When his world is torn apart, one man must learn to survive in What Once Was Home.
Jace Cox’s life is changed when an overwhelming alien force invades the Earth with no warning or provocation. In the years that follow, he must not only fight to survive; but also learn what it means to be a man and a leader. As the situation grows more dire, he realizes that his greatest challenge isn’t the alien invaders or even his fellow man; it is holding onto his own humanity despite living in a world gone mad.
When this novel first came up as an ARC, I knew I wanted to read it. However, I was on vacation and didn’t have time to respond to the message. Shortly after returning home, I had a message from B.K. asking if I wanted to read this even though I had recently reviewed another novel of his.
I didn’t hesitate to assure him that I was eager to read this novel after hearing about it and seeing the back-cover blurb. It sounded right up my alley and I’ve enjoyed all his work immensely so far.
Before I get into the writing, look at that freaking cover. Gorgeous right? It may not seem much to people, but the interior formatting on this story was wonderfully done. I don’t often notice interior formatting unless it stands out as exceptionally beautiful or it’s so bad it annoys me (and as a result affects my opinion of the story). So, yeah, I couldn’t NOT mention this little tidbit.
This book is nothing like I’ve ever read from B.K. before. I knew I was in for something special when I read the ‘Introduction’ that he wrote. By the time I finished reading the first chapter my thoughts on this subject were confirmed.
I thought I had been excited to read this before, but now there was no doubt in my mind that I was about to go on one hell of a journey that would spare no emotions. This story lived up to all my expectations and then some. B.K.’s talent at world-building is apparent from the start and you can tell that this is a novel that he poured a lot of emotion into writing.
Every step of the way, I was enthralled by Jace’s story. Every word drew me so deep into this world, that it became real to me. It’s what I want when I read a book, a movie in my head. An incredibly engaging and heart-wrenching journey. With an ending that made me sit back and repeat the word “Damn” to myself several times. Because, damn.
What Once Was Home stunningly combined the incredible speculative elements that I love about science fiction with the engaging personal stories and moving internal struggle that continues to draw me back to contemporary fiction.
Compelling characters, fast-moving plot, and a world you can sink into—you really cannot ask for more from any story. Even if science fiction and alien invasions aren’t your things, this is a book you do NOT want to miss out on. Jace’s journey is one that I think will touch many readers and bring them back again and again.
Until this moment, my favourite book by B.K. was Warriors of Understone, but this story far surpasses it.
—Crystal Kirkham on Goodreads, 5 stars
I was given an ARC of What Once Was Home by B.K. Bass for an honest review. As I had read another book of B.K.’s, Night Shift, and thoroughly enjoyed it, I was only happy to give his new novel a read and I’m so glad I did. What Once Was Home is an exciting book about a young teen, forced to grow up quickly. I loved how Bass started the book out with his main character, Jace Cox at the age of sixty-four, journaling the past fifty years – the anniversary of Landfall Day. He writes about the horrors he had faced, the trials of life that had shaped a fourteen-year-olds life.
I really enjoyed walking through this incredible journey with Jace, starting out as a fourteen-year-old boy going to their family cabin in the woods to hunt with his dad who had just returned home from the army. It was at this critical point, that his life would forever be altered as an object crashes into the nearby woods. When they go to inspect, they saw creatures, looking like insects, climbing out. That moment cost him his father, and his incredible journey would force him to become a man and a leader of people.
Assembling in the town of Lewisburg, Jace joins up with Major Robert Hilderbrandt who forms the Lewis County Militia, two-hundred in all, to try and defeat the twigs. Jace learns quickly how to lead, even becomes the sheriff of Lewisburg after some time. Circumstances become much the same as it was in the Civil War era, lacking in most home comforts. But the townspeople are resilient and able to rise above these hardships. Not only did they have to face fighting the twigs (aliens), but they also had to war with corrupt human nature.
Bass’s story is engaging and delves into human emotions, joy, pain, and loss. The story grabbed me from the beginning to the very heartwarming end. Bass is an excellent story spinner and his descriptive writing drew me into this bleak world. What can I say? It is terrific and I highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading more of B.K.’s books in the future. A five-star treat.
K.D. on Goodreads, 5 stars