I have very mixed feelings on this particular book. I really enjoy Orson Scott Card and was excited about reading this one. I was really needing a book with some more thought provoking points – this was a great one for that matter!
It’s a Science Fiction (which I also love) set in the future, when the Human Race has destroyed Earth and moved to another planet named Harmony. Most of the book sets up the scene, the people, the planet, the culture, the religions, etc. It was fascinating to read about. I enjoyed much of the religious overtones and similes through the first 75%+ part of the book. Granted, some of it was VERY weird, but over all I liked it. I thought that it flowed well and that the story and all details connected and made sense, and really brought things to my mind about our own cultures here on Earth.
It finally gets to the point of this whole story, in the last 15% of the book, not just setting the stage and it was the first few chapters of Nephi, from the Book of Mormon. There were not many variances from the story of Lehi and his family. At this point I lost a lot of interest, and some respect honestly. I didn’t like how he literally played it out detail by detail identically to the things that happened with Lehi’s Family! Which took away any suspense, of how is this going to end… Even Nephi’s name was used in Card’s book (I listened to it) but the main character’s name is Nefi! Really? Have we lost all creativity here? Obviously I got hung up on it feeling like plagiarism.
Nonetheless, I’ve always loved this story (in it’s original telling) it was very interesting to see how Card made these defining moments fit into his story board. It brought many things to the surface in a different light than I have ever looked at.
I think that the things that stuck out to me most was that the Oversoul’s purpose was to help mankind over come itself to finally develop the greatness that we inherently could have if we but tried a little harder. But that no matter what time or place we continue to make the regular trip through the pride cycle. Another big point was the difference Nefi’s out look was on everything once he knew the Oversoul’s purpose and goals and how he played a part it in. Little things, fights with his brothers, how he approached things he was asked to do, how he choose to treat people – all of it changed, because he could see more of the big picture and where he fit and learned more of the things that really matter.
Overall I did like it. I know there is a lot more seeing that he barely broke into the first few chapters of 1 Nephi. I worry though that I would struggle, because I would already know what big thing was really going to happen next.
In addition, I really like the fact that Card has been able to share basic gospel principals in more of a secular manner and able to reach out to more people. Go ahead and read it, if nothing else it includes some great physiologic and sociological discussion points.