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am 6. Juli 2000
I felt that this series was wonderful, and I think that I enjoyed 5 the most (partially for the same reasons as the "reader from Texas"). I read them all in less than two weeks. I am also a Mormon and so I had a wonderful time "guessing" the outcome of the books because I already knew what would happen from the Book of Mormon. The Keeper of Earth is obviously God. The magma, etc. is only one of the tools he uses. To refute those who are angry at Orson Scott Card for discontinuing the story of Naifi and his brothers, that is where the story leaves off in the Book of Mormon, also. I'm sure he didn't write more about them because that's all we know about the lives of the real Nephi and his brothers. I believe that they were people that actually lived, as does he, and I understand that he didn't want to write more about them because obviously that's all there was that was important because that's all that Nephi wrote about his own life. Life is not always wrapped up in a neat package. Nephi and his brothers, Laman and Lemuel never came to terms, so neither did Naifi, Elemak, and Mebbekew. I felt that he did a very good job bridging the gap between books 4 and 5. Many reviewers said they didn't like the "moralizing" and the anti-climactic resolution of the story. They said that Akma was "obviously a metaphor for an atheist." Akma was not a metaphor for anything! Orson Scott Card was simply writing the story of Alma the Younger as it is found in the Book of Mormon. Akma's story actually happened! And if you don't believe that, please respect Orson Scott Card's beliefs anyway. I would recommend this book to anyone, and especially to members of the LDS church. For those who hunger to learn more about the peoples in the Homecoming Series, read the Book of Mormon! It adds to Card's stories of Nephi (Nafai), and tells much more about Alma (Akma) and how he became chief judge over the people.
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am 27. April 2000
I normally don't write reviews, but I don't agree with some of the other reviewers. I really enjoyed this book. Of course I'm biased. I also love the Book of Mormon which very clearly inspired the characters and plot of this book (see Mosiah 7-27). I thought this book was worth reading for its own sake, but it was very interesting viewing the Book of Mormon and our own society through the unusual lens that Card has crafted. There are a huge number of fascinating details to be observed and thought about here. His world is so vividly realized that it was quite easy (for me) to imagine the "history" between volumes 4 and 5. This book has real people (humans, angels, & diggers) with real problems that we can relate to in fascinating settings. Others of his books are too brutally frank about violence and sexual themes for comfort, but this one was relatively light, much more so than the first four books in the series (enough so that I bought this book, but checked the others out of the library).
I was left yearning for more. Card is easily one of the best writers that I have ever read. I hope that he inspires many others to go and do likewise. I loved the Homecoming series. I am also enjoying his Alvin Smith series quite a bit.
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am 23. Januar 2000
I have no idea what Card is about. The first four volumes of the series had high and low points, but did pull you into the plot and the characters. What this volume is about is a puzzle to me. An almost entirely new set of characters is introduced, the societies presented are not related to the societies in the previous volumes, the motivations of the actors and actions seem like a sociological treatise, and, frankly, I was unable to stir up interest in either chaacters or plot. I am lost to understand what Card is trying to do, except to throw in an unrelated volume to stretch what is an otherwise decent series. Other reviewers have argued that Card's plot and focus is consistent in a broad sense. I understand that arguement, though I do not agree with it. But, even if there is a broader plot, Card simply doesn't deliver it in this volume. This last volume strikes me much like the Riverworld series ... it continues in terms of turning out pages and rolling down the river, but the pages don't lead to anywhere. This book, in my mind, is the epitome of the typical Card seies ... a slow paced, but engaging start. A well wrought world and society. Careful and lengthy character development. Threads that are well woven and all accounted for. Then, a seeming loss of steam or interest or skill with an anti-climatic resolution. This volume exceeds even the typical Card resolution. It would have been better for both audience and author if Card had stopped before writing this volume. It is, perhaps, the worst science fiction I have read by a major author.
