×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Home World
     

Home World

4.6 13
by Bonnie Milani
 

See All Formats & Editions

Winner of First Place in the 2016 CIPA EVVY Awards for Science Fiction

Centuries of ruinous war have left Earth little more than a dusty tourist world within the star-flung Commonwealth she founded. Now, amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Hawaii, Jezekiah Van Buren has found a way to restore Earth - Home World to the other worlds of the Commonwealth - to

Overview

Winner of First Place in the 2016 CIPA EVVY Awards for Science Fiction

Centuries of ruinous war have left Earth little more than a dusty tourist world within the star-flung Commonwealth she founded. Now, amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Hawaii, Jezekiah Van Buren has found a way to restore Earth - Home World to the other worlds of the Commonwealth - to her lost glory. Jezekiah manages to stay one step ahead of his foes, until his Lupan warlord-partner reaches Earth. And these two most powerful men suddenly find themselves in love with the same woman. A woman who just may be the most deadly assassin of them all.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781927559246
Publisher:
Promontory Press
Publication date:
02/16/2016
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Home World


By Bonnie Milani

Promontory Press

Copyright © 2013 Bonnie Milani
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-927559-24-6


CHAPTER 1

The Protector's shuttle dropped into atmosphere above the North American mainland. It raced its sonic boom west across the steel blue waters of the Pacific until the green ridges of the Hawaiian Islands rose from the horizon like broken dragon teeth. Within the quiet luxury of the Protector's private cabin, Jezekiah Van Buren leaned forward for a better view. Even this far out, he recognized the misty outlines of Maui and Kauai to the north of the island chain. To the south, he made out the Big Island, Hawaii itself. And Oahu, dead ahead, its outline etched in his heart.

Home. After three years of living the myth out on the galactic rim, he'd almost convinced himself that Home World was all a fantasy. Now, the beauty of the reality surprised him. Though not half as much as the thrill he felt just in being here. The shuttle banked north, following the island chain to the space port up on Niihau. Jezekiah twisted in his seat to keep Oahu in sight as long as possible. Foolish to welcome the sight of home. There was nothing for him on Earth: no hope, no freedom – just Mother's duty and Letticia's hatred. He did not want to be here. Yet his body felt the islands' call and his soul sang with joy. Sensors woven into the fabric of the seat picked up the telltale changes in his body's chem signals that betrayed his eagerness and fed them to ShipMind. The shuttle upped screen magnification instantly. Squinting, he glimpsed the sunlit sparkle on Pearl Harbor before it vanished behind the gray-green coast.

"You sure your sister ain't going to knife me, Milord?" The worried voice of the pretty boy wearing Jezekiah's clothes broke his reverie.

Milord. The very title sounded like a death knell. He'd managed to forget, these past couple of years, that he was condemned to be the future Lord High Protector of Earth. Jezekiah rose, put on a smile to disguise the loathing in the thought. "Quite. Unless you open your mouth and let her hear that accent." Simple cosmetics let the crewman fake the fiery red hair and impossibly blue eyes of the Great Family Van Buren, but the sweat sheening his skin was real fear. Admirable bravery, nonetheless, for a Sprite. SpriteType was gene coded for beauty, not courage. He pulled the boy's collar straighter, smoothed the silken drape of his double's blouse to show the flame-orchid crest emblazoned on it to better effect. No point telling the boy now that little sister Letticia was not really the reason they were trading places. "Just do the smile and nod. That's all anybody's expecting."

Which was as well, since their disguises consisted of nothing more than hair dye and contact lenses. He could have had the ship's surgeon do a thorough job, of course, But that would have made the switch official. Made it part of the ship's records, got it posted to NetMind. Odds were too great Letticia would be monitoring ship's records, looking for any hint he was planning something exotic. He had no desire to gift dear little Letticia a heads up on this switch. He was too eager to reach the Manor alive.

Jezekiah circled his stand-in, checking for any glaring flaws. The resemblance wouldn't pass more than a casual glance: the boy was a bit younger than his own twenty-three years, a bit narrower in the shoulders. Still, the lad bore himself well, and had a SpriteType's instinctive flair. He swept his jittering doppelganger a formal salaam. "You are perfection personified, Milord."

