Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2014
Like a few others, I started with Hugh Howey's "Wool" series, loved it, and decided to try some of his other work. "Half Way Home" does not disappoint. It is a hard science fiction tale of interstellar colonization with an interesting premise and plot twists. I read this book in just a couple of days because I found it to be a page turner and I could not put it down. That's my kind of book--escapist, fun, leaves you with some things to think about.

It's a great concept - mankind has found a practical (if slow) way to colonize other solar systems--send the colonists in frozen, embryonic form on slower-than-light ships that may take decades or centuries to reach their targets, with an AI computer to make all the decisions--is the planet viable? Should we activate the colonists to start growing into babies? The colonists are kept in Matrix-type tubes for many years, receiving virtual educations in the various fields needed for a colony--agriculture, psychology, engineering, etc.

Hugh takes this initial premise, presented in the first few paragraphs, and runs with it. Of course, this is a story about a colony gone wrong. The story moves quickly and there's plenty of action. As in "Wool", Hugh spares the reader nothing; there is some violence, and characters you are getting to know may not make it to the last page.

The story presents the reader with questions about morality, about ethics, about sexuality. Blind obedience to authority is an issue as well. Corporate/national ruthlessness and greed figure into things. Hugh packs a lot into this little novel.

This is actually my only complaint about the story -- it seems a bit abbreviated. It moves fast, and I didn't always "get" what was happening based on the brief description. At a few points I just took a hail Mary and kept on reading, confident that ultimately I would understand what happened. Perhaps I'm just a bit dense and others found it perfectly clear, but for me it detracted a bit from the total immersion into this world when I couldn't visualize what he was describing. Thus, four stars instead of five.

That's a rather minor point, however. Overall, I knew what was happening and the story flowed nicely from beginning to end. As some others have said, the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, but I would say they were pretty well fleshed out for the amount of time the story takes place and the age of the colonists (hint - they didn't fully mature).

I recommend this novel and am looking forward to reading more of Mr. Howey's very creative and original writings.
5 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink

Product Details

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
1,415 global ratings