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Earthborn: Homecoming: Volume 5: Homecoming: Volume 5 (Homecoming Saga #5)

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  6,658 Ratings  ·  152 Reviews

High above 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 hundreds 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 gro

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Published March 4th 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1995)
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May 10, 2007 Ellie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is really more of a religious and political commentary than a science fiction novel. Card has some really interesting characters and tells a good story, but unfortunately his books have way too much Mormonism in them to completely appeal to a non-Mormon audience. Although it seems like the ends of the series are more religious than the beginnings. Perhaps he is getting more sure of himself with regard to using his religion in his books. In this book the Mormon imagery just gets out of hand, ...more
Johnny Leal
This book... *sigh*

Card is my favorite Sci-Fi author. The first four Homecoming books were fantastic. Many seem to complain about how much Mormonism is in this series (specifically book 5) but that's just it; The novels were actually BASED on the book of Mormon. I'm not of the Mormon belief myself, and no offense meant by this but - Mormon beliefs make for great science fiction, heh.

Anyway back on topic, this book is not about the characters you come to love and hate in the first four books of t
Molly G
Reread 12-26-09

Reread 7-21-11. Remember loving it more than I expected to, and still do. Find aspects of it almost painfully/nauseatingly upsetting: the anti-agnostic, anti-intellectual passages. They are mitigated, very beautifully and even truthfully, by the bigger picture of the plot and characterization, whereby logic alone can be used to justify anything, and intellect that is NOT objective is dangerous indeed, but twisted by unaccepted, repressed emotionality; and true intellectuals (e.g.
Feb 22, 2008 Allison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
The first time I read the series, I skipped this last book. When I was making my way through the series again, I decided that this time I was going to make it though, no matter what. It wasn't initially appealing, I think, because the characters you've come to know and love over the course of the last four books are all gone but for one character. It didn't take long for me this time, though, to become interested in the new characters and the conflict that was building.

In the end, though, this b
Nola Redd
Mar 09, 2014 Nola Redd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Card fan, Alma the Younger fans, sci fi people, folks who will forgive the dribbled ending
Recommended to Nola by: Card
Of all of Orson Scott Card’s books, “Earthborn” is probably my least favorite. It is not that the novel is not well written – it is – or that it lacks a good story – it does not. But its role as the fifth and final book in a series makes it feel like an incomplete ending.

Unlike the rest of the novels in the Homecoming series, “Earthborn” lacks most of the characters we have come to identify with. Of the original cast, we have only Shedemai, the Oversoul, and the Keeper of the Earth. I never re
Jan 12, 2009 Zach rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the only book I've ever bothered to review on Amazon because it pissed me off so much. Text follows.

So you've read books one through four. You were impressed by Card's fascinating premise in book one, started to get really turned on to his idea of "god as a machine" in book two, loved the fantastic revelations and conflict in book three, and were intrigued by the first-hand narratives of diggers and angels in book four. I guess I should see how it ends, you say to yourself.

Don't be a foo
Jul 02, 2011 Jadie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm really being generous here when I say that Earthborn was "okay," but to say I disliked it would also be too extreme I feel. If I could, I would say it's somewhere in the middle. When I first started reading it, I was horribly disappointed. The book is set about 500 years after Earthfall, the last book. The only original character that is left is Shedemei. The rest are referred to as ancient heroes by the people in Earthborn and very few know the true stories of the Heroes, though Nafai inscr ...more
Nathan Johnson
Jul 10, 2010 Nathan Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2010 Brenda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, dnf
It's been a long time since I read the other books in this series. In fact, it was in June of 2003 that I read Earthfall (book 4 in the series). I honestly don't remember much about them, but according to my goodreads ratings, I really liked them a lot.

I couldn't even finish this one. I think it's mainly because I didn't care for the story, but also contributing may be that I'm not LDS (and there is just so much in here that parallels the Book of Mormon, and it's too blatant to ignore), and als
This book takes place generations after the last book which makes it both an outlier of the five books and a hell of a lot more confusing than it need be. As it has been generations, the stories of the first four novels have become legends and the legends have become myth and are religious in their overtone.