"Yuh-huh. Scuttlebutt's putting odds on blood, it is. 'T'ain't bettin' in my favor, neither, they ain't."

"The bet's on my blood, not yours."

"Yuh-huh. Less'n your sister gets eager." Pretty Boy's eyes searched his, seeking reassurance. "So why's she want to kill you anyway?"

It was a better question than the boy should be asking. The engineered characteristics that went into the SpriteType gene pack were designed to produce happy-go-lucky personalities in exquisitely beautiful bodies, not deep thinkers. But Type coding only guaranteed looks and talents, not luck. A Sprite who'd been forced to live by his wits the way this one had learned to think about things like surviving the night. He knew how that felt. Rather too well. But those were not memories he could afford at the moment. Or ever, if he had a choice.

"Wish I knew," was all he said. It was the simple, wholehearted truth. Letticia didn't want the Ring. Never had. Nor was she supposed to know anything about her part in the treaty he had worked out. Of course, with Letticia 'wasn't supposed to' didn't mean much. He pretended his sudden shudder was due to the cool air. Still, Kip Marsden would have alerted him had Letticia pried into his node too far; even Lush – no, better learn to think of his baby sister as Letticia – had never outwitted Kip. Yet. So Letticia shouldn't have any reason to want to kill him. Yet she had most certainly spent a goodly part of the past few months trying. That was one of the main reasons he was coming home in such a hurry – he wanted this treaty ratified before that damned assassin of hers got lucky. The other reason was on Den Lupus, preparing his alternatives. If this treaty failed, Strongarm would take the Van Buren Commonwealth down with it.

He couldn't afford to worry that possibility right now. Jezekiah straightened the Sprite's shoulders, tugged the trousers to a sharper crease. "Doesn't matter for you, in any case. You will be under the protection of the Protector's own Sec chief. No one is going to risk attacking you." He hoped.

He stood back, considered the effect. Not bad at all, for a joy toy who'd been gracing a petty officer's bed this morning. It would do for distance work, and Kip Marsden would make sure the KnowNet cams kept their distance. Past that – Mother was clued. And on Earth that was all that mattered.

Which bent the odds of making it to the Manor alive in his favor. Assuming, of course, that Letticia hadn't got clever while he'd been gone. Assuming that she hadn't clued her assassin to anticipate precisely such a diversion. He forced the odds on that out of mind. Still, if the last few attempts were any indication, her hired killer would get quite close enough to recognize the substitution. Ideally, just not in time to find Jezekiah in the crew line.

Jezekiah dropped back onto the shuttle's seat. The tendril of ShipMind woven into the soft leather read his measure, molded the cushions to him. He'd lost the habit of luxury these past two years; now, he allowed himself a moment simply to luxuriate in its enveloping comfort. He'd lost his edge in the Family games, too, though. That was the real worry. The little voice at the back of his mind recognized the bitter tinge in the thought. He hadn't lost his edge, it murmured. He'd blunted it, deliberately and with enthusiasm. The thought of what Mother would say if he were fool enough to share that particular truth made him grin.

"'T'ain't funny from my end, it ain't." Pretty Boy jammed hands on hips and scowled. "I still got time to back out of this, I do."

Not really, Jezekiah thought, but there was no point in telling the boy so. Maybe he should drug the poor sot after all. Would not do at all if the fellow ran screaming for shelter when he met Letticia's hatred at face range. He decided against it. Mother was clued; terror and Kip Marsden would handle the rest.

"Sorry." He put his working smile on, watched the lad relax at its false re-assurance. "I was just thinking what a lucky sot you are. You will be my personal guest, remember. You get to sleep VIP, eat VIP, even screw VIP if you want. It struck me funny that you should worry."

There, that put the dreamy look back in the lad's eyes. He really was a lucky sot; his dreams were simple. Jezekiah felt a sudden pulse in the energy field encircling his Ring finger and tamped the jealousy down. He'd need to find gloves. Thick ones: the energy field that was the Heir's Ring lit its yellow diamond shell from within. The result wrapped a cold, golden star around his finger. In a crewman's line, it would stand out like a system buoy. Or an assassin's beacon, in this case.

