This short story is intriguing — if only it is longer so it could give it enough space for progress and development of both story and characters.
There are two main conflicts in “The Homecoming“. First, it’s Aldiss’s tale. Aldiss Harlson goes to Earth with his crew after his planet, Antana, is destroyed. I thought the short length didn’t give enough time for me to feel connected to Aldiss’s struggle in this new world. It also didn’t give enough time for me to care for his crew — yes, especially his crew. It would be nice to be able to form an attachment to them, so their — SPOILER — demise would be have more impact. The second part is Hari’s conflict with some of his pack members. I thought the pack’s politic when it comes to Hari and his dam versus current clan leader-family was probably more fleshed out than Aldiss’s. Without being fully explained, I could still grasp the ripples that happened within the pack, especially when the arrival of Aldiss and his crew in their woods.
The romance, unfortunately, suffered the most because it felt unfounded and rushed. There was not enough built-up that could ease readers into their relationship — which was a bit of a pity because I firmly believe that Aldiss and Hari would make a great couple.
The strength of this story came from the description. I though Coatsworth did a very good job in describing the scenery — the woods, the cold, even the wonderment from both Hari’s eyes when he first discovered ‘the two-legs’ or Aldiss when he heard the cries of the wolves. I could imagine it easily, and I even thought it would make a good TV movie, emphasizing in the visual. This was my first experience with the author, but I can see myself reading future stories from J. Scott Coatsworth.
The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Title: The Homecoming
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Genre: MM Sci-Fi / Shifter Romance
Word Count: 20,000
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: July 28, 2015