- Paperback: 262 pages
- Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing (September 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 155404703X
- ISBN-13: 978-1554047031
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,866,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Long Way Home Paperback – September 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The idea is appealing - who doesn't love a castaway story, a quest to return home with only your wits and the contents of a lifeboat to get you there? Unfortunately, the writing just couldn't support the story the author wanted to tell. There were two big issues I had with the writing. The first was composed of a lot of little issues of terminology and jargon. After a while, the difference between a Spacer 3 and an Explorer 2, or a warrant officer and a lieutenant, start to get confusing - and I have read a lot of military scifi, I know what the "standard" ranking system is supposed to look like. I got the feeling that somewhere there was a nifty chart laid out with a detailed ranking system, which the author thought was cool and somehow wanted to shoehorn into the book.
The most irritating thing to me was the constant sexual background to everything. Yes, I recognize that add ANY two human beings together anywhere, and there's going to be SOME kind of sexual factor involved, however faint or unimportant - humans are sexual beasts, and Bain's characters are all youngish healthy specimens trapped in a small craft for a long journey. But it just got really old really fast having to slog through yet another random male's internal monologue describing the sexual qualifications of a random female. Apparently every male on the boat was evaluating every female primarily on her breeding potential. Again, yes, I'm a guy, I KNOW that this isn't totally unrealistic - but the characters just weren't developed enough for me to CARE that John thought Marsha had nice eyes and cute ears. Or that Luke thought Holly had firm calves. Etc. Etc.Read more ›
As others note: the story introduces, then discards, many characters who show promise of contributing to the ship's mission. Some are sparring partners, others are superiors, a few are rivals, but the author randomly eliminates them. And a few are sexy crushes. Now, were they necessary, other than as trite hookups in outer space? (minus one star) I think the concern with military courtesies is warranted- but this is a life-and-death.
So the crew of Hurricane Jack is led by Brackett, an understanding man, willing to turn a blind eye to fraternization if crew are happy, and he carefully gauges untried people in order to fill empty slots. The ship is a mixture of semi-automated environmental systems and humans who calculate and monitor its' trajectories and planetary landings. There are detailed explanations of systems like this:
"... then someone noticed how many longboats crapped out forty light years from nowhere. I don't care how many automated corrosion gauges you have installed, it takes a human eye to pick up some kinds of damage. Like right there. See it?"
He was glad now that he'd read so assiduously for the job.
"The different color?"
"According to the manual, that's an indication of impending damage.Read more ›