Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill
Publisher:HarperCollins/Aug. 2010 (Cover pictured is for the 2012 edition)
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 dont want to mess with Durango.
Black Hole Sun starts off with a bang (lots of them) when Durango and his crew of one, Vienne, save the children of a very rich, very influential (and as it turns out, very nasty) woman. There’s much more to this ransom “rescue” than meets the eye, though, but that comes later. Black Hole Sun takes place on a far future Mars, after Earth has been ravaged by plague, and Durango and Vienne are Regulators (sort of like our police). However, they’re disgraced Regulators, and they have to take pretty much any job they can get, which lately consists mostly of kidnap-for-ransom rescues. Durango and Vienne are approached by a group of miners who would like to hire them to train them to defend themselves against the cannibalistic Draeu. The pay is crap and the job is dangerous, but Durango and Vienne’s honor dictate that they take the job anyway. So, they round up the few Regulators that will work for them, Jenks and Fuse, and head to Hell’s Cross, which is pretty much exactly like it sounds. The miners are wary of the stranger in their midst, but there may be more to the story than just Draeu stealing their children for, um, snacks. The miners may be hiding something, something big, and it will be up to Durango and his crew to protect the minors, keep themselves from getting killed, and becoming part of something they never could have imagined.
Black Hole Sun is another pure gem that I’ve had on the shelf for a while and am so happy I picked it up, finally! Durango is only 17, and Vienne isn’t much older, but they are wise beyond their years, battle hardened, and ready for danger. Told mostly in Durango’s voice, with brief interludes, Black Hole Sun moves at breakneck speed and really doesn’t let up. The Draeu are terrifying in their ferocity, and prove a formidable foe for Durango’s team. Durango also has an AI implant named Mimi that’s a scene stealer with her snark and wit. She’s an invaluable asset, though, and I came to love her as much as I loved the human characters. Then there are Durango’s feelings for the fierce and beautiful Vienne. She’s loyal to Durango as her Chief, and anything else would be against their Tenets, but his yearning for her is so sweet, and it gives Durango a softer side, contrasting beautifully with his tough exterior. Black Hole Sun is just so much fun all the way through, and I chewed through it pretty quick, mostly because I just didn’t want to put it down. Plenty of action, great characters, and lots of twists and turns make Black Hole Sun a must read for any sci-fi/adventure fan. I’d also recommend it for fans of Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series, and would say give it a try even if you don’t consider yourself a sci-fi reader. Technically young adult, it reads like any adult novel except for the fact that the main characters are young (and there’s no bad language and sexual situations, other than mild flirtation.) It certainly doesn’t talk down to its readers, and the author has created a future world that I’ll be anxious to return to again and again. Good thing Invisible Sun, the 2nd in the series, is out in March, huh? I’ll follow Durango and Vienne anywhere. Very highly recommended.