Light Years from Home by Mike Chen

Updated: Apr 21

Light Years from Home is about a family whose life was completely upended when their father and son disappear while on a family camping trip. Jacob, a twin to Kassandra and his father are abducted by aliens. When his father is sent back and is rambling about aliens, the youngest sibling Evie takes an interest in the extraterrestrial. She begins working with an online forum group studying abductions and sightings. Kassandra has become a psychologist, and the caretaker of their mother who is deteriorating with dementia.


Fast forward 15 years and Evie gets a call about some suspicious readings at the lake where her father and brother went missing all of those years ago. Jacob is back. Over those 15 years the family has grown apart, but Jacob's return brings the family back together and forces them to deal with their grievances.


Mike Chen weaves an interesting intergalactic war narrative into a family drama that will keep you interested, while also pulling on your heart strings. There are some design choices he makes with his writing that were a bit jarring until about halfway through the book. He jumps back and forth in time seamlessly and if you're not paying attention it can make you feel like you missed something. Chen also writes each chapter from a different characters perspective. This often times breaks up some of the interesting storytelling he is doing with each character.


Overall, I had a great time with this novel. It's much more of a family drama than it is an intergalactic space war novel, but all in all it's a solid read. I'd recommend it.


Pros:

-Good pacing and characters

-Satisfying conclusion


Cons:

-Chapters broken by character perspective

-Hop between past and future can cause some confusion


TLDR;

Light Years from Home is a really solid Family drama novel. With great character interaction, an interesting world, and a heartfelt conclusion. Mike Chen found a spot on my bookshelf moving forward.


Rating : Fanboy Worthy

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