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Earthborn: Homecoming: Volume 5 | [Orson Scott Card]

Earthborn: Homecoming: Volume 5

High above Earth orbits the starship Basilica. On board the huge vessel is a sleeping woman. Of those who made the journey, Shedemei alone has survived the hundreds of years since the Children of Wetchik returned to Earth.
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Publisher's Summary

High above Earth orbits the starship Basilica. On board the huge vessel is a sleeping woman. Of those who made the journey, Shedemei alone has survived the hundreds of years since the Children of Wetchik returned to Earth.

She now wears the Cloak of the Starmaster, and the Oversoul wakes her sometimes to watch over her descendants on the planet below. The population has grown rapidly - there are cities and nations now, whole peoples descended from those who followed Nafai or Elemak.

But in all the long years of watching and searching, the Oversoul has not found the thing it sought. It has not found the Keeper of Earth, the central intelligence that alone can repair the Oversoul's damaged programming.

©1995 Orson Scott Card; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Card's far-future religious saga manages, brilliantly, to be at once entertaining, unobjectionable, and edifying." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[The] complex situation, abetted by Card's superior characterization, offers more than enough conflict and questing to keep the yarn moving. The grand saga of human evolution is a demanding category of sf and fantasy, but Card has met its demands quite successfully." (Booklist)
"The conclusion of the story...is vintage Card and a joy to read." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (330 )
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4.0 (186 )
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4.4 (177 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Jacksonville, FL, United States 05-30-11
    Richard Jacksonville, FL, United States 05-30-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
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    399
    19
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    Story
    "The Last Chapter"

    Much is made in other reviews of how this title drifts from the preceding ones and starts a new story. That's true, but it is also one of its strengths. This is less a "concluding" story (though it is somewhat) than a spinoff. If the first 4 books were All in the Family, this would be The Jeffersons (or is that The Jettersons?). There is just enough reference (and a character or two) from the other saga to bind the two together. Unlike the Ender saga, which sadly went on at least one book too long, this is the way to do it. Skip all the centuries after the main action and take a look at what the world might be like 500 years out. An interesting premise and one that authors don't often get to explore. (If you say, that's what Speaker for the Dead did, I can't disagree, but not as noticeably; there the backstory was less direct than this one.) I happened to like these characters very much--more so than the "Heroes" during the first book. (That one was a slow start, but worth it in the end.) Much is made of the religious themes in the book, but what is there so interesting about religion if not the conflict it engenders among people. The thinly veiled "bias" issues added a basis for conflict (and the oh-so-classic epithet "Digger Lover" was my favorite tongue in cheek line, just in case anyone had missed the point). Was the book about the Mormons? Probably not. Too many dissimilarities to the historical events of those times, though only Card knows for sure (golden plates was a cute touch). No, this book is nearly a standalone work showcasing Card's ability to create character studies with people and creatures out of the readers' normal ambit. The plot? Secondary. That it sort of tracks the first books? Convenient. It's all about the writing. Anyone who is disappointed that this book doesn't take up where #4 left off misses the point--it wasn't supposed to. I applaud Card for this imaginative approach and recommend this story to any of his fans.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Schantz 06-02-11
    J. Schantz 06-02-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Feel free to stop in the series before this one."

    This one just was not as good as the first 4. Unlike most of Card's other books, you just cant get a real connection with the characters. The series would have been just fine without this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alijah Arah Dallas, TX 11-02-13
    Alijah Arah Dallas, TX 11-02-13 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    Story
    "Skip It"
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Terrible. The rest of the series is slow, but I worked through it to get to an exciting conclusion... This was not it. The characters in this story have no connection to those in the previous four books and as a result the reader has no connection to them. They are odd aliens and the reader is thrust in to the middle of them and there is no tension. I'm a huge Card fan, but I wish I had not wasted my time with this series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Montpelier, VA, United States 09-11-13
    Donna Montpelier, VA, United States 09-11-13 Listener Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not as good as the others"
    Any additional comments?

    Its not as good as the other Earthborn books but I got through it to finish the story. I enjoyed the Ender series much much more. The names of the people are imaginative and I gotta hand it to Steven the reader he handled all those strange names flawlessly. I think I could have followed the story easier by reading the actual books. Lots of political drama and a parable of our world of politics and religion. The entire series is like this but the last book was even more so. Still, Orson Scott Card is intriguing as a writer and he has a lot to say through the lips of his characters. I will be listening to all his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy J. Meek Louisville, KY. USA 03-08-13
    Roy J. Meek Louisville, KY. USA 03-08-13 Member Since 2010

    Justin Meek

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Nice addition to the series"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, despite the fact that many readers seem to have not enjoyed the book, I found it to be an interesting read. Book four, in many ways, is the conclusion of the series, but this addendum is worth your time. It's neat to take a leap into the future and see how history develops. Yes, the comparison to Moromonism is strong and the book can be preachy, but if you can let all that go you'll find a good story.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I was curious how Card would develop the Keeper of Earth. He leaves some mystery in place, but the Keeper is more developed here than in any other book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The vivid dream given by the Keeper the to our favorite Star Master is good.


    Did Earthborn inspire you to do anything?

    The whole series has caused me to look for similar themes in other books.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is a bit slow to start and all the names are hard to follow. Also, the large leaps in time add to the confusion. Still, I don't regret the read at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Marietta, GA, United States 09-10-12
    Aaron Marietta, GA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Not as good as the others in the series."
    What did you love best about Earthborn?

    The Narrated helped add a connection to this last book which was lost with most absents of most of the main characters.


    What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

    I love that he seems to handle the complex names, which I would have had issues with.


    Any additional comments?

    With most the main characters gone from the original series, you investment into the story is not there. The connection to the new characters takes time in the story which could have been spent on the story itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Radish Bliss STANSBURY PK, UT, United States 05-28-09
    Radish Bliss STANSBURY PK, UT, United States 05-28-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "hmmmm"

    I'll probably forget everything about this book in a month except that "Utter independence is the most terrible punishment".

    Usually the last book is the one that makes you tickle from how nicely everything gets wrapped up.

    You won't find yourself holding your breath.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Brewster, NY, United States 04-06-09
    Mark Brewster, NY, United States 04-06-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    197
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    "Horrible"

    Its seems Mr.Card tries to squeeze every ounce out of his series and fails ever time. As in the last of the Ender series this story also falls flat on its face. Way too many people to remember, or to care about. It was so hard to follow this story because of the 20 or so people with hard to remember names. Skip this book, it doesn't add anything to the story.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francois Sydney, Australia 09-17-12
    Francois Sydney, Australia 09-17-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Interesting story with great insight into personal relationships and how to deal with human frailty.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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