Ellie's Reviews > The Crystal City
The Crystal City (Tales of Alvin Maker, #6)
by Orson Scott Card
by Orson Scott Card
May 10, 07
Read in May, 2005
The end of the Alvin Maker series (I think; maybe another is planned?). The whole store got more and more Mormon as time went on, and it became obvious that Alvin was a fantasy world version of Joseph Smith (apparently even the name Alvin comes from Smith’s history; Alvin Smith was Joseph’s brother who died). That said, there are still a lot of interesting aspects to the book. Unfortunately this is the worst of the series. It starts after a number of years break from the last book, but it doesn’t bother to explain what happened in those years (I mean whatever happened between Verily and Harmony???). Even things that supposedly happened just a bit before the start of the book (like whatever happened with Abe on the boat) aren’t explained at all. So the reader is constantly confused about a lot of things. Also, a lot of the newer characters are completely flat, especially Abe Lincoln. Overall the series was entertaining, but this last book was a big disappointment, and the strong Mormon influence can be sort of disconcerting. It was also weird to have Alvin as some sort of Moses figure leading slaves into freedom. The whole use of American Indians as some sort of holy special people is trite and weird, and Card’s portrayal of them shows that he doesn’t really know that much at all. The idea that they couldn’t be true to their past and continue to live among white men is sort of strange, and the almost infantile portrayal of their culture is actually demeaning. Although it did lead me to read more about Indians, which is cool. And while supposedly advancing the ideal of racial equality, Card actually continually points out all of the difference between the races he describes, at least in this fantasy world where the races each have different powers.
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