Monday, July 14, 2014

Orson Scott Card's Homecoming 4 & 5

Now I will review the last two books in Orson Scott Card's Homecoming Saga.  If you missed the reviews of the first three books, you can catch them here.

Book #4: Earthfall.

Out of the five, this volume was my favorite.  The ragtag group finally gets off the planet Harmony, and things happen more quickly.  The trip across space is cool.  Orson introduces two new races that had evolved into intelligent species on Earth in the humans' absence.  Also, we get to know more about the Keeper of Earth, some highly advanced something that communicates with humans through their dreams--not to be confused with the Oversoul, the supercomputer entity that talks directly to Nafai and others.

You can expect more of the same as from the older books.  Elemak and Mebbekew still try to find ways to kill Nafai, while Nafai and his allies try to stay alive.

Once they get to Earth, they have interesting interactions with the new aborigines.  The result is a very imaginative and interesting story.

Book #5: Earthborn.

The last of the series takes place 500 years into the future.  So right off the bat, everyone I cared about is dead.  The naming conventions have changed.  Women have been placed in a submissive role.  And people are starting to doubt the stories about Nafai and his family.

As a story, this one was my least favorite out of the five.  I could have stopped with Book #4, which had a satisfying end.  The new characters just aren't as interesting.  Some of the characters flip-flop more than politicians, and it's difficult to determine their true motives.

However, the book does enter into some interesting discussions about religion, women's rights and racism.  Unfortunately, the characters sound more like Socratic Dialogues rather than real human beings working out their issues.

The book ends in a good place.  However, there are still some questions unanswered.  The good news is that at least it's not screaming for a sequel.

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