4 out of 4 stars
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In Project Tau, Kalin Taylor, a college student, tried to sneak into GenTech in order to pledge a fraternity. Unfortunately, he was captured and experimented on, being made to believe that he was a clone like his roommate, Project Tau. In the sequel, Homecoming, Tau and Kata have finally broken free of GenTech. But, GenTech has far reaching arms and will stop at nothing to get those two back. They must find a way to avoid capture, but everyone wants to take advantage of Kata's modifications. Will Kata and Tau ever truly be safe?
Homecoming by Jude Austin is a tremendously exciting science fiction. There is adult language and violence, but there's never anything gratuitous or written just for the shock factor. Still, older teenagers to adults would be the recommended audience. This is also not one that you'll want to read without having read the first in the series. Nevertheless, I have no doubt you'll want to read both books.
The first word that comes to mind in regards to the book is wow. Ms. Austin has quite the imagination and has built a world that's unique and vivid. There are new planets and new creatures aplenty, enough to satisfy all tastes. The descriptions allow the reader to feel like he or she is part of the story. The comparisons she makes are like nothing I've ever read. For example, when talking about one of the languages, the character says it's like "Gollum with hiccups." Another language is described similarly. It "sounded like a cat that couldn't make up its mind if it wanted to hiss, purr, or hawk up a hairball."
As for the characters, they were extremely realistic. I felt their sorrow, pain, and joy. I loved with them and hated with them. The author made me invested in their outcome in a way that only the best of writers can do. Kata is the main protagonist, but the secondary characters are just as well-written, making the whole cast come to life.
I also appreciated that Ms. Austin brought out themes relevant for our world today. Perhaps we haven't quite been able to clone humans, but the concept of human rights is seen throughout. What constitutes a human? And it doesn't end there. Abuse, family, and even eating disorders come to light. Once again, it takes talent to have a story so full of action and adventure that makes you think too.
Furthermore, the author uses humor to make what could otherwise be too somber more palatable. Just when the tension reaches an all time high, Kata or Tau says something that makes you bust out laughing. The balance the author achieves between levity and seriousness, between action and drama is perfection.
Like the first book, this one is very well edited. In the entirety of the four hundred page book, I found three errors. Therefore, I rate Homecoming 4 out of 4 stars. This is one of those books where you rush to get to the end but then you're sad that it's over. You become friends with Kata and Tau, and you don't want to see anything happen to them. This is a series I could see myself reading over and over again. I know not everyone enjoys science fiction, but this series would appeal to those that don't normally read it. If you liked action-packed books that add levity to lighten the tone and give you something to think about, I encourage you to pick this up.
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