So, then. One more item on the to-do list. For these last few minutes, though, he was still free. If he played his hand right, he'd be back off Earth in a week. Without the Ring this time. Without the threat of the Protectorship hanging over his head. Free, once and for all and forever.

He upped the screens' magnification again, shifted focus to Oahu. The tiny colored flecks he'd seen before bloomed into sails where windsurfers rode the breakers. Beyond them, Diamond Head's blunt cone loomed over the curve of white sand that was Waikiki. The familiar blackened skeletons of ancient towers broke the jungle along the shoreline, a long, dark thread binding the Manor to his Family's history.

"Scrat me," said an awestruck whisper at his shoulder. "Those Home World stories really are true, they are." Pretty Boy had peered out with him, sham dignity forgotten. "Always thought the legends were sawyered, I did." The boy's lips and eyes formed matching o's of wonder. Decidedly not an acceptable Van Buren expression.

"Some of them are. But not Hawaii. There's no need to lie about Hawaii." Which tidbit was itself a lie. Still ... no point ruining the lad's fantasy. He'd make a fine bit of free PR once he was back out on the rim. And Makers knew – he corrected the Lupan expression – God knew 'free' was all Earth could afford these days.

The shuttle banked lightly, angling toward the great public port on tiny Niihau. Docking at three minutes, Milord, ShipMind announced. After two years holding his own on the rim, the title jarred. The reception party is assembled.

The muscles between his own shoulder blades tightened with the words. Jezekiah rose, shook his crewman's coverall loose. He touched knuckles to forehead, crewman style, pinched color into the lad's cheek. "Smile. You're on."

He felt the old, cold calculations settle in behind his eyes. His pulse steadied, the old half-smile formed of itself. So, then. He was home.

* * *

Earlier Van Buren Protectors had carved Earth's deep space port out of Niihau's broken volcano. Port facilities were carved into the inside curve of the mountain itself, creating a stone pueblo that overlooked the magnificent bay. Shambling along in the sweating crew line, Jezekiah risked a casual check back at the shuttle. Mother's personal ship nestled on the Protector's private landing pad, sleek and slim as a baroque pearl against the sapphire sea. Beyond it, a TransitLine cruise ship was freshly docked at the tip of the curve. The line of disembarking tourists snagged where it snaked behind the glittering dignitaries swarming Mother's dock. Fathers from the full dozen worlds of the Van Buren Commonwealth worlds lifted children onto their shoulders to catch a live-eye glimpse of a Van Buren prince. The children, less concerned with princes than pleasure, squealed in delight and played catch-as-catch-can with the KnowNet cams whisking past.

Nice touch, that cruise ship. Gave him a flood of tourists to blend into. Had to be Mother's work: it would take Van Buren level clearance to permit a hoi polloi liner to dock while one of the Family was on the field. Odd though, for Mother – she hadn't allowed the rank and file within weapon range since the Tong rebellion.

"Aw, damn me, they lied, they did!" The woman ahead of Jezekiah wobbled to a stop. She had the massive build and albino complexion of the deep space mining clans. Explanation enough for her troubles. In a pinch, a ship-bred miner could survive a good fifteen minutes in full vacuum. In weather they were defenseless. Already her skin was reddening in the Hawaiian sun.

And yet ... there was wonder in her eyes. Glancing down the queue Jezekiah saw that wonder reflected in a hundred faces. He'd seen it in a thousand tourist vids, some of them his own propaganda. The difference was that this time he felt it himself. This time he, too, felt every cell in his body thrill to the feel of Earth. He felt the pull, the sense that this place was right, that this was where he belonged. Genetic manipulation had adapted humanity to survive the physical demands of other worlds. But even the most radically engineered Types, even polymorphic LupanType, were still fundamentally human. Earth was home world, and every cell in every body on that dock knew it.

The wonder still shone in the miner's eyes when her knees gave out. She dropped straight, nearly taking Jezekiah with her.

"Where you popper?" Jezekiah asked, using crew pidgin. Clansmen normally packed small, pop-up umbrellas to protect their skins from planetside suns. The umbrellas also prevented ship bred miners from attacks of psychotic agoraphobia at the sight of open sky, but no one with a sense of self-preservation reminded them of that.

