Joel H. reviewed Homecoming: Earth (Homecoming, Bks 4 & 5) on
Helpful Score: 2
These three books made a reasonable amount of sense, even without the first three of the series. The author created a believable world of deep time and intricate family rivalry. Unfortunately, the eugenics & authoritarian messages came on a bit too strong for me, distracting from what would otherwise have been a very fun story.
Orson Card has created a brilliant scenario, a variation, perhaps, on Farmer's Riverworld.
Humans rendered the earth uninhabitable 50 million years before, and one of the colonies that escaped is sending a small delegation back. Earth is inhabited by two intelligent species, one evolved from rats, the other from bats. Even before the two dozen settlers land, they have a sharp internal division that will never be resolved. One group is headed by a weakling who did not want the job. He will be the good guy. The other is headed by a Machiavellian warrior, his brother. He is designated bad guy. Both books unfold according to this sort of reverse misogyny. Masculine men are BAD. Girlie men are GOOD. When the second book begins, even the computer which they call Oversoul, which more or less functions as their god, is referred to as "she."
Written by: Orson Scott Card
When refugees from a war-ravaged Earth first settled Harmony, they built a master computer as a guardian of the peace-a machine designed to keep people from developing the technology that devastated their old world. Their descendants, genetically altered to receive the computer's transmissions, worshipped its voice within-what they called the Oversoul. But after 40 million years, the Oversoul began breaking down. To be repaired, its core had to interface with the even more powerful computer still on Earth. So it chose a group of men and women for a journey to that distant world, where they would establish a colony and, hopefully, thrive. But although it tried to provide for every eventuality, the Oversoul was a machine-not always accurate with regard to the dangerous complexities of the human heart and mind...