I realised quite recently that I don't really like giving things bad reviews. This might prove to be a bit problematic in a blog that partly aims to assess the goodness, or otherwise, of things that I thought I might like and then found that I did/didn't. It's an issue that I will have to address within myself.
But not today.
Homeward Bounders is, without a doubt, one of the best books I have ever read. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I can't quite believe I haven't reviewed it already... hold on, let me check... nope, phew!
I was mainly reading it on the coach on the way down to Plymouth and I'm so glad that I finished it just as we got into the bus station, otherwise I might just have had to stay on there and ended up in Penzance. I've never been to Penzance, but from what I've heard, it's full of pirates, so maybe that would have lead to a life of adventure on the open waves and not been that bad after all, but I digress.
For reasons beyond me, I never read any Diana Wynne Jones as a child, but for Christmas I was given a collection of her essays (thanks Dan) and I enjoyed it so much that I felt like I had to read one of the actual books themselves. I started off with Charmed Life, the first in the Christomanci series. I enjoyed it a lot, but I really wanted to read a book of hers that wasn't part of a series.
Good move! I remembered being recommended Homeward Bounders, and as it was easy to order, I went for it.
I loved it!
I loved the way that, even though it is aimed at younger readers, it doesn't talk down to them. There are references to Greek mythology, and moments that are really quite creepy. The story is really dark and deals with the very nature of reality. I'm not going to ruin the end, but it completely blew me away, and I just really, really want everyone I know, and don't know, to read it.
So please do, I'll even lend you my copy if you promise to give it back.
I've now got Archer's Goon and Howl's Moving Castle so Diana Wynne Jones-fest 2013 can continue!