Title: Home World
Author: Bonnie Milani
Publisher: Promotary Press
Genre: Science Fiction (Space opera)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Okay I’m going to be up front about this–the author is in my writing critique group. So I’ve been watching this novel unfold over the last two years or so. I received a free copy with her final edits to read and review.
This is a rather madcap, zany adventure. There’s a lot of political drama, a little romance, and some of the best realized Hawaiin pidgin-speak that I’ve ever found in writing. Bonnie’s characters are all very distinct and fleshed out, and I think her characters are what makes the book work. You feel for every person in the book, even the bad guy. (one of those “Love to hate ’em”). Even though I hoped for a somewhat different ending, I think Ms. Milani did a good job in following through with where the story needed to go.
I loved Keiko in particular. This could be a story just about her, and I’d be happy. The book in general is about political machinations to keep the home world–planet Earth–safe from the designs of many other planets and governments. There are illicit drug deals, threats of war, an assassin after Earth’s ruling family heir, and a bratty woman’s designs to control everything that takes place in psyberspace. There’s also a very interesting dog-species, which Ms. Milani takes pains to flesh out and make real.
I had some trouble following the action now and then, particularly when inside the Net. There are terms and descriptions that took me a while to figure out, like the major domos and how the net ‘spiders’ work, creeping around apparently inside people’s heads. But the characters keep things coherent, and move the story along. I found this an enjoyable read. My advice to readers is to just hold on, and set aside your expectations. There’s probably going to be a detour from what you thought was happening.
Just hang on for the ride.