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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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.…


by Homer Hickam

Overall Book Review:

Overall, Crater was a refreshing mix of science fiction and old Western.  The moon’s landscape and denizens remind the reader of the Western frontier, and many of the characters also appear to be inspired by classic Western characters.  Crater is an excellent adventure story with plentiful action and a likeable, humble main character.  My only complaint would be that some of the battle scenes were too brief, which was too bad because Hickam writes some excellent battle scenes into this novel.  In addition to this, Crater also has a wide range of appeal.  For adults who enjoyed the westerns of their childhood and the excitement of the space race, Crater may very well be a blast from the past.  At the same time, Crater is a coming of age story, and teenage readers will connect with the main character as well as enjoy the new mix of western and science fiction.  Crater is a fast read, because you can’t seem to put the novel down!

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation. 

Violence/Gore: Multiple verbal threats/contemplating ways to kill a character; 4 reports of violence; one non-life threatening injury; multiple battle scenes including violence and death through kicking, punching, firearms, knives, axes, and explosions; several descriptions of death in space with mild description of the effects of vacuum on a human body. 

Sex/Nudity: Characters kiss twice and hold hands.

Mature Subject Matter:

Orphans, genetic experimentation, death, some negative Native American stereotypes.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Some characters drink alcohol.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I enjoy reading adventure books like Gary Paulsen’s The Hatchet, probably because I like to lead an active life. Outside of reading, I camp, hike, run cross country and work on a farm, and a lot of these experiences let me appreciate the content of a good book, as well as the unlimited possibilities that can happen between its covers.