3 out of 4 stars
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Homecoming by Jude Austin (the sequel to Project Tau) continues the story of Kata and Tau, GenTech’s escaped Projects (human clones). After escaping the brutal conditions in the GenTech labs, Kata and Tau make their way to the planet Trandellia, Kata’s home world. While the two have escaped the scientists and their torture, other humans are eager to take advantage of Kata and Tau’s super-human abilities, and their sub-human legal status. Will Kata and Tau ever be truly free? And will they ever trust humans again?
This book continued the excellent character development from the first book. For example, Dan’s voice is interesting, and the use of apostrophes to indicate his way of talking is not overdone. Also, Tau’s development toward independence and his reactions to everyday things as he learns more of the worlds outside the lab were believable. The characters originally introduced in Project Tau were consistent with themselves when they appeared in Homecoming. Additionally, the world-building of the futuristic setting was well-written. The cultures of the different planets added to the storytelling and character development.
The ethical dilemma of human clones and what makes a person human played a significant role in the plot. The ethics are complicated when individual humans acknowledge that Tau is sentient but the law states that he is an animal. The dilemma resulted in a satisfying yet not entirely expected ending to the book. Additionally, the book covers the effects of PTSD from the abuse Tau and Kata faced in the first book. Kata is mistrustful of anyone who treats him well, and Tau believes he must have a human owner. They both must redefine how they relate to humans, which also complicates their own friendship.
What I liked least was the language in the book. There was a comparable amount of profane and vulgar language and sexual references in Homecoming as in Project Tau, so I would recommend this book to readers who enjoyed Project Tau. For the same reason, I would not recommend this book to the same readers who I would not recommend Project Tau to, namely young readers and those who are uncomfortable with the f-word or Jesus, Christ, and God being used as swear words.
There were a few typos and minor punctuation errors, so I give the book 3 out of 4 stars. If, however, I was allowed to give partial stars, I would give the story 3.5 out of 4 stars due to the well-written characters, world-building, and story.
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