"No thought t'need it. It's Paradise they said." She breathed deep, nearly choked on air wet and heavy with the scents of ocean salt and metal tang. "It's lie, they did."

"No lie. Just summer." Jezekiah looked up as an airborne Sec cam buzzed the line. It slowed as it reached him, and he felt his skin tingle as it ran bioscan check on him.

"No screens, either – scrat that thing!" The miner woman swung her duffle bag wide off her shoulder, making the Sec cam bounce in its wake.

"Good shot." The cam zoomed off, apparently satisfied. Still, he'd been spotted, no question. So, then. He could expect to find Kip Marsden waiting for him the other side of customs. Which couldn't be soon enough. Damn, it was hot out here. "Need hand?" he asked as the miner doubled over her duffle, wheezing.

"It's no groundhog dainty can be carryin' me." Her words were stronger than her voice.

"Lender, only," Jezekiah said. He offered her his free arm, bracing himself so the weight she put on it wouldn't stagger him. Truth was, it felt good to simply be himself, do simple, honest work. Good to be able to speak from his heart, for himself. Likely the last time he'd dare such honesty, he thought, and his little voice chided him for the resentment.

Besides, he'd forgotten himself just how sticky hot Hawaii's weather really was. The crew's customs line snaked along the unshielded section of the dock, leaving the off-world hands to either exult or fry in the Hawaiian sun while they inched toward the bureaucrats manning the crew customs booths..

A hundred feet or so ahead a trio of towering pylons flanked Niihau Port's customs terminal. Open scanner booths filled the space between the pylons' stone bases. Tourist scans, those. Their section of the dock was weather shielded. Paying visitors were sheltered from the unpleasant inconvenience of real weather. Mother wasn't about to disappoint the chow line. For once, Jezekiah caught himself resenting the fact.

"Damme, worse'n scrattin' Streiker, it is." The miner wheezed, leaned on him hard.

"T'ain't, either." Jezekiah drew breath to chuckle at the defensiveness in his tone, wound up choking on a gush of hot, wet air instead. "Chance, at least, on Home World."

"Fuh. Maybe." On Streiker, parents careless enough to birth a natural were sterilized. The baby itself was simply thrown out onto the blue Streikern ice.

She eyed him speculatively, suddenly curious. "You Home World local, I bet. Maker, maybe, I bet."

"Half true." Alone of all the worlds of the Commonwealth, only Earth still produced true, genetically unmodified human beings. Only on Earth, on Home World, could one still find completely natural humans, those astonishingly unpredictable people untouched by genetic engineering whose looks and talents and traits were determined by luck rather than a pre-packaged Type code. Only Home World still housed Makers. Made for improbable FunNet romances on the rim and unenviable living conditions on Earth. Among the Lupans, Makers ranked one step below God Himself.

"Got hard body check coming, you do, yeah?" The miner's voice called Jezekiah's attention back to the line.

