Title: The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones
Scored a: A-
The Homeward Bounders! I’ve been wanting to reread this for ages, but was unable to because it was region locked for sale. So during a trip to the USA my billing address magically changed to match my current IP and I got a lot of books I’ve been wanting for a while.
The plot of the book is Jamie sees something he shouldn’t – what appears to be two hooded figures standing over a map of the world in a strange room. As punishment, he is sent into other worlds with the promise that one day he may be allowed ‘back into play’ if he finds his way home. Until then no one can interfere with his journey, but there’s nowhere for him that he can belong. For every time one of the mysterious Them make a move, Jamie is forced into a new world.
Along the way he picks up two very important allies.
I really like this book and my only disappointment is that Adam (he shows up later) is never set on fire.
If I had to compare it to something, I’d say DnD and Sliders.
On the cover I chose, incidentally, the character most prominent is not Jamie. It’s a girl (one of the allies I mentioned) named Helen who has a very special gift and is coded as Pakistani, if that sweetens the pot for any potential readers.
What I really liked is how they managed to fit a preteen and an old man’s world-weary perspective into one character with Jamie. The story ends with the trademark DWJ ‘DONE NOW’ so don’t get your hopes up for anything lingering.
If you’re into fanfic, this book crosses over with anything. Anything.
Its genre is that mix of sci-fantasy that DWJ does sometimes that I’m a big fan of.