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January 23, 2022

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen ~ a Review

by MK French

Fifteen years ago, the Shao family was broken apart. Evie and Kass' father and brother vanished, and when their father was found days later, he said they were abducted by aliens. Jakob remained missing. Kass became the rock of the family while Evie pursued alien conspiracy theories to look for Jakob. The two effectively don't speak for fifteen years, until Evie's UFO network finds Jakob. He talks about an intergalactic war, and the FBI is after Jakob. The sisters will have to fix their relationship to help Jakob.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Light Years From Home
January 2022; MIRA; 978-0778311737
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); science fiction

They're a dysfunctional family at the start, poor communication, dementia for their mother, and Jakob opens the book with his escape to Earth via transporter. Grief affects the family in all kinds of ways, compounded by fifteen years of silence and emotional distance. They all have different goals, though ultimately they're all about family. Kass wants to protect and care for their mother, Evie thinks finding Jakob will save their fractured family, and Jakob wants to protect the found family he made in space as well as his family on Earth.

The twist at the halfway point was stunning, and I hadn't seen it coming at all given how the first half had proceeded. It keeps twisting from there, and it's difficult to tell what is the truth and what is a delusion. As the sisters bicker with each other and Jakob, we see how much they still mean to each other, and how the love of their parents remains. They all want to save family, it's that they go about it in different ways. All three are stubborn, and becoming a family again takes work. I didn't expect the end of the novel, but it fits perfectly and I loved it.

Buy Light Years from Home at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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