Sunday, January 2, 2011

HOMECOMING by Sue Ann Bowling

Copyright © 2010
Published by iUniverse Books

Paperback : 317 Pages

ISBN : 978 - 1- 4502 - 1315 - 8

Only a single R'il'nian, Lai, is left alive in the Confederation, and he is mourning his lost Human love, Cloudy. Humans are now running the last R'il'nian planet, Central, which has become both the de facto Capital of the Confederation and the hub of the slave trade in the Confederation.

Snowy, a young slave dancer, has a secret, one his mother told him would lead to his being killed if he were ever found out. He feels the emotions of others. More, he is capable of reading the minds of others, making objects move, and even Healing his own injuries and those of his friends. But he does not dare to tell even his slave friends of his abilities, which are frighteningly similar to those of the R'il'noids, and some of his cruelest masters have been R'il'noids.

Not all of the R'il'noids are monsters. Snowy and his friends are sold to Lai's half-brother, Derik, and when Snowy falls ill Derik is able to recognize the disease as Kharfun syndrome, which leaves Snowy totally paralyzed. Could Snowy himself be R'il'noid? His first response is the firm conviction that he is being lied to, though there isn't much he can do about it when he can't even move.

But beyond the borders of the Confederation is Riya, settled long ago by the R'il'nai. Here Marna is the sole survivor of a planet-wide epidemic, kept alive only by her determination to warn off any other R'il'nai who may find the doomed planet. She was on an isolation satellite studying a different disease when the epidemic started, but now the life-support system of the satellite has broken down. Can she avoid being infected, two centuries after everyone she has ever known has died? Does she even want to?

Lai, Marna and Snowy (now renamed Roi) have the potential to keep the Confederation going without turning it into the R'il'noid dictatorship envisioned by Lai's R'il'noid heir, Zhaim, but they will need all of Derik's help, and everything Roi has learned during his slavery, to succeed against Zhaim's machinations.

I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I got it. Into the first chapter, I felt like there was a possibility this book may just be 'over my head' ... we were introduced to a lot of characters and it was a bit of a struggle to keep them all lined up where they belonged. But, as I kept reading, I found that the characters helped me understand certain aspects that normally would have had me scratching my head.

You will fall in love with Snowy (Roi) - we've all known someone like him, and at times it was hard to remember that he was a teenager. But as a mother, I found that his safety and sanity became very important to me throughout the story.

Other characters - Lai, Marna and Derick all found a place in my heart - I think that Roi brought out elements of these characters that they themselves had (a) buried away deep inside or (b) never believed they possessed.

I found so many aspects of this book rang true for me. It should make us all stop and think - to learn to look after our planet and the people we share it with a lot better.

Thanks also Sue Ann - found something useful in there that I plan to use with my Reiki healing - maybe it's what has been missing for me. All in all, this is a good book. It gets hold of you and you will become totally engrossed in the story and characters and you'll actually be sad when you turn the page to find the story has finished. I would love to see this book made into a movie - it would be really interesting.

The only down side I could find to this book was that I struggled to picture the characters and the locations mentioned - but I am sure that was just me.

Do yourself a favor - READ THIS BOOK!

Rating : 8/10


Sue Ann Bowling said...

Thanks for the review, but you've piqued my curiosity. What about Homecoming could help you with Reiki?
As to keeping track of the characters, I do have a list of characters and a glossary on my author website.

Denny said...

Sue Ann ... I found it easy to keep track of the characters after the first couple of chapters. As for the Reiki thing - the way you spoke about looking back with the healing ... to the way the body was before the injury etc - made sense and has helped already.
Maybe the Reiki teachers I had just weren't that good at explaining it all too!