Monday, February 11, 2013

The Homeward Bounders

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones, 2010 (originally published in 1981). 281 pages. Published by HarperCollins Childrens.  Source: Bought.
"You are now a discard. We have no further use for you in play. You are free to walk the Bounds, but it will be against the rules for you to enter play in any world. If you succeed in returning Home, then you may enter play again in the normal manner."
When Jamie unwittingly discovers the sinister, dark-cloaked Them playing games with humans' lives, he is cast out to the boundaries of the worlds. Clinging to Their promise that if he can get Home he is free, he becomes an unwilling Random Factor in Their deadly, eternal game.
Jamie travels alone until he teams up with Helen and Joris, determined to beat Them at Their own game. But Their rules don't allow Homeward Bounders to work together.
First Sentence:
Have you heard of the Flying Dutchman?
Y'all know that I have an addiction to the wonderful novels that Diana Wynne Jones penned. So when I came across one that I had never heard of I had to purchase it.

Out of all the DWJ books I have read, what really made this one stand out would have to be that it was so different from most of her other books, and that the motives of the characters were vastly different from some of the ones she had previously created.

One of the things I always look forward to when starting in on a Diana Wynne Jones books are the worlds that she creates. The one she created in Homeward Bounders was such an interesting, layered world that was unique compared to what you see in her other books. I also really enjoyed seeing how she would pull off the whole wildcard problem that Jamie would cause as a 'discard' in the many worlds controlled by Them.

So, I want to go a little deeper into them and their game. Just thinking over the way They treated the people of their respected worlds is seriously creeping me out. Okay, so, I am going to try really hard to not spoil this book for those who have not read it, but there is just so much I want to say about the world and the antagonists in it. So, the creep factor of They is that to them the worlds and those that inhabit them are nothing more then pawns to be used.

I started out the book not really caring for Jaime, the main character, because when he was first introduced in the beginning of the book he annoyed me. What made him unlikable in the beginning would have to be his lack of concern for those who cared about him and that he kind of just went his own way. While I really did not like him at first, I ended up enjoying reading about him because the way his story was presented, you came to know him as a character quite well and you got to see how he changed in order to survive being pulled from one world to another. It was interesting because it helped me to get into the character's head and  see what he was truly made of.

While I really did enjoy reading Homeward Bounders, it was a little slow on the takeoff. What made the beginning feel a sluggish would have to be that all the rules had to be set in place and parameters for the world that Jamie would be traveling in. Even though I found the beginning to be slow, it actually worked for the book and the plot because it kept the story line from getting all snarled and knotted up. This is definitely one were as a reader, you are going to need a little patience going into so that you can appreciate the full effect of the story and the world that Ms Jones created.

Final Verdict: Another great book read from Diana Wynne Jones.

The Homeward Bounders earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.


  1. Replies
    1. It was! I'm a huge fan of the author, so, I could not resist reading it.

      The Homeward Bounders was a little slow, but the way the world builds and the character development definitely made it an interesting read. =)


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