I received this book for free by the author for an honest and impartial review. My receiving the book in no way affects my review.
TITLE: The Homecoming
AUTHOR: J. Scott Coatsworth
GENRE: LGBT Romance, Fantasy
RATING: 2 ½ Stars
SUMMARY: When his own world is destroyed, Aldiss and his crew barely manage to escape, leaving friends and lovers behind. What was meant to be an exploratory trip back to the home world turns into a mad dash for survival.
When they awaken from stasis on Earth, which was abandoned by humanity five centuries before, they must quickly learn about their new home. While exploring the region around the ship, Aldiss meets Hari, a shape-changer, whose people harbor secrets that might cost the crew their lives.
The Homecoming had a mixture of pros and cons. I think the biggest issue with the book was that it was too short. There’s a reason fantasy stories are long. It’s to allow ample room for world building and character development, to key points in the genre. The story didn’t allow for this. Important details and developments are crammed into a short number of pages, leaving you wanting (and needing) more.
Scott Coatsworth is talented. The writing was strong, with great imagery. The characters were intriguing and I was genuinely interested about the worlds, but for the majority of the story I was confused and wanting to know more—why did humans leave earth, what happened on their new planet, what are all these unique things they keep mentioning? How do wolves shift to humans? Why are there only certain wolves that do?
Aldiss and Hari had potential as characters, but the space the author allowed for them to grow and form a relationship, wasn’t enough. The romance felt rushed, especially since it doesn’t start till a good portion of the way through the story.
To put simply in terms of pros and cons:
Pros—Great writing. Interesting characters. A unique world.
Cons—A little too much tree imagery. Too short, not enough world & character development.
What I’d like is to see the author take the story and turn it into a full length fantasy. I’d be happy to see 90-110k of the world. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be about sex, but rather about the environment and the characters as a whole. If J. Scott Coatsworth did that, I’d happily throw my money at the story and buy it.