"Yeah." Dark memories tried to well up. He shoved them down. Not in time.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Home World by Bonnie Milani. Copyright © 2013 Bonnie Milani. Excerpted by permission of Promontory Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Home World 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
BenColes More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written, epic SF set in post-apocalyptic Hawaii. Ms. Milani expertly weaves high politics with intimate relationships, grand space opera with realistic, complex characters. The book is ambitious, even bold, and I enjoyed every page. Definitely a science fiction author to watch!
YuanJur More than 1 year ago
The first thing I look for in any good sci fi is to be transported to a world or setting unique in its own rite. Home world does this rather well. In Home world we are introduced to an alternate futuristic Earth Hawaii saturated with off world culture and influence. Home world is a full and well envisaged experience for any sci fi fan. It is written in a generally easy style with a steady and ever deepening story arc from the outset. For those looking for a full sci fi adventure instead of “hard Science fiction” Home world more than adequately presents that opportunity. Its core plot is introduced seamlessly and leading characters have individual voice un-cloned from other works I have read. Elements of intrigue are introduce nicely as the plot thickens and the reader is exposed to each new turn. There is a lot going on in Home World, an adventure I regard as well worth taking.
katekathyvale More than 1 year ago
Sci-fi is not my favorite genre, but this story got me thinking that perhaps I should look further into alternate worlds. In HOME WORLD, Jezekiah captures me and makes me want to be there through the entire adventure. Four stars for opening my eyes to the possibilities of a world with which I was unfamiliar.
Connie57103 More than 1 year ago
This sci-fi book is absolutely awesome! I would never have known that this was Ms. Bonnie Milani's first book! The characters are so well developed and thought out. I loved getting to know them throughout the book. It made the book even more intriguing! I couldn't believe how much Letticia wanted to kill her own brother. Usually, we all say we want to kill our siblings at least once growing up, but she actually means it. There is a lot taking place from the very first page when Jezekiah returns to earth (home world) from his mission of many years on the outer rim all the way to the end. It is a very long book, but it is so full of various goings on, you get through the book in absolutely no time, and want to start the next one. I am not a sci-fi fan. However, this book is so much more than just outer space, galactic wars, etc. The characters are believable, all the way down to the precise Hawaiian slang, that made me grin at times. This is definitely a book anyone would be interested in reading. It has it all and then some. The action and intrigue never end. Thank you Promontory Press and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book to read and give my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love books that include romance in Hawaii, but who knew I'd find this pleasure in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi? And what a tale it is - rich in scope with characters that leap off the page and a story with titanic consequences. Oh, and nasty, family political in-fighting. Intrigue, heroes, love triangles and Waikiki - really, what more could a girl ask for in a book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just finished reading this fabulous book and I am still glowing from the experience. I have read - rather, tried to read - a number if sci-fi books recently and given up on most. I mean some real classics. My problem with most was that they tend to tell and tell and tell, jabbering at the reader about all the myriad details of their made up world. Ugh. How to bore a contemporary reader. But Home World - NO WAY! The style and the technique are first rate. Ms. Milani is a writer who understands the age old maxim "show, don't tell," in a very deep way. Oh what a breath of fresh air! Readers of Home World are brought into its details in a natural, organic way, not via a boring data dump. The author is a genius at naming things and people and places in a way that both titillates and demonstrates at the same time. Among her many inventions are the wonderful "needler," a kind of miniature gun, "NetMind," an out-of-body Internet, and the brilliantly named "Venus Seed," a latter-day Ecstacy-type drug. Like the sci-fi world in which they live, Home World's characters are never introduced with the typical dull narrative bio, but shown to us through their words and actions. As a result, they are not the cardboard cut-outs that litter bad sci-fi novels, but real people with real motivations, depth, and complexity. There are no stereotyped "good" and "evil" characters here - wonderful villains and wonderful heroes, yes! but real and believable. But among all the wonderful features of Home World, the real joy is its plot. Because we believe in and care about the characters and their world, the actions they take reverberate emotionally with each step toward the climax. Each character has his or her own stakes, each is at odds with the other, and the dynamics between them move the reader non-stop to the end. In a word, it's a page-turner. Honestly, I can't recommend this book enough. Try it. You won't be sorry!
