Crater: A Helium-3 Novel review

I’ve really enjoyed reading Homer Hickam’s previous works, including October Sky, The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone and The Keeper’s Son.  His love of space and rockets, along with his mining background, really come out in his Coalwood series.

It took me a little while to get into Crater as it seemed Hickam was trying to bring together both his upbringing in a mining town and his occupation in space and rockets.  The reader is kind of thrown into this new world – a civilization on the moon – and you spend the first few chapters figuring out the setting and the characters.  After completing those chapters, you adjust to life on the moon and are able to get into the storyline.

Crater is an orphan who has grown up on the moon and has no understanding of life on earth, apart from what he has been told by others.  He works as a miner, helping to bring Helium-3 from the dust on the moon.  Crater has a positive outlook on his life, even though survival on the moon is a difficult.  Through the story Crater gets caught up in some of the politics of moon life and is sent on a mission that he knows very little about.  He accepts it because the Colonel – the man responsible for the town in which Crater lives – asks him to go.  The assignment is filled with dangerous travel on the moon’s surface, conflict with some enemies that end in hand to hand combat and a realization of what his mission is all about.  Through it all, Crater becomes the hero of the story and sees there is much more to his life than just mining in the moon dust.

If you like science fiction or wonder what life would be like on the moon, Crater is for you.  While it doesn’t quite match up with Hickam’s other works, it was a good book with possibilities for future adventures for Crater.

(The publisher provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze®)