I was pleased however that Shedemi, the character I came to love over the last two books remained alive in the cloak of the Starmaster spending hundreds of years asleep and waking up to tend
May 23, 2011 Villager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the final book in the Homecoming series. In many respects it was a story that could stand alone. With one exception ... all of the characters were new. The story was strong with many themes including religious freedom, redemption, love, finding oneself and impact of discrimination (as well as slavery). I must admit that I wasn't excited about the beginning of the book ... because I realized that it didn't have any of the characters that I grew to know in the first 4 books of the series ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I felt like the concept of the Homecoming series was intreging. Mankind exiled from earth, the promised land, until they learned to get along better and evolve into better people. Technology was stifled to keep us from killing each other off in the meantime. Millions of years later mankind is no better but they get to return...hmmm.... Oh, and 'god' is a computer called the oversoul...

The series was a quick read that was easy to get through but not satisfying. It just seemed like a retelling of
Jan 19, 2012 Ella rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book pissed me right the eff off. I read this whole series two and a half years ago and I'm still mad thinking about it. You spend four whole books getting invested in a series of characters, a particular world and culture, etc., and then the final one is set thousands of years in the future with a totally new society? If that's what you wanted why not just write it as a stand alone? It really felt like he just got bored with his premise and got as close to rocks-fall-everybody-dies as he c ...more
Sep 22, 2012 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2013 Christophe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bien des siècles se sont écoulés depuis l'épopée du retour sur terre. Les descendants de Nafaï ont fondé de multiples royaumes et cohabitent tant bien que mal avec les anges et les fouisseurs. Depuis son vaisseau en orbite, Shedemei, gardée en vie par le manteau de pilote stellaire et de nombreuses périodes d'hibernation, surveille le développement de la planète avec l'aide de Surâme, l'ordinateur-dieu qui les a guidés depuis le début. Mais il lui reste encore un mystère a élucider : pourquoi l
Steven Brandt (Audiobook-Heaven)
It has now been a few hundred years since mankind returned to the planet Earth after an absence of some 40 million years. Brothers Nafai and Elemak were never able to mend the rift between them and with the death of their father, who led his family back to Earth, their differences were irrevocably set in stone. The planet’s new population grew quickly in the ensuing years with the descendants of Nafai, the Nafari, always at war with the Elemaki, with the Earth’s two new sentient species, angels ...more
May 02, 2014 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I felt Card had literally lost the plot by this point!
According to the first books in the series, the mighty computer that has kept the planet Harmony harmonious for millions of years (the 'Oversoul') is now beginning to run down. Because it has achieved this by limiting technology, there is no technology on Harmony advanced enough to fix it, so it sends a party back to Earth, where it had originally come from, for fresh instructions.

By the time the party reach Earth, though, they have apparent
Mel Windham
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
Jun 22, 2015 Alina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like in the other Homecoming books, the characters are very well designed and realistic and I quickly got interested in them and the plot. I got a slower start on the first 30-or-so pages, because of the new naming scheme and the all new characters. But after this, the story started flowing.

The focus on religion is stronger, but it also deals with racism and discrimination against women. I saw that many readers were disappointed of its significantly religious nature, but for myself it did noth
John Loyd
Apr 08, 2015 John Loyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Earthborn (1995) 420 pages by Orson Scott Card.

This is the fifth (and concluding) volume of the Homecoming series. I was really happy that no Nafai/Elemak battle. There was a recurring theme in the first four books that Elemak would get mad, insanely mad, and try to kill Nafai. Nafai would survive, but he couldn't use the same tactics or he would lose control of his supporters. They would follow Elemak instead of him. Four books and Elemak never changed.

Earthborn was a start contrast. Here we ha
Alex Dove
May 28, 2015 Alex Dove rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I was very disappointed with this book because it made the previous 4 seem like a very long and almost unnecessary prologue, almost the reverse of The Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This plagued me because all of the characters, conflict, and intrigue that had been building up were suddenly reduced to a distant memory that may or may not have actually happened (in the minds of the characters of this book at least).

