Half Way Home by Hugh Howey
Genre: Sci-Fi, somewhat YA due to teenage protagonists
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
My Rating: 3.5/5
Synopsis: Five hundred of us were sent to colonize this planet. Only fifty or so survived. We woke up fifteen years too early, we had only half our training, and they expected us to not only survive … they expected us to conquer this place. The problem is: it isn’t safe here. We aren’t even safe from each other.
I was a huge fan of Howey’s Silo Saga. Fast-paced, gripping, unique, I loved everything about it. His characters were flawed yet likeable and his writing style was undeniably polished.
Half Way Home, in comparison, was certainly fast-paced and unique. Howey’s prose was once again smooth and I enjoyed the ride he took me on. So I bet you’re wondering, why the 3.5/5 rating? Because, whilst it was a somewhat gripping read, it wasn’t a memorable one.
I read Half Way Home in a day. Undeniably, I did struggle to put it down. To me, it read like a novella; a quicker pace than your average novel. But this left the characters a little lacking. I did like the protagonist of Porter; he was intelligent and caring, and his struggle to understand his sexual identity was heartfelt. Yet it seemed to me as though I was handed these ready-made characters on a plate; they didn’t undergo a lot of growth in the story. Which is ironic, because the premise is that a ship full of developing humans in vats, growing to adulthood in isolation and learning specific skills so as to cultivate a new planet, encounters a disaster that results in the humans on board only reaching the age of 15 before being rudely thrust into the world, their educations half complete. This made for a very interesting concept, but I would have liked more development. The characters seem to understand themselves a little too well after getting over the shock of their premature births. This is why the novel felt like a novella to me – I wanted more characterisation.
But like I said, the story-line was highly enjoyable, and Howey’s writing was once again effortless. I wanted to know the fate of the characters and just why the ship encountered disaster before the humans on board were ready, and the reveal of the latter wasn’t obvious which was a plus. In addition to this, the novel definitely held an interesting moral viewpoint in regards to the treatment of humans as though they’re slaves. This notion of humans going ‘like lamb to the slaughter’ was something that Howey also explored in further detail in the Silo Saga.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fast-paced Sci-Fi read to pass the time, I would recommend Half Way Home. However, if you want to see what Howey can really do, check out his brilliant Silo Saga. You won’t be disappointed.
Sorry for the slightly late review of this novel, but it’s my last week of uni so I’ve been a little busy!
Have you read Half Way Home? Did you enjoy it? Have you read anymore of Howey’s novels, such as I, Zombie? Need some more zombies in my life so I might check it out myself. Let me know in the comments below!