Black Hole Sun & Invisible Sun by David Macinnis Gill

U.S. Paperback Edition
Black Hole Sun
Book One
by David Macinnis Gill

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Durango is playing the cards he was dealt. And it’s not a good hand.

He’s lost his family.
He’s lost his crew.
And he’s got the scars to prove it.
You don’t want to mess with Durango.

Durango will take on any mission—as long as it is dangerous, impossible, and hopeless, and as long as it pays enough for him and his crew to get by. Fortunately for Durango, he also has Mimi, a symbiotic nano-implant, to keep him on the straight and narrow, as well as a crew of loyal soldiers. Because he’s going to need everything he’s got for his latest mission—defending a rag-tag clan of helpless miners from a ravenous horde of feral cannibals and their enigmatic but brutal leader, who is hellbent on taking out the miners, and Durango along with them.

Invisible Sun
Black Hole Sun, Book Two
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Obsessed with MUSE, the clandestine project that created the AI in his brain, mercenary chief Durango draws the ire of the government when he steals part of the secret project data and hightails it with his lieutenant, Vienne, to an ancient monastery. There, he meets the monks who raised Vienne from an orphan and also encounters soldiers working for his old nemesis, the crime lord Mr. Lyme. Lyme controls the territory surrounding the monastery, as well as the datacenters housing the rest of MUSE.

Undeterred, Durango and Vienne pull off an ill-advised raid on Lyme’s complex. During the ensuing battle, however, Vienne is captured, and Durango is beaten and left for dead. Now, wounded and shaken, Durango must overcome bounty hunters, treacherous terrain, a full scale civil war, and a warrior monk with an eye for vengeance (not to mention his own guilt, self-doubt, and broken arm) to find Vienne and free her from Archibald, a brain-washing pyromaniac with a Napoleon complex who wants to rule Mars--and kill Durango in the process.

IB Teen LOVES This Series:
The mercenary, cyborg, sardonic, exceedingly handsome, and brave hero Durango is on a Sisyphean quest for redemption. By his side is his second, the ever faithful and über deadly, Vienne. They share the ignominious fate of having become dalit, disgraced Rangers who are Masterless and social outcasts and pariahs. Durango and Vienne are lethally good at their job, and despite the oftentimes desperate danger, the blood, the sweat, the pain, and the incredible effort- Durango and his davos will fight for you- for a price. As dalit Rangers (super soldiers akin to Samuri and Special Forces with awesome bodyarmor and weaponry) turned mercenaries they are trying to live with some semblance of dignity and honor, holding true to the strict Ranger Tenents. But it is often the case that our hero, our cowboy, Durango and his davos- his crew- pay a dearer price than they could ever receive remuneration for.

Then there is Mimi, a force of simbiotic nature in Durangos' life, she plays the role of conscience, coach, and is all A.I.. She is the little voice in his head- literally,she is flash cloned into his brain. She is wise, she is snarky, and prone to quoting poetry at inappropriate times. The characters feel so real, they are full of complexity and heart, gumption, and humor. The depths of their emotions transfer themselves to the reader, at times heart wrenching, anger, hurt, but most especially love.  It's not all just one liners and gun battles. I loved their partnership, I loved Durango for being so funny and good (and brave, and sexy, and an awesome leader, and ....I could keep going!), and I loved Vienne for being such a strong and powerful character in soo many ways. 

Mars may stink, but this series doesn't. The characters are off the charts engaging, the story is whip fast and deceptively layered, and the setting is cinematically realized. At first glance the Black Hole Sun series may seem like a sci-fi adventure story that's not only brimming with humor, it's own unique slang (it's great, it feels natural, the was Scott Westerfeld made his own slang flow throughout the pages his series), intense action sequences, and hails of bullets would have been on its own a real blast (no pun intended). But the story that Gill has crafted and the world he has built have fantastically crafted detail and depth. In it's awesome depths this is a story of destiny, redemption, love, and forgiveness. Throughout, but especially in Invisible Sun, is a love story that begins as unattainable and forbidden, turning hopeful and promise-filled, becoming an all consuming love that is full of self-sacrifice and is the stuff of legend. It's only a partial spoiler to say that this love that is soo worth fighting for has- for a time, I hope- seemingly come full circle. It is once again unattainable, painful, yearning, and something Durango feels he is unworthy of.

The author filled my head with vast, alien lastscapes and bad-ass characters. In my mind I envisioned Durango and Vienne's high-tech Ranger body armor, their symbriarmor as it's called, looking like what Rinzler/Tron wore in Tron:Legacy, and as for their famed armalite, in my head I heard it emitting a sound much like the Pulse Rifle the Colonial Marines used in Aliens. Fans of Starship Troopers by Heinaline, the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre, Leviathan series by Westerfeld and even Marissa Meyer's Cinder could seriosly get lost in the pages of this throat gripping action adventure space opera.

**Book Three, Shadow Of The Sun, the thrilling follow-up to Black Hole Sun and Invisible Sun, is scheduled for release in Spring 2013.


Espana said...

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.

Lori T. said...

I've been wondering about this book for so long. It seemed good, but I didn't know anyone else who'd read it, so I wasn't entirely sure I'd like it or not. After reading this post, I'm totally picking it up to read this summer!

perla said...

Lori T. you won't regret it!