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Laura Roberts for Readers' Favorite Impossible to sum up in such a short paragraph, Bonnie Milani's Home World combines elements of sci-fi, romance and action-adventure for a book that's sure to grab readers from multiple genres. A truly epic story, the book spans the galaxy both inside and out, using a pinch from many different tropes, including space travel, warring species, and intruders in cyberspace. Ultimately the tale focuses on the Great Family Van Buren and their need to create a truce between their Commonwealth and the Lupans. Jezekiah, next in line for a throne he doesn't wish to ascend, has a plan to marry off his sister, Letticia, to Strongarm, head of the Lupans. Only one problem: Letticia hates Jezekiah and refuses to marry for the sake of his treaty. Add to the mix a spirited Samurai-trained warrior, Keiko Yakamoto, who's stolen both Strongarm and Jezekiah's hearts and you've got one big snafu on the path to peace. Milani pulls in pieces of many beloved sci-fi stories to create her own unique space opera, including a domineering ring that rules all the Van Burens, Letticia's hacker skills, and half-human/half-animal genetic variants battling in space. Whether you're drawn in by the book's political intrigue (of which there's a ton, and much of which was fairly confusing for me to follow), the cyber-drama or the romantic plots, there's a bit of something for everyone in Home World. Combining Hawaii and outer space is something of a feat in and of itself, but convincingly drawing readers into both Home World's dramas and those of the planets Jezekiah must visit to create a truce requires plenty of room to spread out and weave this complicated tale. In a galaxy filled with "types," genetically bred for distinct purposes, it's interesting to see how each character works within their own hardwired limits -- but even more rewarding when they rise above them. Home World's unusual characters and the novel's vast scope will keep readers guessing until the final page.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Earth is in a dystopian state due to centuries of damaging war. Jezekiah Van Buren, the intelligent yet reluctant future Lord High Protector of Earth of the Great Family Van Buren, has arranged a treaty. By marrying off his estranged younger sister, Letticia, to an alpha Lupan named Strongarm, the Lupans will become Earth’s powerful allies. The treaty will restore Earth to its former glory and release Jezekiah from his duty as the Earth’s next Protector. Upon arriving home, Jezekiah expected the trouble he faces to stay alive as he is targeted by his sister’s hired assassins. Yet love isn't one of them when he stumbles upon a warrior woman, Keiko. Unfortunately, Strongarm has also fallen for Keiko. Who will win Keiko’s heart in the end? Set in post-apocalyptic Hawaii, Home World is a fascinating and original sci-fi tale from Bonnie Milani with a lot of political struggles, family drama and romance. The characters' development is clearly one of the main strengths of the story – they propel the plot nicely. The future technologies in the story are impressive but I did have my moments of confusion to try to grasp all of them; ShipMind, NetMind, KnowNet and whatnot. Additionally, as the result of genetic manipulations, there are different classes of humanoid too; the Natural, Sprite, Lupan, Aryan and the weather-sensitive miner type. It took me a while to familiarize myself with the world that Milani created.  Overall, Milani’s unique sci-fi story is well-crafted and comprehensive. She is an intriguing writer with an eye for detail and a good sense of pacing. Her thoughtful prose is a rare find, and I’m eager to read her next work. Sci-fi fans will find Home World a good addition to their favorite books.
Bimmy More than 1 year ago
I reserve my 5 star rating for books that have that have a lasting effect. Home World has that power. I had the honor to read an advanced, advanced review copy and it is simply amazing. It's everything good scifi should be: well build future world with lots of tech and history, new and interesting "types" of people, and a vision of future earth that is believable. Milani also throws in a love.triangle...or square, but not in a cheezy way. Her characters are so vivid, you will be cheering or screaming at them. If there were a t-shirt....I'd be on team Letticia! She has to be my favorite villain of all time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deadly sibling rivalries, exotic interspecies romance, a far-future Hawaii, political intrigue, and the fate of an interstellar empire at stake - these are all wonderful reasons to pick up Bonnie Milani's Home World. But as good as the story is (and it IS good), it is the book's characters that make it so damn hard to put down. A post-apocalyptic Earth-bound space opera, Home World will resonate with readers who enjoy Elizabeth Bear, Jack L. Chalker, Paolo Bacigalupi, and early William Gibson. Pretty fine company to be in.
JonathanNLV More than 1 year ago
