Years ago, when the movie “October Sky” was released, I watched it and enjoyed it. A few years later, I married a girl from the town where some of the scenes were filmed--in fact, my wife was an extra in the science fair scene! So, when I had the opportunity to read Crater, by Homer Hickam, the author who wrote Rocket Boys, the source material for the aforementioned movie, I thought it would be cool.
Crater is the first in a new series of novels called Helium-3. It is a young adult series that takes place in the future and on the moon. Humans have colonized in order to mine for a substance called Helium-3 in order to produce energy on the Earth.
Crater Trueblood is the main character of the story, and the source of the book’s title. He is a sixteen-year-old orphan who is also a miner. He really enjoys his job where he works with his best friend, Petro. After an incident at work makes Crater and Petro reluctant heroes, they are tapped by the mine owner for a special job that ends up being more dangerous and complicated than they first believed. Along the way, Crater develops a maddening relationship with Maria, the mine owner’s granddaughter, and sparks fly--and not always the good kind!
The novel is an easy read for an adult, but should also be easily enjoyable and comprehended by any teenagers or even older children. (I’m probably going to recommend it to my 8-year-old twins to read!) The dialogue is back-and-forth, and draws you into Crater’s heart as you experience personal growth with him. You also get a good sense of Petro’s almost arrogance, and Maria’s stubbornness. The story is obviously of a science-fiction nature, but is not so completely outlandish and technical as to be ignored by those who normally avoid that particular genre.
I enjoyed the escape that Crater provided, and look forward to reading the next installment of the series. Hickam delivers a lively and light-hearted story with dramatic elements that will captivate your attention and give you a fun look at one man’s idea of the future.
In fairness of full disclosure, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze.com.