Friday, July 13, 2012

"Crater" Review

I received Crater by Homer Hickam from Thomas Nelson Publishers as a review copy through Netgalley. For this book, I am letting my wonderful husband write the review, since he likes this genre better than I do!

Crater is an exceptional boy living in an exceptional place: The Moon.  Humanity has colonized the moon and is mining it for natural resources.  It is very profitable, yet also very dangerous.  Working in space, explosives, and rival mining companies make death a common occurrence for Helium-3 miners.  As such, anyone willing to work there has their past ignored.  No questions are asked.  As you can guess, this makes for a very colorful cast of characters with which our protagonist lives.
Enter Crater, a good natured, honest, talented boy living amongst the dregs of humanity.  He is smart and gifted in many ways (especially engineering), making him useful but also an outcast.  His only true friend is his bio-computer, Gillie.  Everyone else takes advantage of Crater, including the owner of the mine, Colonel John High Eagle Medaris.  He recruits Crater to go on a mission with his grand-daughter, Maria, to retrieve a very important package.  A package, he is told, that will change the future of the moon forever, plunging it into lasting peace or terrible war.

Crater must go on an incredible journey where he discovers new allies, new enemies, and new confidence in his abilities.  Will he be able to complete his mission and save the moon?  Or is he being manipulated into doing something that will cause more problems than he can ever know?
This book was an interesting conundrum for me.  The character of Crater was excellent, and I wanted to read more about him.  The rest of the characters were mostly just annoying, and yet, that is where most of the story seemed to focus.  We kept getting glimpses of the greatness that Crater could possess, but we never got to actually see it.  Hints were given about his past and how it actually is an incredible story, but we were never really told about it.  I really wanted more from Crater but didn’t get it.

Now, to be fair, I just recently found out that this is the first book in a series, so the author did need to leave something for the future books.  Knowing that while reading it would have helped, so that is my fault.  I do look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series, as I want to get to know Crater better.
You know you are reading a good author when you identify with the character.  I found myself getting very frustrated reading this book and yet wanted to continue reading.  I eventually figured out that the problem was that I identifying with Crater.  He is a nice guy who is just too gullible.  He believes the best in everyone except himself.  Everyone around him knows it and takes complete advantage of the kid, and the reader knows it.  When you find yourself getting angry with the other characters and wanting Crater to see the big picture, then you know you are hooked.

The ending of the book was a bit of a disappointment for me.  I couldn’t wait to find out what the package was that everyone wanted so badly.  Once I found out, I thought it was pretty lame.  But, perhaps it will be explained better in the next books.  It just seemed like a lot of trouble for something that didn’t really matter.
Overall, I liked this book.  It was a fast read that kept me interested the entire time.  It had its frustrating moments, but overall, it was worth reading. 

I will give it 3.5 out of 5 BookWorms.

Thanks, honey! Glad you enjoyed this book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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