Monday, July 16, 2012

Crater by Homer Hickam

STORYLINE: A Helium-3 miner named Crater makes a treacherous journey through space to find a mysterious and priceless treasure.
It's the 22nd Century and a tough, pioneering people are mining the moon 
to produce energy for a desperate, war torn Earth.  Crater Trueblood, an 
orphan, loves his life in Moontown, a frontier mining settlement.  Just turned sixteen, Crater is already a seasoned Helium 3 miner, hoping someday to be a foreman on the scrapes.  But "the Colonel," the man who owns the mine, has a different plan for Crater which includes Maria, the Colonel's daring young granddaughter.  Crater, accompanied by Maria and his gillie--a sentient and sometimes insubordinate clump of slime mold cells--must shepherd a convoy of Helium 3 trucks across a forbidding river of dust while also looking for a mysterious, historical artifact that could mean the difference between life and death for every inhabitant on the moon.



Just…ugh. I get that the author was trying to make the colonized moon kind of like the Old West. We had the accents, the traveling inventors, the con-men, the story-telling techniques, the shoot-outs…but it didn't work for me.

The titular character, Crater, drove me nuts. He was one of those "perfect" protagonists who are kinda scared, but are able to stand up and fight when they need to. They're sorta not sure what they're supposed to be doing, but they make strong decisions anyway. They kinda like this girl, even though she acts like she hates him ('cause every time a girl hates you, she's secretly longing to kiss you) and his adopted brother wants her for himself (like that love triangle hasn't been done before…a bazillion times…) but he gets her without much trouble at all. And he was the one with the most characterization and consistency in the entire book.

The storyline had potential. The way the world was set up, reminiscent of how the first Star Trek series was supposed to be the wild west in space, had potential. But the poor characterization ruined it.

Rating: One star.

**I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for my honest review**

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