Determined to complain (about Earthborn).

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Determined to complain (about Earthborn).

Postby Tome » Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:48 pm

Okay, earlier today I finally finished up the Homecoming series. I loved the first four books. Great, great novels--just as good as anything else Card writes. But this last book...

Maybe it was the way I read it. This book obviously has heavy religious tones. Fine. The whole series was like this, in a way. But this last book...

I don't know. The way I read it, it sounded like the whole point of the novel was that you can't have a complete life without believing in a god. Fine, whatever. Some people think that. I don't agree, but I wouldn't dare let that get in the way of letting me enjoy a good book.

However, the more I read, the more it sounded like people who don't believe in a god can't have a strong set of morals, and can't be decent people. Everyone not one of the Kept was either a jerk trying to make money or someone on the street, beating diggers.

I know this is fiction, but there was obviously a point being made, and I think that point is wrong. I don't think you have to believe in a higher being to know all people are equal.

Does anyone else have an opinion on the book? Someone convince me that I looked at it the wrong way so I don't have to have the whole thing ruined for me. It's the only book I've found by Card that I just didn't like, and I'd like that to change, if at all possible.

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Postby Jayelle » Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:56 pm

meh. yeah. OSC has what I call S.A.S. - Sucessful Author Syndrome. He's gotten worse as he writes more, because he's sucessful and doesn't have to try as hard.

I didn't even finish the last homecoming book.
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Postby Tome » Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:00 pm

I don't know if I'd call it that. It's not that the book was written poorly, or anything. It's just the ideas he was trying to, well, preach about.

Has anyone read this book? I've only spoken to a couple about it, but I haven't had any opinions from people who have actually read through the whole thing.

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Postby zeroguy » Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:16 am

Tome wrote:Has anyone read this book? I've only spoken to a couple about it, but I haven't had any opinions from people who have actually read through the whole thing.


Sorry, but it's been so long that I don't think I can made a coherent opinion/argument about this. I only vaguely remember it, and I don't really have a desire to read it again. If memory serves me correctly, though, that whole series felt like it was full of religious tones.
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Postby Tome » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:12 pm

Yeah, the other books had it, too, but it wasn't quite as strong. I guess this really isn't the most popular series Card has written.

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Postby eriador » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:30 pm

zeroguy wrote:
Tome wrote:Has anyone read this book? I've only spoken to a couple about it, but I haven't had any opinions from people who have actually read through the whole thing.


Sorry, but it's been so long that I don't think I can made a coherent opinion/argument about this. I only vaguely remember it, and I don't really have a desire to read it again. If memory serves me correctly, though, that whole series felt like it was full of religious tones.


I vaguely remember it in the same way. I have to say, I really like OSC when he stays away from religion, but I get LIVID when he starts in on that moralizing, holier-than-thou BS.

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Postby hive_king » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:46 pm

Or in the Worthing Saga when he switches from a fairly straightforward and entertaining story about psychics to a very thinly veiled retelling of the Mormon take on the sacrifice of Jesus. That just annoyed me. If I want to study Mormon theology I'll call some missionaries.
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Postby v-girl » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:46 pm

I've read the book, but don't remember it particarly well either, as I only read it once and it's probably been 5 years. I don't think it was bad, per se, but I remember having more trouble getting through it. But I remember being depressed that the story of the characters that I loved wasn't going to be continued in the last books. I felt like they still had a long way to go and I guess I wasn't quite sure what OSC was even trying to accomplish with these last two books.

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Postby eriador » Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:16 pm

hive_king wrote:Or in the Worthing Saga when he switches from a fairly straightforward and entertaining story about psychics to a very thinly veiled retelling of the Mormon take on the sacrifice of Jesus. That just annoyed me. If I want to study Mormon theology I'll call some missionaries.


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Postby zeroguy » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:08 pm

hive_king wrote:Or in the Worthing Saga when he switches from a fairly straightforward and entertaining story about psychics to a very thinly veiled retelling of the Mormon take on the sacrifice of Jesus. That just annoyed me. If I want to study Mormon theology I'll call some missionaries.


