Review: Home World by Bonnie Milani
A wonderful imagining of our future.
I read Monkey’s Luck a couple of months back and one of the things that disappointed me was the lack of world building (I mentioned in that review, it is a short story based in Bonnie Milani’s Home World universe). Home World is the original idea and filled in all the blanks – I will be reading Monkey’s luck again having learnt more of Milani’s universe.
The book suffers from ‘too much of a good thing’, in that by the end I had the feeling that Milani could have written this as two, svelte books instead of one. The story at times slowed to a brisk jog against a beautiful backdrop, and what a beautiful backdrop! Thankfully most of the characters and ideas are fascinating and fantastical all at the same time.
Without an Alien presence Milani’s takes a more scientific approach to how humanity has taken to the stars in the form of gene-splicing, and it is done in such a way that she manages to weave werewolves snuggly into the story. In fact, this universe is so vivid and well thought out it could easily be transferred into a table-top RPG or mined for a series of films/television. It won’t be Star Wars or Star Trek either, because this has some seriously dark themes, including gang rape.
There are several editorial issues, but not enough to bring the enjoyment to a stop. Some of the characters speak in colloquial tongues, but as I love Han and Chewie’s conversations I never had an issue with it, and you do get a fighting chance to understand what they are saying.
Pulling this all together, this book isn’t for anyone looking for an easy read. It’s complicated and thought provoking, but this is what makes books stand up above the commuter novels you find in train stations. If you like meaty books, with convoluted political intrigue, then this is definitely worth reading.