Title: Light Years from Home
Author: Mike Chen
Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.
Fifteen years ago while on a family camping trip, Jakob Shao and his father vanished. His father turned up a few days later, dehydrated and confused, but convinced that they’d been abducted by aliens. Jakob remained missing.
The Shao sisters, Kass and Evie, dealt with the disappearance end ensuing fallout in very different ways. Kass over the years stepped up to be the rock of the family: carving a successful path for herself, looking after the family home, and becoming her mother’s caregiver when she starts to suffer from dementia. Evie took her father’s side, going all in on UFO conspiracy theories, and giving up her other passions to pursue the possible truth of life outside our planet. And always looking for Jakob.
When atmospheric readings from Evie’s network of contacts indicate a disturbance event just like the night of the abduction, she heads back home. Because Jakob is back. He’s changed, and the sisters aren’t sure what to think. But one thing is certain — the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. Jakob, Kass and Evie are going to have to grow up and sort out their differences, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and possibly an entire alien armada, too.
I liked the premise of this story, but the writing style and characters just weren’t for me. I read about 10% and didn’t feel any sort of connection to any of the characters, so I stopped reading. This isn’t a reflection on the story itself or the quality of the writing, it just wasn’t a good fit for me.
Mike Chen lives in the Bay Area. Light Years from Home is his newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/MIRA in exchange for an honest review.)