Earthborn

Front Cover
Macmillan, May 15, 1996 - Fiction - 384 pages
9 Reviews

High above the earth orbits the starship Basilica. On board the huge vessel is a sleeping woman. Of those who made the journey, Shedemai alone has survived the hundred 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 the 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 the Earth, the central intelligence that also can repair the Oversoul's damaged programming.

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This book shares very little with the rest of the Homecoming series, but wouldn't make much sense without having read the rest of the series. It was worth reading once but I doubt I'll reread it any time soon. It continues Card's Book of Mormon-based tale, so if you're pretty familiar with the Book of Mormon, you'll have a pretty good idea of where the whole story is going.  

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Due to the large jump in chronology, Earthborn feels like an expansion rather than a continuation. Getting used to new characters isn't a big deal, as Card once again draws us into their lives.
Unsatisfactory ending to what promised to be an interesting series. The Mormon references get really heavy in Earthfall (Book 4) and the series drops from interesting sci-fi to a paraphrase of Joseph Smith. Nonetheless, there are good points to be found here:
"It wouldn't do the Keeper any good to have a bunch of puppets just doing his will. What he wants is companions.... He wants us to become like him, to want the same things he wants, to work toward the same goals, freely and willingly, because we want to."
- Ilihi to Khideo; p204-205
 

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About the author (1996)

Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win these two top prizes in consecutive years. There are seven other novels to date in The Ender Universe series. Card has also written fantasy: The Tales of Alvin Maker is a series of fantasy novels set in frontier America; his most recent novel, The Lost Gate, is a contemporary magical fantasy. Card has written many other stand-alone sf and fantasy novels, as well as movie tie-ins and games, and publishes an internet-based science fiction and fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, Card directs plays and teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and youngest daughter, Zina Margaret.

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