Well, it was just fine for those of us ignorant of Mormon theology. Wahoo.
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Postby hive_king » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:42 pm

The twins were named "mercy" and "justice" for a reason.
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Postby Tome » Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:23 pm

v-girl wrote:I've read the book, but don't remember it particarly well either, as I only read it once and it's probably been 5 years. I don't think it was bad, per se, but I remember having more trouble getting through it. But I remember being depressed that the story of the characters that I loved wasn't going to be continued in the last books. I felt like they still had a long way to go and I guess I wasn't quite sure what OSC was even trying to accomplish with these last two books.

Wow. It seems like everyone has read the book just once and no one really remembers it very well. I wonder why?

Let's think about that for a moment, shall we?

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Postby zeroguy » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:08 pm

hive_king wrote:The twins were named "mercy" and "justice" for a reason.


Characters can't have secular symbolic names?
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Postby mr_thebrain » Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:56 am

i hated earthborn. i didn't really feel that it continued the series, more like he was successful with the series but didn't feel like writing it anymore, so he took the book another way. fine. authors can do that. some can even do it well. this wasn't one of those cases. it was a terrible book. and yeah, it's OSC trying to mormonize everyone, like he always ends up doing. i hate that. look if you want to write religious texts, market them as religious texts. if you want to write fiction or science fiction or fantasy... well, don't preach anyway. i don't mind it when books briefly mention a religious belief or concept, like when it advances the story. but the underhanded sermonizing just pisses people off. earthborn was doomed from the start.

personally, whenever i re-read the series, i leave that one off the list. i basically refuse to acknowledge that it exists.
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Postby peterlocke123 » Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:53 am

Yea, so basically I hated Earthborn. I dont even think it was fully the religious aspect, but rather the subject. Didn't really catch my attention long enough for me to get hooked. Can you say boring?
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Postby wizzard » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:53 pm

I didn't like the homecoming series very much (I don't remember exactly why), but if he's got religious themes, so what? The guy can write about whatever he wants to write about, if you don't like it, don't buy it. If everyone wrote to be as neutral and non-offensive and all-inclusive as possible, there wouldn't be a single good book out there. He has a world-view, and he represents that view through his stories. I think it makes them that much more powerful, that he really believes in what he is writing about.
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so basically

Postby turidoth » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:34 pm

I completely agree with the general opinion here. I loved the first four, which I read after Ender's Shadow. There were six month in grade ten when I *was* Nafai. Earthborn was such a disconnect from the others, I've never read the book through in one pass, tho I guess with the sum of the snippets I've read you could say I've "read" it. I just wasn't engaged.

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Postby Syphon the Sun » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:24 am

Personally, I loved Earthborn. Some of my favorite quotes come directly from that book. It's not my favorite, but it is certainly--in my opinion--very, very good.

Regardless, he's been very open about the basis for the entire series. You complain about the last book, saying it has more religion than the others; but really, it doesn't. The entire series is his retelling of the BoM narrative. He told us that upfront. He wasn't hiding it. He wasn't trying to preach to you. He was taking themes and stories from his religious upbringing and telling them in interesting narratives. He does that quite often, really. Heck, the Alvin Maker series is based on the life of Joseph Smith. Don't like that? That's fine. Really, it is. Nobody is forcing you to buy his books. But complaining that his books are too religious after he's told everyone that they're based on the holy text of his religion is, well, silly.

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Postby Issibya » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:02 pm

everyone believes something, OSC cant help writing in accordance with what he believes. its just a part of who he is, and if he were to write intentionally trying to appease easily-offended xeno-religia-phobics, his stories would be false (as in not true to him) and thus be bland, if not down right sh!tty.

i dont even believe in god. im closer to being a secular humanist than anything, and yet i thought the last book shared an idea of forgiveness, humility and an overall sense of peace.

you can not agree/believe with his faith, i don't! but that doesn't mean you cant agree/believe with the kind of morals he's trying to convey.

even though im a heathen, i like the fact he trying to get people to take a look at his religion, and decide if they agree or not, without being pushy and intolerant. its obviously something that brings joy to his life, why shouldn't he share it?

im sure his faith and family inspired most all his books anyway.

the books are good even with a religious overtone you don't believe.
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Postby KennEnder » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:20 pm

Like many others here, I enjoyed the first several books in the Homecoming series (despite the religious similarities to LDS), but I really didn't like the final book much. I did read it all, but it was a bit of a struggle.
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Homecoming

Postby ClotharTheSeeker » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:36 pm

My overall feeling of the Homecoming series is that it was a series which got overlooked by critics because of the religious overtone.

