The Saturday Reading List: Half Way Home

Half Way Home by Hugh Howey

The Stats:

  • Science-fiction, dystopian (kind of ), adventure (if you squint)
  • 3/5
  • Warnings: Some crude language, graphic deaths, and themes of sexuality. So yeah, if for some reason any of those things make you squeamish this probably isn’t the book for you.

From Amazon:

“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.”

From GoodReads:

“Less than sixty 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. In this gritty tale of youths struggling to survive, Hugh Howey fuses the best of young adult fantasy with the piercing social commentary of speculative fiction. The result is a book that begs to be read in a single sitting. An adventurous romp that will leave readers exhausted and begging for more.”

Zo’s Review: 

So…I honestly had high hopes for this book. Don’t ask me why. Maybe a combo of the pretty book cover (yep, I’m a sucker for pretty book covers) and the minimalistic but ominous book cover summary. However, when I finished reading, my thoughts were, “Eh, it was okay…”.

I think, overall, the book was too short. And also it was a first person perspective, which if you’ve read my previous review you know those tend to not be my favorite. Honestly, I feel like I wasn’t really given that much time to care about the characters. I’ve read some review where people were thrown off by the personalities of the characters. They’re supposed to be these 15 year old kids who have lived all of their lives up until this point in a computer simulated environment while they grew up inside test tubes so obviously, I wasn’t expecting them to completely act like typical 15 year olds. What bugged me is somewhat is that the main character and almost most of the other characters were kind of forgettable. There were many times where I paused and went, “Wait…what’s the narrator’s name again?” which in my opinion is never a good sign.

Also, Howey seems to try to cut down on the work of creating substantial characters by giving them “professions” that are supposed to define them. Sometimes, I felt that Howey was like “Here! You know their profession so you should know how they act.” Honestly the only thing memorable about the main character (Porter, that’s his name…I think) was his sexual orientation and even that wasn’t really portrayed – in my opinion – that well and almost felt like an after thought.

Overall, the idea of the story seemed cool but it was just overall too short, mediocre characters, and not that great build up. Maybe if the book was longer or if this was part of a series it would have been better. Also, I felt the end was kind of preachy in a really obvious and not so great way. Maybe I’ll try Howey’s Silo series since he got a lot of acclaim with those books but overall Half Way Home was an okay book.

What do you guys think? Have you read Half Way Home already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Saturday Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.

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