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Earthborn (Homecoming) Mass Market Paperback – May 15, 1996

3.4 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
Book 5 of 5 in the Homecoming Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This concluding volume of the Homecoming series (Earthfall, et al.) doesn't live up to the earlier books, which were notable for their subtlety in developing essentially religious themes through focused plotting and sensitive characterization. Here, the plot relies on familiar Judeo-Christian archetypes, tailored to examine discrimination, theocracy and the relationship to God-or, in this case, the powerful mystery of the Keeper. Three intelligent species now inhabit Earth: the sky people, who live in treetops; the earth people, who live in the soil and in tree trunks; and the middle people, humans descended from colonists who have returned to Earth after an absence of 40-million years. In addition to the stilted speech of some of the characters, the novel is slowed by Card's "naming conventions," which increase the mystical and cultural importance of names but also force readers to refer frequently to the separate chapter on the author's system of compounded names, titles and endearments in order to determine which characters are speaking or acting. The conclusion of the story, however, in which the firstborn son of a former priest and leader sees the evil he has caused and selects his future, is vintage Card and a joy to read. This mildly disappointing wrap-up to a rich series about humanity's journey from Earth to the stars and back might be satisfying enough to Card fans, but it's not the book through which to meet Card for the first time. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Card here concludes the "Homecoming" saga (e.g., Earthfall, LJ 11/15/94).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Homecoming (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (May 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812532988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812532982
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book ended with every thing great with Earth and the future looked bright but, why do I feel that there is a snake in the garden somewhere that these people may not feel capable of dealing with. The future of several of the characters is still in question.
That is the only downside of the story but then I guess I never believed in totally happy endings
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After reading some of the reviews I came very close to not reading the last volume of this novel. I'm glad that I read the reviews before preceding because it warned me that the storyline leaped ahead with a whole new set of characters/decsendants. There were references to the original characters but there was no closure as to the Nafai vs. Elemak struggle that was pending in the previous volume. This would have been hugely disappointing if I had not been forewarned, but since I knowingly forged ahead anyway, it proved to still be entertaining. I had also been forewarned that it would be a bit "preachy", but since I basically came away with "We all are on this this earth together, so why not accept and respect each other for our differences, similarities, faults, etc., instead of punishing, fearing, and hating each other for it", I didn't have a problem with it. If you can forgive the author for not providing closure to the characters and events in the previous volume, than this is still a good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like sci-fi for the stimulation it gives my imagination. I grew up with Bradbury, Asimov, etc., but I suppose my favorite was Robert Heinlein, and while Card is not Heinlein, I can easily see Heinlein's influence on Card. The only criticism I have against Card is the repetition of things I have previously earlier in the same book, like I couldn't remember what happened two chapters ago. Concepts, characters, and plot twists are well-crafted, but Heinlein only made passing references to other characters and events, and mostly in separate stories. One star deducted for repetition. Still good, though.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Earthborn" is the fifth and final volume in Orson Scott Card's Homecoming Saga, and readers who have followed the conflict between Nafai and Elemak to this point will be surprised to find that the story now jumps ahead hundreds of years to their descendants. As such the volume strikes most readers as more of an epilogue or postscript rather than as a conclusion to the tale. Then again, knowing Uncle Orson, there is always reason to believe that what we are reading is some sort of a morality play for our edification. I do not read too many authors who write allegories as often as Card, at least not without going back several centuries (and back across the Atlantic Ocean).

In "Earthborn" there is one member of the Children of Wetchik from the earlier novels who made it from Harmony to Earth and is still around, namely Shedemi, who now wears the cloak of the Starmaster. The descendants of Nafai and Elemak have built their own cities and towns, but the animosity between the brothers remains potent between the two peoples. The quest to find the Keeper of the Earth, the computer-like intelligence that can repair the Oversoul back on Harmony, still continues. Now there is evidence that the people on Earth have been influenced by the Keeper and Shedemei has decided to leave the starship Basilica and feel the earth under her feet once again.

In the other books there were more immediate and practical concerns, plus the Oversoul was helping move things along. But with the Starmaster and the Oversoul in the background, more philosophical (read religious) issues have come into play. With humans as the Middle People between the Angels (Sky People) and Diggers (Earth People), many of Card's fans will be reminded of the later volumes in the Ender series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
No spoilers here but rather than review the one book, I thought I''d review the series. The series starts off slow but gets better after the first book. This is not the BEST of Orson Scott Card (Ender's game) but it is very good. It does seem to end somewhat abruptly but all the loose threads are taken care of. A good read. As always with Orson Scott Card, there is not bad language or gratuitous sex so you can feel comfortable with the entire family reading this book
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book died within first chapter.
It immediately slams you with a whole host of new characters and pronunciations that frankly, gave me a headache which, is not the sort of physiological response conducive to reading.
After reading the first four books back to back, I found myself not really caring what happened to all the original characters or what the 'Keeper of the Earth' really was.
I just couldn't summon up the will to slog through it anymore.
Sorry OSC, I'm quite a fan and have met you personally several times, but I really wish I hadn't read this.
Refunded.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Earthborn" left me wanting more. After five volumes, the characters in the "Homecoming Saga" have become a part of my life. I love the parallels to issues in our society, the Christian bible and to history are most intriguing. Readers left to draw their own conclusions and make their own connections.
I have read many or Orson Scott Cards novels but consider this the best!
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