Homebound (The Icarus Chronicles)

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Release Date
August 23, 2022
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Leo Fender is no stranger to catastrophe, whether it’s the intergalactic war that took his mother’s life or the ongoing fight for his own. He’s seen his planet plundered, his ship attacked, his father kidnapped, and his brother go missing—and found himself stranded on a ship with a bunch of mercenary space pirates.

Still, nothing could have prepared him for the moment he and the crew tried to save his father...and discovered a dark plot that could destroy hundreds of worlds in the blink of an eye.

Now Leo is adrift. His father has sent him on a mission with nothing but a data chip and a name of someone who could help, and Captain Bastian Black and the crew of the Icarus are determined to see this through to the end with Leo, to fulfill his father’s wish and prevent further conflict.

But as Leo searches for answers, he can’t help but wonder what it would take to end the war, to track down his father and brother and return to whatever home they have left—and if the cost of doing so is one he would be able to pay.

Editor review

1 review
Doing what it takes to save Earth.
Overall rating
Writing Style
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What worked:
This book is a sequel to “Stowaway” but it can still be enjoyed without reading the first book. Leo’s father has instructed his son and a pirate crew to deliver a data chip to a man on another planet and that quest is the focus of the plot. The captain has no problem stealing from others but it turns out he has feelings and a conscience. He promises to help Leo deliver the chip and he proves true to his word. The main conflicts are trying to find the man to deliver the package and avoiding the threat of aliens searching for it. The chip holds the key to preventing entire planets from being annihilated and saving the billions of inhabitants living on them.
The book touches on several issues related to “real life”. The heart of the problem involves the mining of a newly-discovered source of power that pits two alien species in war with humans and other species caught in the middle. The aliens think collecting ore is the most important thing and any loss of life and destruction of planets are acceptable consequences. The question of maintaining a balance between technology and nature is vital as nature is callously destroyed. Similarities to oil dependency can’t be ignored. Humans are viewed as violent creatures as evidenced by our history of wars and conflicts between races. We’ve even enslaved our own species so the hypocrisy of humans judging other species is shared.
The complexities within characters and their relations with others are fondly developed in the story. As mentioned, the captain is a “ruthless” pirate who displays contrasting actions as he helps others. Leo deeply misses his father and brother and he cherishes the memories of his deceased mother. Robots are programmed to express personalities and emotions and two of them actually become close enough to exchange algorithms. An apathetic alien is forced to reconsider his position in the war before he becomes an ally to the main characters. The human race must reexamine friends and foes to make sense of the universe. Relationships aren’t black and white, but shades of grey.
What didn’t work as well:
The middle of the plot moves slowly so that may turn off some readers. Flashbacks to life on Earth before the arrival of aliens are detours from the plot but help to develop Leo’s character and provide a contrast to life in space. The story builds to a dramatic, exciting climax that will please readers.
The Final Verdict:
The author imaginatively creates a conflict throughout the universe and effectively develops engaging characters. He slowly builds the tension and suspense until an inevitable showdown to save Earth. I recommend you give this book a shot.
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