Out of all the books in the Homecoming series, this one had the most prevalent religious overtones in it. Because of this, I found it hard to get into the story. It was also hard to understand the context in which this book was presented, as what your reading takes place after humans from Harmony have returned to Earth and even after they've re-populated. You have numerous new characters to become acquainted with and it takes some getting used to remember their names and relationships with each other.
Going back to the religious overtones, you really can't miss them. It felt like Card was trying way too hard to bring his message about God across to you and pretty blatantly, I might add.
I also feel cheated in reading the supposed last volume in this series. While the book was a fantastic story, it does not answer any of my questions and does conclude the series for me.
What about the angels, diggers and humans? What's the point of them and their assumed symbiotic relationship? You never really find out, except for the answer that, "it's what the Keeper wants."
I had high hopes for this last book, but it fell short. A good book, in and of itself, but not the book that should have ended the series.
High above the earth, the starship Basilica orbits. On board the huge vessel are a sleeping woman and an artificial intelligence, the Oversoul of Harmony, returned at last to its planet of origin. Of those who made the journey, Shedemei alone has surveved the hundreds of years since Earthfall and the return of the children of Wetchik to Earth.
She now wears the Cloak of the Starmaster, given to her by Nafai when he chose to live out his life on Earth. The Oversoul wakes her sometimes from her hibernation chamber to watch over her descendants on the planet below. The descendants of Harmony have at last made uneasy peace with the Earth's new children, the Diggers and Angels, and all three intelligent races are learning to live together, through it is not easy. The population has grown rapidly--there are cities and nations now, whole peoples descended from those who followed Nafai or Elemak. Shedemei watches with sorrow as the war between those two brothers lives on in the enmity of their descendants.
Shedemei and the Oversoul have recorded much of the history of Earth since they came. But in all the long years of watching and searching, the Oversoul has not found the thing it sought across the light-years from Harmony to Earth. It has not found the Keeper of Earth, the central intelligence that alone can repair the Oversoul's damaged programming and allow it to return to Harmony.
But on the planet below, among the people there, shedemei and the Oversoul can see the influence of the Keeper. And now, in Shedemei's dreams, the Keeper speaks to her again, sending powerful warnings. She is needed on the surface below, with her knowledge and the power of the Starmaster's Cloak. And so at last she determines to go. The last living child of Harmony will return to Earth and search for the Keeper as she once searched for the Oversoul--by being its servant until at last they come face to face.
Book 5 in the Homecoming series
Like most of Card's book, the characterization was wonderful. I fell in love with the main characters, although I tended to skip over the parts he wasn't in :) He describes the cities and surrounding areas in wonderful detail, and everything has a rhyme and reason to it. He even works in the history of how the people got to where they are very well -- no tangents, no boring sermons.
Good read -- Card can grab you with his writing.
This one was a bit harder to get into than the other 4 as this takes place a few hundred years later. But it's very well written and enjoyable once you get into it.
The final book in the series and I very much enjoyed it.
Card threw me for a loop by changing the how he named characters. I thought he had petered out and should have stopped with four books but the climax was pretty good; including a religious conversion. Questions are left unanswered.
I like anything Card writes!
The concluding volume of the Homecoming Saga - Volume # 5.