, on the world called Garden, two teenaged boys with secret abilities meet in a chance encounter. Rigg can see the shimmering paths that people leave behind. His only confidant is his father, but with his sudden death, Rigg is left completely alone. On a quest to find a mother and sister he’s never met, Rigg throws in with a childhood friend. Umbo can affect the speed at which others experience time—revealing a startling new aspect to Rigg’s abilities and compelling him to reevaluate everything he’s ever known. Together, Rig and Umbo set out to learn the truth about their talents. Because, although they have the power to change the past, nothing can prepare them for the future headed their way.
Hardcover Book : 672 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Juvenile ( December 20, 2010 )
Item #: 13-195913
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 24.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Card does not disappoint with this book. It takes really talent to have two competeing storylines going at one time, but Card does it well.
Great read, looking forward to the sequels.
At first I thought this was going to be a light read but I quickly found myself in a different level of thought. I loved how our current world contrasted with Garden at the beginning but was intrigued with the converging paths in the story. Could not put it down. Can't wait for the sequel to continue the journey but was very happy with how this book answered so many questions and felt complete.
Reviewer: Cindi B
Awesome, couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the next installment.
Well worth the price. Want more from this author! Thanks for writing a challenging book that does not depend on rape, sex, revenge and gratutious killing to move the story line forward.
Reviewer: E B