The Homeward Bounders

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Cover of The Homeward Bounders

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Age Range: Pre Teens+

Period: Contemporary

Genres:  AdventureFriendshipSciFi


Jamie Hamilton inadvertently discovers “Them”: a mysterious group controlling his world as a board game. He is himself discovered and is exiled as a Homeward Bounder, doomed to walk between worlds, forced to cross from one to another whenever a move finishes in its controlling game. He meets other Homeward Bounders and some natives and with their help starts an rebellion to overcome “Them”.


A cross between science fiction and fantasy. The idea has interest; it's remarkably iffy if you choose to interpret as reality the notion of everyone's life being controlled as part of a sort of war game. The author manages to bring the legends of the Flying Dutchman, the Wandering Jew and Prometheus into the story quite skilfully, and the central character, Jamie, is portrayed well enough for one to have sympathy for his predicament at the end.

Tuesday 1st January 2002