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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » All those poor timelines..."Pathfinder Visitors".

   
Author Topic: All those poor timelines..."Pathfinder Visitors".
Ender772
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May be small spoilers if you have not read "Visitors".


So, i overall loved this book, but I had a few problems with it and was wondering if anyone else had felt the same way.

Maybe I missed it somehow, but what was Ram Odins ability. He hinted at it, but never really described it.

The most disturbing part of the book is when Param and Rigg/or was it Noxon?, Realized that It was a multiverse, and not one continuous timeline. That every time a time shaper goes back in time, he/he is actually creating an alternate timeline, leaving everyone else in the old one to die by by the destroyers. which must have been thousands of times. At least thats what it seemed like.

And my last bit. I had been hoping there would be more about the paths. Rigg learns more about his time travel ability et we really don't learn much more about his Pathfinding ability. It kind of just stays at the same level. No great insight, something that would explain the way the universe works in the Pathfinder universe.

Yes, the book did have some plotholes, some times the way they time traveled didn't quite lineup with other times that they time traveled. But i can forgive it all. Id still rate this a 9 out of 10. And the first two were a 10.

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vineyarddawg
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--------SPOILER ALERT-----------

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE VISITORS BOOK

MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW THIS LINE

EXTREMELY HUGE SPOILERS

I just finished reading Visitors, and although the story was adequately finished in my mind (as in all necessary loose ends being tied up), I just didn't get much out of the book. It felt to me like an awkward and unsatisfying conclusion to the series.

I wrote a "pre-review" in another thread in the other active forum on this site in which I critiqued the first 80% of the book, and after finishing it, I stand by everything I initially said. So let me start from there and go forward.

OSC spends about 75% of the book futzing around on Garden and, eventually, back on Earth, and he even spends time talking about the guerilla campaign that Param, Umbo, et al wage against General Citizen and the Sessaminiak.

And how does the series conclude? A brand new alien race gets introduced about 75% of the way through the final book of his 3-book series. Then, with about 2 or 3 chapters to go in the entire thing, we find out that they're not actually one alien race, but two. But we've got 20 new Noxons, so boom, go back in time, prevent them from ever getting spaceflight, and problem solved.

Then on Garden, somebody (it never even specifically says who) goes to a point before the ambush on Rigg and Param but after the guerrilla campaign, kidnaps Haddamander and Hagia, plops them down in another wallfold for the rest of their lives, and that problem is solved.

So, an entire 3-book trilogy had an ultimate resolution (preventing the destruction of Garden) that was, essentially, only really tackled in the last 20% of the final book in the series. And it was a resolution that Rigg, Umbo, and Param should have been able to figure out for themselves a long time ago. Hold hands, get Param to slice into the future long enough to get past the destruction and find out who the Visitors actually are, then you trace their path back to their homeworld and prevent them either from ever achieving sentience or ever achieving the technological advancement of spaceflight.

I hate to say it, but the conclusion of this series feels incredibly lazy to me. I'm not sure what I expected (and to be fair, the mechanics of having time travelers that can essentially go anywhere and do whatever they want must be difficult), but I'm not satisfied with this ending. I might pick up book 1 for a re-read someday, but this series feels kind of the the Matrix movie trilogy to me now... the first entry was far, far better than the last two.

---------END SPOILERS--------------

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Ender772
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Yes, the ending felt very weak to me as well. But i knew it would be because all of Card's endings are weak. It felt like the ending of battlestar galactica. Oh, we'll just give up technology.. ..The other Rigg learned not to destroy lives by going back in time and preventing their births, but the 20 in space, did not. Still, i don't think Rigg would end 100,000 years of history on two planets, destroying billions of innocent lives in the process.
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Ender772
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Actually. I just realized something. That there are not infinite timelines. Each time they go back they change the current timeline, otherwise time travel would not be possible. Umbo would have never received warnings from the future otherwise. That riggs and param who died that horrible death, must have only existed because umbo had not yet found the message.
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