When his own world is destroyed, Aldiss and his crew barely manage to escape, leaving friends and lovers behind. What was meant to be an exploratory trip back to the home world turns into a mad dash for survival.
When they awaken from stasis on Earth, which was abandoned by humanity five centuries before, they must quickly learn about their new home. While exploring the region around the ship, Aldiss meets Hari, a shape-changer, whose people harbor secrets that might cost the crew their lives.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
This quick sci-fi read has an interesting premise but could definitely have done with being longer. Aldiss and his friends crash land onto a primitive Earth just reawakening after a nuclear winter. Since Aldiss and his friends have recently fled their own planet’s destruction things are looking bleak for them. Especially when they venture out into the world and find themselves stalked and attacked by a local wolf pack.
Except they’re not just any kind of wolves. In fact they’re shapeshifters, though most can only shift to human when they’re warm enough. Not Hari. His family’s line can change at will, and he finds himself drawn to Aldiss, partly because he finds him attractive and partly because of his strangely familiar scent.
The plot itself is really interesting and has lots of potential for a deeper exploration about survival and civilisation and grief and friendship. However it’s just too short, so everything is rushed or glossed over or ignored altogether. Aldiss and his four friends might have spent the last year travelling through space, but they did so in stasis, so when they wake their loss still feels immediate. Add in the fact that their world is so far away and they have no idea if anyone survived… well, let’s just say they all get over it pretty quick.
Then there’s the romance. What romance? They meet, they kiss, they meet again, they sleep together. There really isn’t anything more to it than that. Instant lust. Even when a plot twist is revealed to explain a few things about Hari’s abilities that should have had some kind of effect on their relationship – from Aldiss if not Hari – it’s simply brushed off because sex!
In all this makes for an excellent overview of a really good story that hasn’t actually been written. It’s a good read and I liked the idea of how the problem of a nuclear winter might be handled, but I just wanted more depth. To everything.
The Homecoming is Out Now!
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