Saturday, February 5, 2011

Black Hole Sun by David MacInnis Gill

Published: August 2010
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 340
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Durango is playing the cards he was dealt.

And it’s not a good hand.

He’s lost his family.

He’s lost his crew. And he’s got the scars to prove it.

You don’t want to mess with Durango.

When I finished this book, the thought in my mind was 'I really enjoyed this book .... But!' And I really did enjoy it ....... But there were a few things about it that really puzzled me.

Firstly, why did we not find out how old the main character is until page 199. (He's 17 by the way). Secondly, if he's that young, why is he leading a bunch of trained Regulators (read soldiers) that are mostly older than he is? Thirdly, why is Mars the way it is? And Fourthly, what the heck does the title have to do with anything? Honestly, I can't come up with a reason for the title at all - may'be I just missed it? I definitely felt that there was some serious backstory missing - the reader is plunged into this futuristic Mars and left to flounder around in confusion for quite some time.

Now, that said, the story was GREAT! Have you ever watched an episode of 'Firefly' or seen the movie 'Serenity'? Well, 'Black Hole Sun' reads like an episode of Firefly - I was so bummed when they took that series off the air (serious SF tv fan here). The main protagonist in the book, Durango (or Jacob Stringfellow as we find out eventually) is a shoe-in for a younger Malcolm, Vienne for ?(sorry I can't remember her name without watching an episode again - which I might do later today), and Fuse was perfect as the tv character Jane. There are 2, no 3, really kick-ass female characters in the story, and one of them is the villian, nice change there from the usual male character. One of the best things tho' is the interaction between Durango and Mimi - an artificial intelligence inserted into his brain - it's hilarious and she is a character all on her own.

"Fuse whistles and rubs his head.
"You drew this, chief?"
"Affirmative." With help from Mimi.
"Help?" Mimi says. "I created ninety-nine percent of the design."
"Eighty percent."
"Eighty-five is my final calculation," I say. "Take it or leave it"
"With your math skills, I'll leave it," she says.

Durango and his team of mercenaries end up on an old, almost abandoned mine out in the wilds of Mars and have been hired to protect the miners from the Draeu. (These are majorly revolting cannibalistic creatures that are very puzzling until almost right at the end of the book.) There is continuous action throughout the book with lots of guns and explosions and blood - this book is definitely more for the guys - but there is a tiny, really tiny, thread of romance in there than might just tweak the girls interest - it did mine!

By the end of the book almost everything was explained and I was really glad I had read it ..... but!

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