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Black Hole Sun Hardcover – Aug 16 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow; 1 edition (Aug. 16 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061673048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061673047
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 14.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #617,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By PD Johnston on Aug. 7 2012
Format: Paperback
Based on favourable online reviews, I bought this for my early-teen son. He's a tough audience, but this book thoroughly engaged him. He found the story line compelling and involving. I haven't read it, but he's been recommending it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 42 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent sci-fi Aug. 28 2010
By J. Prather - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Black Hole Sun is classic shoot em up sci fi at it's best! You get an evil queen, cannibalistic bad guys, oppressed masses, corrupt politicians, and a crew of misfits and left behinds to ride in and save the day. Plunk all that down on the planet Mars, mix it up with some very interesting science and you have a great story that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. It took me about the first 100 pages or so to get comfortable with the setting, the characters and the back-story. That might seem like a long time, but the author does an expert job of presenting all the information in a way that keeps the reader engaged. The dialogue is excellent, the pacing is perfect and the ending is non-stop action.

The characters here are well developed and engaging. Durango is quite the hero. He struggles with moral dilemmas, knows his own fallibility and still manages to be one tough dude. Vienne is excellent as his second, and the supporting characters of miners and bad guys are all memorable. I truly hope this becomes a series. Durango and Vienne make quite a duo and I am eager to learn what kind of trouble they get into next and also where their relationship might be headed. This is a solid recommend for teens grade 8 and up. There's quite a bit of violence and death. Fans of the Hunger Games will find much to like here, although this one is a bit more hard core sci-fi. Very well written.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Stop me if you think you've seen this one before May 24 2012
By C. Aleo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for David Macinnis Gill's Black Hole Sun. It was a combination dystopian/sci-fi; it was young-adult; and it came highly recommended with a five-star rating by a friend whose opinion I trust. Unfortunately, it fell far short of the mark.

The premise of the book starts off fairly well: mercenary Durango and his team of rag-tag misfits accept a mission for far below their usual pay to defend a mining outpost on Mars from a band of cannibals who demand children of the miners. Of course, it takes several chapters to get to this point, because we have to meet Durango during his previous mission, where he rescues a moneyed girl and her brother in a convoluted side plot (view spoiler).

Another reviewer on Goodreads suggested that the plot (and the main character, and the Chinese and Japanese epithets) were borrowed heavily from Joss Whedon's Firefly series, and I'd agree. With another helping of child soldiers trained in battle academy from Ender's Game, an artificial intelligence aiding and abetting the main character from William Gibson's Count Zero, and the oddly-painted artistocracy a cross between Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Capitol and Gibson's Idoru. I'm willing to bet there are others I've missed.

In other words, you'll feel a lot like you've read this one before.

While there are moments when the story shines, so much of it feels derivative of other, better-known sci-fi novels, and the teens in the book feel so much older than their alleged 17 years, that it ultimately fails as both a young adult novel as well as a sci-fi novel. Most sci-fi fans will have read the books (and seen the series), and I'm not sure younger readers will connect with these preternaturally aged characters. Even Ender was, at heart, at child. Durango is a middle-aged man before his time.

This review appeared previously on Goodreads.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Heewack, Cowboy! Nov. 9 2010
By S.E. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was a terrific novel filled with wit, sharp dialogue, and an imaginative premise. Durango, Mimi, and the rest of the davos are characters, not unlike the Firefly crew, I would very much like to meet again. The queen, in particular, was delightfully, maniacally, homicidally psychotic. I enjoyed her more than any other villain I've read in quite some time.

Gill's Mars was intriguing, a unique culture that I can easily see as an extension and believable amalgamation of our own. The exploration of individual values versus established Tenets, between what's acceptable, accepted, and exceptional principles, provided a tense setup internally as Durango searched for balance in what it means to be a leader.

