From Publishers Weekly
Returning to the world of Home, which humans colonized in 1983's Earthseed and where they split into two cultures in 2007's Farseed, Sargent continues exploring the nature of violence and rivalry. The farmers along the great lake and river lead low-tech lives, while the dome dwellers try to maintain the remaining bits of imported technology. Then the sentient Ship that planted the colony returns, triggering fear and suspicion. As the few mature dome dwellers try to repair their radio and keep their uncaring youngsters from rebelling, teens Bian and Arnagh make the journey north from the river to find out whether the dome dwellers have betrayed their agrarian brethren. With prose as spare as the unadorned clothes and tools of her characters, Sargent digs down to the raw emotional roots below the contentment of a materially satisfied life. (Nov.) (c)
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Sargent’s young adult novel Earthseed (1983), featuring a group of teens raised inside a massive sentient starship called Ship, received widespread critical acclaim, but not until 2007 did Sargent produce a sequel, Farseed, about a society of primitive-leaning explorers who detach themselves from the original, more technology-dependent settlers populating the planet, Home, that Ship civilized. Now the story continues with two teenage girls, Bian, from the primitive settlements, and Safrah, from the decaying domed villages. When a light appears in the sky one evening, everyone on Home suspects that Ship has returned. For Safrah this arouses fear, since the radio Ship once used to send news is broken, and other settlements will think her village is concealing information. For Bian, it arouses curiosity and entangles her in a looming showdown between the villages. Sargent makes a valiant effort tying together some loose ends in Ship’s saga, but overall the storytelling here is dull and will only appeal to readers nostalgic for the series’ far superior first installment. --Carl Hays