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am 30. Oktober 1997
To the majority of the world's sci-fi readership, Earthborn's plot is as unguessable from page to page as the next book. To one coming from Card's own religion, the plot and its eventual end are known, or at least guessed at, from the early chapters of Memory of Earth. The plot comes from well known stories in the Book of Mormon, the Mormon Church's companion volume of scripture to the Bible. Card's great strength as a writer is in exploring the human condition in all its aspects. He uses the unlimited creative potential of Sci-fi as a writing device to construct whatever universe best allows him to examine his subjects. In this series Card uses Sci-fi to distance the Book of Mormon stories just enough from their scriptural context that it can appeal to all readership, but keeps the real major events intact as they are in the scripture. I believe his journey in writing these books is a personal one of coming closer to his heroes in the Book of Mormon and exploring the reasons behind some of the actions of people in that book. You want to understand and get more out of this series? I suggest a reading of The Book of Mormon as well.
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What happened? I was anjoying this series and Card in general and then he drops this bomb. The whole book was something that could just be summed up in an epilogue in Earthfall. First of all, let me say that all the most interesting characters are gone. Shedemei is the only survingin one and she was the least interesting of all. This book seemed to drag along and we're left in the dark as to the nature of the keeper. The Keeper is almost desribed as magma flows that somehow create an intellegence. It's almost as if Card couldn't think of anything and just wrote that. Then there is the issue of one of the characters, Akma. Akma is obviously a metaphor for an Athiest of today. He is a person filled with hate and intolerance and is an insult to all Atheists. So the Keeper sends Shedemei down to strike him down for believing freely as he does. Don't stop reading Card after this one, though. This is far from his best and is still one of the best SF authors around
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am 5. Juli 2000
I couldn't believe that it was all over after I finished Earthborn. After feeling so close to the original characters from the previous four novels, I was so saddened to see that all but one were gone. It was so dissapointing that I almost never read Earthborn, but that is Card's style to twist things like that. (I replaced that book with Ender's Game and found that this was his style. After realizing this I later returned to Earthborn). I am so glad that I did. The conclusion to this story is so beautiful, while your reading you'll remember the past novels and feel like those memories are really your experiences, another of Card's styles. When it was over, I became attached to the new characters, and wanted more. Thank you Mr. Card for creating such an amazing story and characters. For the first time while reading did I truely feel like your creations were from my heart. Homecoming is genius and should always be treated as such.
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am 29. März 2000
I read the four books before this waiting for the big payoff, the finale to end it all. What do I get? A moralistic treatise with the o-so-subtle theme of the hatred in the heart of atheists.
This book takes place 500 years after the rest, all the interesting characters are dead. On earth there are two nations. In one an atheist named Akma begins preaching hatred. The keeper's final decision? Kill him. Why, because he's a blasphemer.
And speaking of big payoffs, we never fin out what the keeper is. It has something to do with magma flows and magnetic fields (yes I know it's supposed to be God) that influence people's minds. I think about a paragraph is spent on explaining this.
Believe me, Orson Scott Card has much better books than this.
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am 21. August 1998
If you are going to read this because you read the first 4 books and want to find out what happened, don't read this one. The characters Card built in the first 4 are not in this book, and are basically never mentioned. Few unanswered questions are answered. This book takes place hundreds of years later. (For those of you following the Book of Mormon paralels, this book takes place during the lifetime of Alma the Younger.) Regardless of dropping the previous characters, this book was a good read in and of itself. You got this far, go ahead and finish the series.
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am 25. März 1999
Why did he do it? The brother conflict which was the glue of the first four books was never resolved. The originator of the distant call from the stars which started the whole journey was - a huge let-down. I love his books but this one REALLY bothered me. Orson, if you ever read this, PLEASE write it again, but this time make it a suitable ending to a great series.
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am 13. Februar 2000
I wanted to like this. I really enjoyed the previous 4 books, but this one left me feeling cold. The blatant moralising was a bit too much. Shouldn't the characters be allowed to make up their own minds? A disappointing ending to an otherwise original and entertaining series
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