Single and estranged from his family, Sean Hennessey lives and breathes his job as an LAPD detective. While investigating multiple cases, Sean repeatedly comes across one single man: Michael Yates. Sean is convinced Yates is as dirty as they come—what other explanation could there be for Yates always being in the thick of so many crime scenes? Yet for all his attempts, Sean hasn’t been dig up enough dirt to make any charges stick.
Sean’s most recent case involves a highly organized crime syndicate and one day, he literally gets caught in the crossfire. He ducks for cover into a car only to come face to face with Yates himself—inexplicably smack in the middle of yet another crime. Bullets are flying, glass is shattering, and Sean is sure he’s moments away from sporting a few new holes. Except there is a brief moment where Yates himself acts as a human shield and then…all the danger has passed. Or, more accurately, Sean is no longer physically where the danger is and it’s all thanks to Yates.
The thing with Yates is that he’s much more than just a suspicious man. Just as Sean has made his life fighting crime with the LAPD, Yates hold a similar role for the Peace Keepers—except that instead of upholding justice for a single city, the Peace Keepers are intergalactic guardians and they live on a satellite currently orbiting the earth itself.
This reality is nearly too much for Sean to accept—satellite-dwelling alien crime fighters protecting mankind is more than a little far fetched. The evidence of this truth mounts, however, as Sean explores the near utopian society on the satellite that Yates simply calls Home. Sean also discovers depths to Yates deeper than he’d ever imagined, starting with the fact that Yates is more hero than criminal. The realization is powerful and startling for Sean. He quickly learns he has to confront this forced expansion of his traditional worldview to one that includes alien lifeforms and intergalactic politics. What’s more, he needs to come to terms with the steadily growing attraction he feels for Yates.
For me, Home was three-hundred-odd pages of solidly underwhelming “meh.” For one thing, our principle characters lack personality in general. I cannot scrape together two adjectives to describe either one’s personality—come to think of it, physical appearance has fallen into that boat as well. While I was initially excited about the story eschewing any lengthy exposition about Sean’s or Yates’ independent lives, in retrospect, I found that skipping that aspect of the story leaves the reader with little substantive Character with a capital C to which they can relate.
Another, far more significant failing in my mind, was the plot—specifically, I thought the onslaught of one plot device after another detracted from both the story overall and the characters themselves. While I did like how often we get to explore an entirely different set of circumstances into which our characters are thrust, I was definitely let down by the execution. The scenes change so often, there was little time left to develop any depths to these myriad threads. Plus, I’m not sure if this is a function of how flat the characters are or how plot devices trumped character development at virtually every turn, but not having a good grasp of who our main characters are supposed to be meant most of their interaction revolved around feelings that came across to me as more infatuation rather than deep-seated emotion.
To name but a few of these plot devices, the story includes the following: the kingpin and his crime syndicate Sean was investigating for the LAPD (fizzles into a miserable nothing), the jealous man carrying an inextinguishable torch for Yates (causes legit concern over said man’s mental state, but more overblown angst of the hormonal teenage variety), the acid-spewing aliens (offers legit excitement but these lizard-esque beings are bewilderingly named the Krill), the semen hi-jackers (that gets resolved before anyone suffers permanent repercussions of the “harvesting”), naked pirates condemning the duo to a fortnight on an insanely inhospitable mining planet with vicious beasties (daytime temps in the 100s and inches of snowfall every night), the death of an estranged family leaving Sean and Yates the guardians of a teenage nephew…to name just a few.
To me, that is a crazy-wide net to cast for a 300-page book. Again, I liked how much steam each thread begins with and I thought there was at least some effort at substantiating the specifics. For example, the tantalizing snippets of exposition we get about the species that kidnaps one of the MCs in order to forcibly harvest his sperm (and in such a way that would ultimately leave the harvestee sexually inert afterwards). Unfortunately, after the situation is established, the rest of the thread just kind of plods along stream-of-conscious fashion. The end effect is that, despite the copious variety of plot devices, they each unfold in disappointedly similar fashion. What’s more, the relationship aspects feel repetitious despite the situations the MCs find themselves in and the time they have spent together. That is to say, despite their concerted efforts to be a couple, the same tropes get paraded about—namely the “you don’t trust me, so how can I trust you” and the “sex will make it okay” themes get a lot of plate-time.
And to top it all off, the writing itself was definitely what I would consider sub-par. The prose lacked maturity despite a story that unquestionably focuses on adult themes and stars characters that are in their mid-thirties (Yates) to early forties (Hennessey). So what I was already reading as a weakly structured, repetitious plot starring characters that are mostly forgettable was knocked further down the likability scale by a narratorial tone that sounded like it was pitched towards kids whose ages aren’t quite in the double digits.
Although I wouldn’t say this is a horrible book, to me, it has such significant flaws that it’s not the caliber of book I would reread or recommend to anyone else, either. I give this a 2.75 mostly because the plot shake-ups keep things just palatable and there’s a few hot scenes.