Words, Words, Words, by Margo Bond Collins


Sci-Fi – Romance
Date Published: 9/15/2013


Amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Waikiki, Jezekiah Van Buren thinks he’s found a way to restore Earth – Home World to the other worlds of the human Commonwealth – to her lost glory.


Ingenious even by the standards of the genetically enhanced Great Family Van Buren, Jezekiah has achieved the impossible: he has arranged a treaty that will convert Earth’s ancient enemies, the Lupans, to her most powerful allies. Not only will the treaty terms make Earth rich again, it will let him escape the Ring that condemns him to be Earth’s next ruler. Best of all, the treaty leaves him free to marry Keiko Yakamoto, the Samuari-trained woman he loves. Everything’s set. All Jezekiah has to do is convince his xenophobic sister to accept the Lupan’s alpha warlord in marriage. Before, that is, the assassin she’s put on his tail succeeds in killing him. Or the interstellar crime ring called Ho Tong succeed in raising another rebellion. Or before his ruling relatives on competing worlds manage to execute him for treason.


But Jezekiah was bred for politics and trained to rule. He’s got it all under control. Until his Lupan warlord-partner reaches Earth. And suddenly these two most powerful men find themselves in love with the same woman. A woman who just may be the most deadly assassin of them all.




I’m going to be honest here. When I picked up Home World, I didn’t have high hopes for the book. The premise sounded interesting enough, but I’m a cranky old lady when it comes to science fiction. I want the worlds to be fully fleshed out and the characters to pull me in. I feared that Home World was going to be another we-screwed-up-the-world dystopian fiction with cardboard characters going through the motions to prove how crappy humans really are.


Wow, was I ever wrong.


Home World rocks.


By the end of the first few pages, I was totally hooked. Milani’s characters are real people, driven by real (and sometimes conflicting) desires in a lush world – and surrounding universe – that I fully believed. Jezekiah Van Buren’s backstory is skillfully woven into the text and rings true. His family members (oh! his family members!) are fascinating in their own right; they’re not just foils for Jezekiah. Even the things about the protagonist that I didn’t like seemed realistic—for example, his pleasure at thinking that Keiko is a virgin early in the novel exasperated me, but it wasn’t implausible.


I found myself wrapped up in an enthralling, steamy story of political and personal intrigue that kept me guessing from one moment to the next. I’m not going to give away any more of the novel; you need to find out for yourself.


I don’t often give out five-star reviews—my many years of teaching writing to college students have left me with a clear sense of the fact that writing can almost always be improved with a tweak here, a shift there. That’s why I always include a score in my reviews; I think a 6/10 conveys something very different from a 3-star review. But Home World is definitely an A-level book. If you like science fiction, you’ll like this book.


Seriously, y’all.


Read it.


Score: 9.5/10


5 stars





One thought on “Words, Words, Words, by Margo Bond Collins

  1. Home World, by Bonnie M. looks to be quite fascinating! I have read all the blurbs about it and Amazon.com reviews and I am deciding to buy it, I think, to read thisT’giving break. I am hoping to be able to compare it to the Tom Hanks movie / and the book, Cloud Atlas. In that book, the section “106 winters after The Fall” depicts post-apocalyptic Hawaii. I carefully read this section of Cloud Atlas and studied the movie and found this section of Cloud Atlas very unsatisfying and have since been looking for another take on far in the future life in Polynesia and the Pacific. From what I have read, Bonnie’s book, Home World, sounds to be a terrific counter point to the Cloud Atlas work!! It’s a fuller and more interesting approach to same, without the cumbersome pidgin English of Cloud Atlas and the convoluted sub-plot of same. I really think I’ll like Home World as much as Hunger Games, etc., and as a Sci-Fi fan who is looking for a different take on the future and with a west coast / Pacific flavor ( why do all “set in the future’s” have to be in post NYC or Mel’s Australia, or District 12? ) I’ll let you guys know here in a couple of weeks if Home World lives up to my excitement about it, or post a review on her Amazon page….

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