fiction, science fiction

Review: Long Way Home

longwayhomeI’m mad at you, Sabrina Chase. I picked up The Long Way Home last night around 9:00 pm, because I had realized the book I’d read earlier in the week to review hasn’t been released quite yet, so I can’t release that review yet (I’ll give you a hint, it’s GOOD, possibly the best thing I have read this year). Now, a normal novel takes me about two hours and change to suck down. I figured I’d read for an hour, then do bed and that sleep thing, finish the book in the morning. NOooooooo… at 1:00 am, I flicked the last page closed, looked at the time in the upper corner, and thought ‘uh-oh.’

You see, something I do that is strange for a writer is this. I’m a morning person. When I closed the book at one, I had an alarm set for five in the morning, to get up and write before breakfast. I’m cat-lazy… I have to sleep 7-8 hours a night, but I’ll take 10-12, and want a nap that day after, too. So four hours? Yeah… that ain’t happening. I reset my alarm and slept in until 6:30.

But it was all worth it. Sabrina Chase, you wove a world I fell into, lost track of all time, and characters worth meeting. The Long Way Home begins with perhaps one of the best examples of ‘in media res’ that I have read recently. The story which came before is revealed slowly, by the reluctant hero who wanted only to die… and instead saves the day. Moire, our heroine, goes on to think she only lives because she fears pain. But she rediscovers herself when she becomes responsible for others, and must care for them. Her life becomes a thing worth having when it means she protects others.

If you read my reviews, you know I have a thing for creaky trader starships with plucky crews. I have a thing for characters who are human, but have honor, loyalty, and come to life in my head. The Long Way Home provides those. It also gives us vast interstellar conspiracies, with hints of just how low the company which has replaced (or, as it is hinted, overthrown violently) NASA will go. I’m not going to give you all the plot, or reveal some of the twists. I’ll let you go and discover them for yourself.

The writing is smooth and compelling. I wasn’t thrown out of the story, that I recall (1:00 AM!!). I think if I had to compare it to another writer, that might be Elizabeth Moon’s Serrano series. Here you will find the colony worlds, the slow attrition of an alien war, and the disillusioned Fleet struggling to insterpose their thin line of defense between the enemy and humanity.

I highly recommend this book, ‘Tis good enough that I immediately forgave the author my loss of sleep. Modestly priced, too! Well under my impulse purchase limit, but I’d been told she was good. They didn’t lie.