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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 listeners say about Earthborn

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

14 people found this helpful

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Thinly veiled Mormon recruitment

Any additional comments?

This book was a thoroughly disappointing end to a promising series. All the characters you've gotten to know and love are thrown away, and the allusions to Mormon doctrine are so overt as to be almost laughable. Really, just stop at Book 4. This book doesn't answer any of the questions or plot points brought up in the other books.

3 people found this helpful

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Bad

Just a drag. Boring with no real climax, felt unfinished and in my opinion a terrible ending to the story. I love orson Scott cards work but this series is awful. Took me months to finish this series because there's no real hook and the characters are forgettable

2 people found this helpful

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Pretty terrible ending to a mediocre book.

The story is too bible thumping, it's based on book of mormon but far too preachy.

1 person found this helpful

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The Homecoming Series

More than a few life-lessons can be had in this far-future offering from Orson Scott Card. The only thing that kept this listener from offering 5 stars was the slightly disappointing gap between the first 4 books and the fifth. I love the soothing voice of Stefan Rudnicki and I could have enjoyed the last book more with as little as 1 more hour of narration between the end of Nafai's story and the beginning of Shedemei's. I hope future readers can fill in the end of book 4 with their imaginations.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 people found this helpful

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Card's Opus Magnus

This book series isn't for the faint of heart. There's a lot of exposition and dialogue. Unlike a lot of audio books, you can't just play this in the background and still follow the story.

There is a lot of Biblical allegory. I would compare it to C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. Where that story was the story of the Messiah, Homecoming is more about the Father. The ending is literally Deus ex machina, because that is theme of the entire series.

I would have appreciated an epilogue, just to know what happened to Shedemei.

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Concluding book

Timely story with struggles of disinformation and power dynamics. Didn't think the story would wrap up this way.

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Magnificent

He is a master of language and his ability to evoke emotions on behalf of fictional characters is hard to compare.

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My least favorite of this series

Others in this series included religion as part of the sci-fi story, but this book felt very heavy on religion and relatively light on science or fiction.

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Profile Image for Andrew Miller
  • Andrew Miller
  • 04-23-16

a decent series fizzles to a weak end

didn't enjoy this nearly as much as the previous books in the series. preachy and not very sensible ending.