Returning is the story of the reality behind the Atlantis legends, the tale of the explorers and colonists who left Barzak aboard three great starships to travel and colonise, using a wormhole drive that takes the ships beyond time. Aboard the Warrior, the passage between systems is instantaneous. To the rest of the galaxy, hundreds of years pass. Captain Kimewe Romiwero has left everything irrevocably behind to lead her crew; when they finally turn for home, some fifteen ship-years later, over 86,000 years have passed, and Earth is a very different place – and in desperate need of something to aspire to.

Author J. T. McDaniel has crafted an engrossing story, combining alt-history and sci-fi dystopia with a realism that seems chillingly plausible. I found the idea of an FTL drive that travels point to point, taking the ship effectively outside time, to be a particularly nice twist to the story, and the segments of the book set on Earth were all too possible in the current political environment. There was a slight tendency to ‘tell’ information throughout the book, but overall it wasn’t too overdone, and the various plotlines were well-paced. All in all I found this a thoroughly enjoyable read, definitely recommended for any alt-history or sci-fi enthusiasts.

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