Friday, November 5, 2010

Black Hole Sun -- David Macinnis Gill

Other than his own admittedly impressive¹ combat skills, his even-more-impressively-skilled partner and a cheerful obnoxious poetry-spouting AI implant in his brain, 17-year-old Durango (that would be his age in Earth years, in Mars, it's calculated differently) doesn't have a lot going for him. His father is in prison, he doesn't have enough money to eat regularly, and his status as a dalit marks him as the lowest of the low.

Despite that, he holds firm to the Regulator tenets of honor. He protects the weak even if they can't pay well, he is loyal to his crew, he always fights fair.

Well... he mostly holds firm. After all, one isn't made dalit for a minor deviation from the Regulator code.

Black Hole Sun begins with a bang -- well, a sniper attack, a threat, and suggestions of cannibalism -- and it doesn't let up for the next 339 pages. If you're looking for SF action, action, action and setting à la Total Recall starring a hero not unlike a teenaged Bruce Willis who's prone to saying things that wouldn't be out of place in a Vin Diesel script², then LOOK NO FURTHER. It's fast-paced, very visual and extremely violent.

This isn't a nuanced character study or a book about first love or a book about ISSUES or a book about FINDING YOURSELF THROUGH THE POWER OF SONG (or with the help of an INSPIRATIONAL TEACHER), or anything like that.

It's an action movie -- complete with confident, smartass hero who is pursued by every female character he meets, gorgeous-and-deadly partner, gorgeous-and-deadly villainess, comic relief explosives expert and cranky-and-grizzled veteran soldier -- in book form. And sometimes that's exactly what my patrons are looking for.


¹And he's usually the first to admit just how impressive he is.

²Sadly, he didn't say anything along the lines of "It's been a long time since I smelled beautiful", but there were... moments.


Katherine Langrish said...

Splendid review! Sounds a fun book.

aquafortis said...

I was curious about this one--I enjoyed his book Soul Enchilada. I shall take the action-movie-violence under advisement. :)