Saturday, April 14, 2012

In the Wayback of the Moon - Crater by Homer H. Hickam

A mining outpost on the moon, a protective gillie, a complaining brother-like best friend and an annoying boss’ granddaughter set things up for changes to come in the life of a mild mannered scraper kid named Crater Trueblood.

The story starts with the redundant but satisfying job of mining in the way back of the moon and escalates to an adventure across the most dangerous territory the moon has to offer. Crater is plunged into adventure and struggle for survival as he makes new friends…and new enemies, something foreign to the simple sixteen-year-old with a knack for genius.

Crater is one of those characters you can’t help but like right away. An orphan from birth, he never complains, never rubs anyone the wrong way, except in his wonderful honesty and innocence. His best friend/adopted brother, Petro, is quite the opposite, setting them up for conflict when things start to cross Crater in ways he’s never experienced.

For me, the story took a bit to get going and was heavily laden with science—not surprising, considering the author. And it is science fiction, I just personally prefer more fiction than science. Overall, though, there was plenty of action to keep the story moving from the way back of the moon to the point where earth and moon commerce intersected.

Even from a writer’s standpoint, the POV (point of view) shifts weren’t overly distracting. The dialogue felt real most of the time. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the ending, but I’ll probably read Book 2 of this YA Helium 3 series when it comes out.

Crater is great book for getting an idea of what life might be like if the moon were ever colonized. The harshness and contrasting beauty paint a stark but intriguing picture.

~S.E. Sawyer

BookSneeze® provided my review copy of this book

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beckon by Tom Pawlik—Book Review

The lives of three people collide in the town of Beckon, each drawn there for a different but life changing reason.

The story opens with Jack, a young anthropologist who wants to find what happened to his father who disappeared when Jack was just nine. Teamed with his best friend and a Native American guide, they begin a search in the caves near Beckon, Wyoming.

Elina—an ex-cop—is searching for her missing cousin, and finds much more than she bargained for. But it’s her renewed and steadfast faith in God that brings things to a head in the end.

George arrives in Beckon on the lure of a cure for his beloved wife’s Alzheimer’s. At seventy-three, he still has plenty of life left in him to handle the truth of what really goes on with the “cure.”

This book is a page turner, one of those that kept me up past my fairly set bedtime. I’m not a huge sci-fi reader (strange, huh?), but this book felt normal enough to have me contemplating how this could actually happen.

Real characters, real drama, real action, real danger—Tom Pawlik combined all these things to make an excellent read. As a disclaimer for milder readers such as myself: There’s a bit of goriness which I generally avoid in reading or movies, but nothing I couldn’t skim over if I didn’t want to imagine the images too vividly.

Overall, a great thriller with themes of faith, family, and the realities of immortality.

For Him,

Sarah Elisabeth

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book