I appreciated the first half of the book for its crisply written, fairly straightforward, uncomplicated plot which was enhanced by a manageable and memorable cast. The second half though... suddenly exploded with subplots and flashbacks and extraneous plot devices that left me scratching my head on more than one occasion. I wondered if I had missed not only a couple of chapters but an entire prequel. Some incidents were random, like the little girl who magically appeared in the middle of a battle scene wanting to play with Jenkins. The rugrat was charming, yes, but heretofore un-introduced and never seen again thereafter. The beginning of several plot lines seemed to have been left on the cutting room floor.

The author seemed to take a bit of a scattershot perspective as he attempted the unenviable task of worldbuilding on an alien planet and establishing the foundation for sequels while sacrificing some of the momentum and background necessary for this book. Understand too that if I had to choose between an author who erred by excessively telling versus excessively showing I'd immediately pick up the former, as happened here. Without question, Gill is speaking to his audience's intelligence and not the lowest common denominator.

All told, I'd roundly recommend "Black Hole Sun" to anyone for it's explosive action and deft characterization. I enjoyed the ride so much that I'll easily forgive its flaws and eagerly anticipate the sequel.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"Are you accusing me of passing gas?" May 23 2011
By WEN OU - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
said Durango, the protagonist, on page 5 of David Macinnis Gill's action-packed novel, Black Hole Sun. And whew, when I say action-packed, I mean literally action-packed. The whole reason I chose to read this novel was because when I opened the first page some Draeu killed 2 girls with head-shots from their sniper rifles. Throughout the book, you encounter humor and action so many times that you're out of breath by the time you reach the end of the novel. For example, at one part, Durango says "I'm ready for drop. On my mark, in thr-" to which Mimi, basically a computerized voice inside Durango, replies "Your mark calculations are incorrect," (Gill 8). She then makes Durango press the lock to open the hatch and make Durango experience a thrilling dive of 961 kilometers per hour. Right there, it's basically humor followed by action. Even after the fall there's a joke.

Other than the action and the humor, though, the rest of the book is fairly lackluster. There's not too much characterization. All of the characters don't exactly have a past. Only Durango has a decent history, but even then, it's lacking. If the author explained Durango's dad (and mom, she's never mentioned) and Mimi a lot more, it would add so much more to the book. Mimi, while I love her sarcasm and humor, has a past that just seems randomly thrown into the book just to make her have a past. Also, the plot twists are really...lame. All I can say were that the plot twists were done "last-minute." I believe that the plot twist wasn't planned in advance by the author. I'm pretty sure that when the author reached that part of the book, he was like "Hey, it'll be a great idea if I do this!" There were two plot twists, and both times they seemed hastily done. The plot and characterization could have been much better.

All in all, the book was pretty well done. I expected a lot of action from the beginning, and I got a lot of action. The humor was an added surprise. Again, though, I was extremely disappointed in the plot and characterization. The ending was pleasing. It brought a sense of closure, but it left room open for a sequel (which this book desperately needs to have more characterization). This book has enough action to become a movie, but I'm not sure the plot is good enough. It definitely isn't a classic, though. All in all, while this isn't exactly my most favorite book of all time, I did not regret reading it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mars Isn’t What It Used to Be April 24 2013
By Patricia Scholes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The mining outposts no longer dominate the economy. Worse, mutant marauder cannibals called the Draeu, infest the mining regions. None of the mining families are safe.

But that’s just the beginning. The terraforming on Mars was never completed, and everyone except the elite who stopped all progress for their self-serving interests live in a polluted environment.

This is Durango’s world. Durango is a dalit, a warrior who did not sacrifice himself to death when his leader died. Forced from that point on to be a mercenary, he and his team find themselves defending an outpost mining camp against a swarm of Draeu.

This story will keep you on your toes as you weave in and out of the strange Martian cultures and begin unravel the hierarchy’s quest for power at the expense of the rest of humanity.

If you love science fiction as much as I do, you cannot help but agree that the story is very well done and deserves a full five stars.

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