Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Book Recommendation: Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill

I thought I was going to take a break from reviews for the holiday season, but then I came across Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill, set on a future terraformed Mars. First chapter: cannibals on the hunt. Second chapter: a teenage mercenary doing a ten kilometer space elevator jump down into a hostage situation.

Forget the ribbons and the wrapping paper—it was rollercoaster time.

Durango’s a Dalit (outcast) Regulator—think Jedi without the mind tricks, although he does have an AI implant named Mimi—looking for redemption, but mostly coin and food for himself and his davos (crew) of other regulators. When three miners from a remote outpost come looking for someone to teach them how to fend off the cannibalistic Dræu that keep attacking their children, Durango knows they don’t stand a chance. With his female second-in-command, Vienne, along with lugheads Fuse and Jenkins, and over-the-hill Ockham, they head out to Hell’s Cross on what could be a suicide mission. Along with all the butt-kicking and name-taking, we learn how Durango became an outcast, the reason for the AI in his head, what the miners really want, and who the Dræu—and their queen—really are.

There are some borderline-squeamish parts, but they’re few and brief. I felt for Durango as he constantly grappled with the dilemma of how to be the proper leader to his crew, all the while struggling with his feelings towards Vienne, his father, and his predicament. To anyone who’s not big on reading, get this book into their hands; they won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough.

-Debra B.

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