Less than 60 kids awaken on a distant planet. The colony ship they arrived on is aflame. The rest of their contingent is dead. They've only received half their training, and they are being asked to conquer an entire planet. Before they can, however, they must first survive each other.
Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today best-selling Wool series.
©2009- Hugh Howey (P)2013 Hugh Howey
Looking for complex, believable characters, an engaging storyline, and good narration! Fan of sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, and horror.
It seems like my preference is the exact opposite of the majority, because once again I love a book that no one else is wild about.
This is my favorite Hugh Howey novel so far - better than Wool, better than Sand. It reminds me of a sci-fi Lord of the Flies, but with a happy ending. Sometimes I thought I was listening to a Gregory Benford story because the feeling it gave me was reminiscent of the Galactic Center series.
A ship destined to colonize a distant planet carries a few hundred human children, growing in pods. They are hooked up to the ship's computer, Colony, and being trained for their future jobs through a virtual classroom. Unfortunately the computer suddenly decides to self abort the mission when the children are 15 years old. The children awake before they are fully mature and must fight their way out of the ship that is engulfed in flames. Less than 50 children struggle out of the burning ship, realizing they have not completed their training, and are therefore not fully equipped to survive on the strange planet. Because of the arrangement of the pods, the humans with the highest rank were located closest to the flames and died first. The children that are left have the lowest ranking jobs.
Hungry, naked and afraid, the children try to take advantage of the training they have received in their short 15 years. But not all the survivors have the best interest of the group at heart, and a pecking order begins to develop. The strong start to overpower the weak and groups want to splinter off. Things get violent. A democracy quickly becomes a dictatorship. In the background looms the creepy presence of Colony, the computer that decided to kill most of the children off, and manipulates the remaining children into building a rocket for an unknown purpose. Why did Colony abort the mission? What is wrong with the alien planet they have landed on? A group of friends escape the group and begin to discover secrets about the strange planet.
I thought this story was sensitive and intelligent, showing excellent character development. Howey built an alien world that is complex and interesting, and touches on themes such as homosexuality and vegetarianism. I fell more deeply into this world, in a shorter amount of time, than I did with his other novels. I wish there was a second book!
Who the hell decided that this whiny, emasculated Woody Allen wannabe is a good choice for a Sci-Fi book?? What a turn-off!!
Should have listened to a sample before purchasing... :-/
still really interested in the novel itself, going to read it instead.
I loved the "Wool" series, and was hoping this would live up to that series. However, it just didn't do for me what the "Wool" series did. It too, is an alternate look at a future world, this one with Colony setting up colonies to explore other planets. It's an interesting book, but just seemed a little slow going for me, and the characters never reached out and grabbed my interest. No problem with the narration though, as I feel he did an excellent job.
All and all, it just seemed an average read to me, easy to take the earbuds off, and catch up on other projects.
A few observations about this book which I thought was good but not great. I probably shouldn't compare it to "Wool", but how can I not? "Wool" was so fantastic that it set a very high bar for me when it comes to books by Hugh Howey and this book just fell short. Mostly, it felt unpolished and less sophisticated in its writing than "Wool". Looking at the publishing dates for the two works, it appears that this one was written before "Wool" (at least it was published before "Wool"). If so, his writing certainly got more polished with "Wool". All that said, "Half Way Home" was still a decent read. Parts of it are reminiscent/derivative of many different sci-fi books but there are many serious and thought provoking topics that can be discussed while reading this book. I am glad I also had the print version because the audio version is missing "Chapter 0" although I am not sure why. The narrator is fitting for the book and does a pretty solid job. He's not the best narrator ever but he is definitely good. The book isn't very long and it was a fairly entertaining way to spend 6 hours. I can't fully recommend this book but if it sounds interesting and you really like Sci-fi and Hugh Howey (and have already read "Wool"), then it's worth a quick read (or listen).
I half-listened and half-read this book after reading the Wool series by this author, and this one just didn't strike me as much. I had a harder time getting into this book - it was a bit more about human nature in a burgeoning colony than a dystopian society.
The premise and plot were interesting, but the narration was flat. The narrator's character is a teenage boy, with plenty of doubts and inexperience - but the voice is like a depressed Michael Cera, very despondent and detached and unengaging. That might have been okay for the first few chapters; however, the teens in the group evolve with the story, but the narrator's portrayal does not. I wanted the group to flourish, but the narrator's character in particular not to survive.
I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.
Seems like maybe Howey was still working his writerly kinks out with this one. It starts with an interesting premise, but it's clumsy when taken as a whole. The world was really fun to picture and imagine, I wish the story had had more atmospheric detail. I could have lingered in those treetops more. Still, all along it was like I could feel the author forcing all the parts of the story together, and shoving in theme hardest of all.
Yes I would, It's an easy story to get into. The characters are built well and the plot is interesting. A good one to listen to and fill my time at work.
If I had to make any changes to this book it would definitly be by adding in some more back story on why the kids are out here, and how things are back on earth.
He does a good job with really giving each character their own personality when he narrates, which makes the flow of the book very nice and it's easy to follow along with what character is talking.
Definitly the moment when the group of kids were attempting to escape the camp and were spotted by the enforcer kids. The tention in the moment of the one exit be mostly blocked allowing only one person to go through at a time and the enforcers closing into capture and maybe even kids the group, It's a good one.
I hate to bash a writers work but this is the weakest of Howey's books I've read. The characters aren't terribly interesting. The main character is wishy washy and whiney. The story is convoluted and just not that engaging. There are leaps and connections that make no sense and I was unable to suspend disbelief. It did pick up a bit towards the end but not enough to save the book. I'd pass this one and read his other series. They are much better in my opinion.
"Good story, weird production"
A long short-stpry. Usual Howey style - action, adventure, easy to read. No real sub-plots.
The audio is strange, with lots of what sound like patches - a few words or a sentence out of place, different intonation, different volume. Almost sounds sometimes like a different narrator. Not so bad as to spoil the experience, but strange.
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