Home World is a wonderful work of scifi. It was one of the best books I've read this year. It grabbed me and pulled me in. I read the bulk of it on two four-hour airplane flights, ignoring the in-flight movie, then put in a late night (early morning) to finish it. I believe this is the author's first published novel, but it reads as if she is a far more experienced and established author. I am rather picky about my scifi. Too many authors, in my opinion, use scifi as a carte blanche not to think things through, not to make sure there is a logic and realism to their universe. Scifi or fantasy, I want the same degree of thought and logic as in an historical fiction. In this, the author does not disappoint. Everything worked seamlessly and logically. There were none of the "that doesn't make sense moments" that abound in other works. As a wordsmith, the author is skilled. Despite the differences in what has happened to earth, I could still see, feel, and smell the islands as I read. I felt like I was looking at some old photos of cities, but in reverse. Oahu was still there in all its glory, it was just many of the trappings had changed. Characterization was excellent with one exception, which I will address later. The main three protagonists were pretty clear, but there was more grey with most of the rest of the characters. No one was all good or all bad, which is a better reflection of the human condition. One aspect that I liked was that the character of Strongarm. Although he has perhaps drifted further from the traditional human biology than most of the characters, he was perhaps the most "human" of anyone. This was an exciting story with good action and no lulls. Scenes of violence were well written and with reasonable outcomes. Overall, I really liked this book. The one issue I had was with Letticia, one of the main characters in the book. I realize that the author intended her to be irrational, but even irrational people can act in a rational manner, especially when their very survival depends on it. In my opinion, Letticia was just a little too far off in lala land. This is not just an extremely good first novel by an author, it is an extremely good novel period. I enjoyed it and give it my highest recommendation.
CrystalOtto More than 1 year ago
Home World is the first novel by up and coming author Bonnie Milani. Home World is set in post-apocalyptic Hawaii and the goal is to restore Earth to her old glory something more than just a tourist stop. The hero of the story must overcome what most of us consider the greatest odds - he must turn an enemy into an ally. This alliance will dually serve Jezekiah by restoring Earth but will also release Jezekiah from his obligation to become Earth's next ruler. Jezekiah longs to be free so he can marry as he wishes and make Keiko Yakamoto his wife. Sounds like a simple science fiction love story, right? It might be...if not for Jezekiah's sister and the assassin she has hired to take her brother's life. There are many twists and turns in Home World and Milani navigates them expertly with her unique writing style. One of the great things about this book is how Milani manages to portray each character in such a convincing fashion. Home World sparked my interest from the beginning and was an enjoyable read. I found myself cheering for Jezekiah and I was quite moved by the relationships between the different characters. Milani's writing is refreshing with an unpredictable plot. This combination heightened the level of enjoyment of the read. Unpredictable yet heartwarming would be a good way to describe the way I feel about the book overall. Truth be told I generally shy away from science fiction but Home World is enough of a love story that I can say I truly enjoyed the read! I enjoyed the dialogue between characters as much as the description of those characters. For example, Octavian's was said to be fluttering graceful fingers at the controls - this painted a very clear picture to me. Dialogue such as "She is hurt. Think thee she could survive thy loving now?" Everything about Home World was very well done. I hope this is not the first and last book by Milani. She is a talented writer and I look forward to reading more of her works.
Margo_Bond_Collins More than 1 year ago
I&rsquo;m going to be honest here. When I picked up Home World, I didn&rsquo;t have high hopes for the book. The premise sounded interesting enough, but I&rsquo;m a cranky old lady when it comes to science fiction. I want the worlds to be fully fleshed out and the characters to pull me in. I feared that Home World was going to be another we-screwed-up-the-world dystopian fiction with cardboard characters going through the motions to prove how crappy humans really are. Wow, was I ever wrong. <em>Home World </em> rocks. By the end of the first few pages, I was totally hooked. Milani&rsquo;s characters are real people, driven by real (and sometimes conflicting) desires in a lush world &ndash; and surrounding universe &ndash; that I fully believed. Jezekiah Van Buren&rsquo;s backstory is skillfully woven into the text and rings true. His family members (oh! his family members!) are fascinating in their own right; they&rsquo;re not just foils for Jezekiah. Even the things about the protagonist that I didn&rsquo;t like seemed realistic&mdash;for example, his pleasure at thinking that Keiko is a virgin early in the novel exasperated me, but it wasn&rsquo;t implausible. I found myself wrapped up in an enthralling, steamy story of political and personal intrigue that kept me guessing from one moment to the next. I&rsquo;m not going to give away any more of the novel; you need to find out for yourself. I don&rsquo;t often give out five-star reviews&mdash;my many years of teaching writing to college students have left me with a clear sense of the fact that writing can almost always be improved with a tweak here, a shift there. That's why I always include a score in my reviews; I think a 6/10 conveys something very different from a 3-star review. But Home World is definitely an A-level book. If you like science fiction, you'll like this book. Seriously, y&rsquo;all. Read it. Score: 9.5/10