Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill

Black Hole Sun, Won't You Come, And Wash Away the Rain? Black Hole Sun... (can't get the song out of my mind the whole time I'm reading this book) 
Durango's family used to have it all. His father was key to the colonization of Mars, but then the government was overthrown, his father captured and thrown into prison, and in preventing his teenage son from killing himself like all his followers, Durango is relegated to a dalit, a mercenary for hire. Despised and ridiculed by every group and class on the planet, Durango takes on odd jobs with Vienne, his second-in-command, whom he's not supposed to have any feelings for, as the Tenets prescribed, and Durango and Vienne are both sticklers for rules. This conflict of interest isn't lost on Mimi, the artificial intelligence implanted in Durango's brain, and she takes every opportunity to tease Durango about it. Who says an AI doesn't know what sarcasm is?  When Mimi isn't making fun of Durango though, she is his most useful ally. Having Mimi is life-saving on so many occasions, however, when Durango agreed to help a group of miners defend against the Draeu, a ruthless cannibalistic race, he has no idea what he has signed himself up for, and will definitely need more than an AI to stay alive.

This book reads like a video game. I can see it being the plot of a great first person action/shooter game. Sometimes I'm baffled by the choices in booklists for gamers, because many only have the slight setting resemblance, and none of the thrills and chills. This book definitely belongs to a list for that audience though. Right from the opening scene, where the Draeu hunts down the miners and demands their children as sacrifices, you know you're in it for a wild ride. The action doesn't let up at all, and every time you think you can take a breather, something else happens and plunges you and our hero right back into it. The Draeu are some scary creatures, and the mysteries surrounding them and the miners are well crafted. I love the final epic showdown and it's a fine ending to a fine book.
I visited Gill's website and was thrilled to find out that there's going to be a next book, coming in March next year.  (Another nice thing about this book is that there's no cliffhanger ending).  However, ::sigh::, look at the covers!  The designer doing the new covers is the one who did the Mortal Instruments books. Why?  Well, I know why, 'cause that's how most teen books look like now, but more good-looking teen models?  We don't need that.  Disappointing.
» Read Gill's interview in School Library Journal.

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  1. Haha, I like the new covers!! They look all sci-fi westerny. The old cover is great and all, but...

    Like you I am looking forward to March and see what Durango has up his sleeves!

  1. Steven said...:

    Yikes. Those new covers will stop every boy in his tracks. What were they thinking?

  1. Anonymous said...:

    They were thinking that they want girls to read the books.

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