Oof, this was a tough one. I actually forced myself to finish this after putting it down day after day. I remember really enjoy Pathfinder, but this one was a clunker. I think Orson Scott Card is a brilliant writer but sometimes brilliance does not translate well on the page. And sometimes writer’s views on things get a little heavy handed. This is one such book. Card has put a lot of political and religious rhetoric into this book. Sure he weaves it into the story, but you can tell these are his views that he is pushing on the reader. It takes away from the enjoyment of reading. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I have no problem with them writing about those opinions and views even if they differ from my own. However, I don’t expect them to be pushed on me in a sci-fi book. If I wanted to read about politics and religion I would, but I wanted something else from Ruins.
The rhetoric was not my only problem with this book. This book picks up after the events in Pathfinder. Our troop of heroes has passed through the wall and find themselves in a different world. They have to figure out what is going on in each of the wallfolds they visit and figure out what to do about the visitors from earth who are on their way. They are exploring their time shifting/traveling powers and becoming stronger. However, they are also the biggest bunch of whiny babies I have ever read. I found that I couldn’t stand a single one of them. It is nothing but jealousy, envy, impetuousness, struggling for power for this group. No one acts as they should; they go back and forth on their feelings for each other. There are constant struggles to be the top dog of the group. These people were supposed to be friends; they came through some terrible events and yet all the seemed to care about was themselves. I didn’t find any redeeming qualities in these characters and it really wasn’t until the last few pages that they actually started working together. I also had a huge problem with how this was written. There is a lot of exposition in this book and not a lot of dialog. And the dialog is often filled with pages of exposition. A character will speak and then the other character will take two pages analyzing and griping about what was said before finally responding. Seriously! It got old really fast.
I am a fan of Card’s work. I loved Ender’s Game and actually want to reread it again. But I think his writing is uneven across books. He gets a little too wrapped up in getting his “message” out that he forgets to just write a good story.