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Homeward Bound

Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Series: Colonization, Book 4
Length: 28 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Summary

With his epic novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove shares a stunning vision of what might have been - and what might still be - if one moment in history were changed. In the Worldwar and Colonization series, an ancient, highly advanced alien species found itself locked in a bitter struggle with a distant, rebellious planet: Earth. For those defending the Earth, this all-out war for survival supercharged human technology, made friends of foes, and turned allies into bitter enemies.

For the aliens known as the Race, the conflict has yielded dire consequences. Mankind has developed nuclear technology years ahead of schedule, forcing the invaders to accept an uneasy truce with nations that possess the technology to defend themselves. But it is the Americans, with their primitive inventiveness, who discover a way to launch themselves through distant space - and reach the Race's home planet itself. Now - in the 21st century - a few daring men and women embark upon a journey no human has made before. Warriors, diplomats, traitors, and exiles - the humans who arrive in the place called Home find themselves genuine strangers on a strange world and at the center of a flash point with terrifying potential. For their arrival on the alien home world may drive the enemy to make the ultimate decision - to annihilate an entire planet, rather than allow the human contagion to spread. It may be that nothing can deter them from this course.

With its extraordinary cast of characters - human, nonhuman, and some in-between - Homeward Bound is a fascinating contemplation of cultures, armies, and individuals in collision. From the man whom USA Today has called "the leading author of alternate history", this is a novel of vision, adventure, and constant, astounding surprise.

©2009 Harry Turtledove (P)2011 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A grand spectacle of alternate history that depends as much on its individual moments as on its large-scale encounters." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Exciting Prospects

I love Harry Turtledove books they are so exciting and unique. When I found this book I just needed to have it. It started off in brilliant fashion and I was pleasantly surprised to find characters from the original two series taking part in it.

Home was as strange and different to Earth as you could have hoped, but then there were things that were the same. The race was found to be arrogant, complacent and totally self involved much like the western world of today only exaggerated. Hundreds of thousands of years of being on top had made them so; it also showed why the colonists on Earth were as they were.

I greedily lapped up the story and the appearance of the faster than light ship from Earth put the cat among the pigeons and the stories excitement reached a new height and was built in the way Mr Turtledove does so well.

But then, after setting such an exciting stage, it just fizzled out like the rocket whose taper has been lit but found to be damp halfway up.

That's why I gave it 3 stars the ending was stagnant. Finding how Mickey & Donald turned out was fun and interesting and a nice mirror of the Races experiment but there was so much more too offer. All I can hope is that Mr Turtledove finishes this tale in another book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Anticlimactic end to a brilliant series

Lots of promise but it just got boring.

No involvement of the Reich or Soviets they hardly get a mention.

I honestly don't really care about Jonathon or Karen they seem like they don't really need to be in it. Johnson and Mickey made this book worth the read.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Beck
  • 07-09-11

Novel storyline and very good narration

I was a bit skeptical about the storyline when I began this series but Harry Turtledove does a pretty credible job with his extrapolation of history, or what he believes history would have been had aliens invaded during WWII.

He has continued this quite well with this addition to the Colonization series and, though it does contain some weakness in the thread, the fabric of his history seems pretty sound and interesting.

The humor is genuine and the science, though it is not totally founded in modern science, does have some credibility.

In all a fairly good series and another good addition. The performance is solid with some weaknesses it is actually a bit better than the story. Overall it is a worthwile purchase.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaime
  • 19-04-12

Harry you should have stayed on earth.

Let me start by saying I loved the series. However, I was seriously disappointed by Homeward Bound. Why does it take 28 hrs and 9 mins to not say nothing? I mean really, nothing happened throughout the book. Nothing was resolved, We don't really know what happened on earth, many of the characters from the series are briefly mentioned but what happened to them?Worst of all we're left hanging at the end. I wont say more as I don't want to give away the story for those who wish to listen to this book. But I feel like after 6 other books we should have gotten a BIG finish and what we get is a well, nada, zilch zero, the big goose egg. The details of Home are interesting though, and you get some very interesting thoughts about different systems of government and you even wonder of the "races" form of government has some merit, This is why I didn't give the story 2 stars. Harry Turtledove can still make the details interesting, even if the big picture disappointed me.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Geoffrey
  • 10-05-14

28 Hours of Nothing Happening

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who enjoys watching paint dry. Someone who enjoys reading about paint drying. Someone who enjoys hearing someone describe how paint is drying fifty different ways.

What could Harry Turtledove have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I am quite positive Harry Turtledove is a better writer than I so I am quick to admit my answer above is a bit tongue and cheek. His style of writing is very much the style of writing his alien race of lizards would write. It is very thorough, the same theme is explored from the perspective of each of the characters multiple times. He does not take huge leaps in the plot, it advances slowly and steadily. Unfortunately, like his alien race, his story is not going anywhere anytime fast. I kept listening to the end because I was on a long trip and did not have an alternative, but would not recommend this book.

Which character – as performed by Patrick Lawlor – was your favorite?

None. Turtledove's characters were very two dimensional. I was particularly disappointed with the character of Karen. She is supposed to be a well educated, expert on "The Race" yet she comes across as a caricature of a 1950's housewife spending her time on an alien planet shopping, figuring out how to make ice for drinks, and being jealous of a lover her husband had 30+ years ago that he has since expressed no interest in.

Despite this Lawlor's performance was well done. I had no trouble knowing which characters were talking. The prolonged sss whenever someone of "the Race" was talking got a little annoying but became less so after I switched to 1.25 time to get through the book faster.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Confusion. This is the final book in a series and I have not read or listened to the others. Despite this I had no problem picking right up with the characters and the story so far thanks to Turtledove's repetitive style of writing. My confusion comes from the fact that this was the eighth book. Clearly someone out there enjoys Mr. Turtledove's style of writing. I would like to meet them and ask them a few questions to try and figure out why.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Angelo Underly
  • 12-06-19

Mediocre

I hated this story. I really loathed the characters. worst Turtledove book have read. I was hoping someone would blow Sam Yeager out of an airlock.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lady Pamela
  • 04-05-19

This Book Review Needs a Title

Put this in the category of DNF. Did not finish. 28 hours on a subject that's of little interest.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Timothy R. Branion
  • 13-04-19

Blech

Such a waste of potential. I am tired of his repetitive phrases and lack of progressing story line.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • petter
  • 21-09-18

Could have been a lot shorter.

The first 15 hours just repeats the same points over and over. Then it begins.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bobby
  • 16-09-18

Loved it

Perfect Little Bow, wish M and D were a bit more fleshed out. Wouldn't have mind a few chapters from one of their POVs But besides that, decent supense in the build up. Being the first book series I've read since harry potter, I absolutely loved every bit out it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark & Holly
  • 09-07-18

Anticlimatic end to the series and overall story.

The end was OK however there was nothing out of the ordinary in regards to a climax. lt was a disappointing end to the series.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • JohnInSTL
  • 24-06-18

Soooo repetitive!

As repetitive as a broken record. Predictable and even a little preachy. Worst Turtledove book yet. Very disappointing.