We’ve been featuring books that complement our Teen Summer Reading Program theme, “Own the Night” and let’s say you’re out at night, looking up at the sky and maybe you’re contemplating life on other planets, say Mars. So imagine we finally make it to Mars, and establish not just an outpost, but eventually towns and a government and citizens to whom Earth is nothing more than a giant ball of ancient history. But like many civilizations, there’s lawlessness and political corruption and soldiers of fortune ready to take advantage of it all. Welcome to the setting of Black Hole Sun, David Macinnis Gill’s blazing sci-fi novel that’s got it all — adventure, horror, humor and enough chase scenes, explosions and shoot-outs that you may be thinking Die Hard in space. What the author actually had in mind was more a sci-fi version of the classic Japanese film, Seven Samurai.
Both the film and book share a similar plot line: a shunned warrior assembles a ragtag group of fighters to help poor villagers fight off evil forces that vastly outnumber them. The warrior in Black Hole Sun is 16 year-old Durango, and the villagers are miners who live and work deep underground in Mars’ polar region. They are terrorized by the Draeu, cannibal hybrids led by a psychotic queen, who want the treasure they think the miners’ are hiding, and the miners’ children as sacrifices. In addition to the little band of mercenaries he recruits, Durango is aided by his second in command, Vienne, herself an ultimate fighting machine, and Mimi, his former chief who’s now taken up residence in his brain as an artificial intelligence implant. A fast-paced sci-fi thriller full of hi-tech gear, cheeky dialog (swearing in six foreign languages!) and a few surprises thrown in for good measure. A great summer read!
Like the book? Then check out the sequel, Invisible Sun, or the film that was the inspiration, Seven Samurai. You could even check out the anime version, called Samurai 7, which takes the original story and sets it in a futuristic post-war period.