Other than this I have had problems with the Homecoming sage as
Morgan Schreffler
Jan 03, 2016 Morgan Schreffler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In contrast to what others say about this book, I really enjoyed the final volume. Yes, the new name scheme is a bit annoying, and yes, it sucks that we don't get to see what happened to the characters from books 1-4. However, I loved that Shedemei turned out to be Jesus and I liked the true nature of the Keeper (though I was disappointed at the lack of explanation of the Keeper's faster-than-light communication). For those readers who didn't like the jarring change of literally everything when ...more
Debra Meyer
If you have ever read the Bible and the book of Mormon, then listening or reading this series will give your brain a serious slap. I have trouble giving this series a good rating simply because if this had been done with any other books there would have been such screaming of plagarism so loud that the books would have been buried and never to see the light of day again. What Card has done is taking the 2 books and cut out and mixed up all the stories of the bible and the book of momon, changed ...more
May 08, 2016 Matias rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Me lleve una sorpresa muy desagradable con este libro. Jamas espere que una saga excelente se tornara tan mala tan rapido y estoy muy decepcionado con el resultado.
En primer lugar, la historia pasa de ser una de ciencia ficcion con problematicas atrapantes y soluciones ingeniosas a ser una historia mas bien teologica y politica. En mi opinion me resulto muy insipida.
Otro de los problemas con los que me encontre fue que, a pesar de que no venia muy bien la historia, tenia la esperanza de que algu
Jul 06, 2016 jjonas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A disappointing conclusion to an otherwise good series.

About the only good thing about this final part was that the neverending fight between Nafai and Elemak was gone. It had gone on for four books already, so it really was about time. Unfortunately it was replaced by a preachy story about religion and bigotry. There cast of characters was almost completely new, and I found it difficult at times to follow who was who, and what their relation to the others was etc. Many of the characters were su
Scott Law
The last book of the series and suddenly all the characters from the other four are gone and you have to learn about new ones with new names and language structure. OTOH, while the first four had an Old Testament feel, this one was more like the New. The parallels with Christian thought come through stronger as you go a long. Which made it more interesting to me despite having to start all over. OTGH, I don't really feel like anything was resolved. Just another iteration. But there again, it is ...more
Electric Bubbles
I think this was my favorite book of the series. I wish people could read this book without reading the five books before, but really that wouldn't work. Not that we are following the same characters; the only character who was in the earlier books is Shedemei. But without a proper history of the Oversoul and the Keeper of Earth, how each speaks to people, how humans came back to earth, and how they integrated with the Angels and Diggers, you won't understand what went so wrong.
My favorite part
Jul 22, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely the best of the Homecoming series, Earthborn finally pays off threads that have been building (slowly and painfully at times) through the previous 4 books. All but one of the previous characters are now long dead and Earthborn picks up the story 500 years later, following the nations that have arisen among the decedents of the previous stories characters.

This book finally reveals the nature and methods of the Keeper and has a lot to say about faith, ethics and government. Card is a M
Michael Shea
Sep 25, 2016 Michael Shea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, 5 stars, but this book probably isn't for everyone. I was moved to tears at the climax of the book, but then again, I always at cry at sad movies; great catharsis.

We continue that story from book four, but 500+ years in the future. Only Shedemi and the Oversoul return to the plot. The book might be addressing race relations in the United States. It might also be expressing the sometimes Christian wish for universal love. The story took a looong time to build, but the conclusion was worth it
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
More about Orson Scott Card...

Other Books in the Series

Homecoming Saga (5 books)
  • The Memory of Earth (Homecoming, #1)
  • The Call of Earth (Homecoming, #2)
  • The Ships of Earth (Homecoming, #3)
  • Earthfall (Homecoming, #4)

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“...He found himself filled with joy, for now his existence had a meaning. He had a future, because he was part of a world that had a future, and instead of wanting to decide for himself and determine that future for everyone else, he knew that he would be glad just to touch some small part of it. To marry and give happiness to his wife. To have a child and give it the same love that his parents gave him. To have a friend and ease his burdedn now and then. To have a skill or a secret and teach it to a student whose life might be changed a little by what he learned. Why had he dreamed of leading armies, whichwould accomplish nothing, when he could do these miraculous small things and change the world?” 1 likes
“That's the difference between life and art, of course. Life has no frames, no curtains, no beginnings and no endings.” 1 likes
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