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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

4.0 (453 )
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4.4 (286 )
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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
    70
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    "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.

    8 of 9 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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 07-02-15
    Dan 07-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    10
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    "Anti-climactic finish"

    I loved the first four books in this series. All were well-written and enjoyable.

    The first four books form their own story arc, while book 5 starts something new. I knew this when I started the book, so this was expected.

    What I did not expect was that the story would be much less interesting. It's still decent, and I recommend reading it, but it is not as entertaining as the other books. It also seems like the author is trying to send a religious message here - never stated directly, but it's there. Not usually what I look for in a sci fi book, but still enjoyable if you invested the time to read the first four.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Parrill, Jr. 06-18-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    38
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    Story
    "No closure!"
    What would have made Earthborn better?

    I would have loved if it closed the original story from the other 4 books


    Would you ever listen to anything by Orson Scott Card again?

    Yes


    Have you listened to any of Stefan Rudnicki’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    His performance was amazing


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was disappointed that I didn't get to see what really happened to the main characters


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Lingeman 05-18-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed the series."

    Great series. The final book, albeit good, was a bit awkward with events seeming to occur suddenly without any logical build up. I don't know if I just missed something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie´s hubby 04-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    "An excellent story for Christian lovers of Sci-Fi"

    I don't know if Mr. Card intended to , but he has written the best example of Christian faith thinking that I have ever had the privilege to experience since. coming to Christ myself.
    Thank You Mr Orson Scott Card

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JD Davis Texas 03-11-15
    JD Davis Texas 03-11-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Good Conclusion."

    No spoilers, but there were some good lessons learned in this one. Very well written and narrated. Loved the character development and growth of the main characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gabitron 01-02-15
    gabitron 01-02-15 Member Since 2011
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    "A confusing but good ending to the series"

    This book takes place 500 years after the last book. It takes some time to fit all the pieces togeather. It wraps up nicely in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 09-11-13
    Donna 09-11-13
    ratings
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    "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
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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

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