I loved the series, and like the Ender/Shadow series, couldn't wait for the next book.

Earthborn was the only one in the series, and for that matter of any of the OSC books, which seemed, to me, unfinished or stopped before the proper polish was put to it. It almost smacks of the publisher forcing a print of the raw manuscript without the multiple review-and-edit phase that is normally done, possibly because of a tight deadline for publication (i.e. moved to earlier date at last minute).

For me, general assessment of quality, I thought the Homecoming series was actually a better-constructed and richer world creation.

All others ranged 9-10/10. I rate Earthborn at 6/10.

Maybe it needed to be fleshed out more for the storyline and messages to come across better and seem more "complete".

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Postby Fire-Quencher » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:55 pm

I didn't read the whole series. I actually only read the first book, Memory of Earth..

and I hated it.
But my reason for hating it is quite different than all of yours.

I also read Worthing Chronicle recently, and loved it. The whole Justice/Mercy symbolism relating to Jesus... I really didn't even notice it, but now I realize you are right. It was very similar to the Mormon view of the atonement.

I probably didn't notice because I actually am Mormon. Those ideas have been engraved in my self since I was born... so I don't even notice when they come up in things like this. I don't think "gee, thats extremely similar to the atonement..." I just think, "gee, thats a good book, and once again, I totally agree with Card's perception of right/wrong."

(sorry for going off on a tangent there, but I feel that now you will understand better why I hated Memory of Earth)

I'm Mormon. Mormons read the book of Mormon. I know many of the stories in The Book of Mormon better than I know the story of the three kittens who lost their mittens.

In the book of Mormon, the first cool part, that sounds more like story-telling than Scripture, is very near the beginning. It has to do with Lehi's (the prophet) family leaving Jerusalem because the city had become wicked, and God told them to leave because he was going to destroy the city. They left, but they needed the Brass Plates (the only copy of the scriptures). Lehi sent his son Nephi to go get the Plates from the wicked king Laban. He goes in the city with his brothers and asks for the plates. Laban sent them away. They went back and offered him all their family's money. Laban took the money, and sent them away.

Nephi went back alone and found Laban passed out on the street from drinking. God told Nephi to kill him. He did.


There is no reason for me to continue on with the story in the Book of Mormon. Surely you realize by now that the last third of The Memory of Earth is nearly identical to the first 40 pages of the Book of Mormon.
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Postby Fire-Quencher » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:03 pm

Issibya wrote:everyone believes something, OSC cant help writing in accordance with what he believes..


I think there is nothing wrong with that. It's part of what makes his books so good.. The internal batlle of right/wrong between all his characters.


It's when he takes the actual stories from his religion that ticks me off. He can use his beliefs all he wants... but if you ask me, Memory of Earth is only a few steps shy of plagiarism.

(see above post)
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Re: Determined to complain (about Earthborn).

Postby mywildimagination » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:44 pm

I mentioned this in the other Homecoming thread, but yeah, Homecoming and Alvin Maker aren't my favorites so far. They're an interesting read, but I prefer his books that are openly religious. I think he's just trying to reconcile his beliefs with his experiences. He sounds preachy because he's basically explaining why Mormonism makes sense to him in a world whose values are often in constant opposition to his own. That being said, though, without the last Homecoming book, the message is garbled. The first four are all about the inevitability of human nature leading to wickedness, as I explained in the other Homecoming thread. But the focus of the Book of Mormon is on Jesus, and the only way to overcome human nature is through Jesus. It's not saying that non-religious people are evil, though. It's saying that they aren't accepting divine help to eventually become perfect. Mormons believe that eventually a person can become like God, who is perfect, all knowing, and all powerful. This is impossible to accomplish on one's own, so we need Jesus. It's a very long, difficult process, but Jesus makes it possible. So yes, non-religious people can still be good, but because they don't believe in Jesus, they lose the possibility of one day becoming like God. Which for many people is absolutely fine. Who wants the pressure of eventually in the next life becoming perfect, all knowing, and all powerful? People don't really understand the nature of sin. The real definition for damnation is not being as good as you could be. We all have the potential to become like God, so if we settle for anything less, technically we're damned. So there's no reason to be offended if someone says you're not going to become like a being you don't believe in.


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