Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crater by Homer Hickam

Recommendation: *** (3-stars)

I had high hopes, but was disappointed

This Sci-Fi novel is set in the 22nd century when people live on the moon and mine Helium-3 to produce energy for Earth which  has been ravaged by war. The hero, young Crater Trueblood was born on the moon and has never been to earth. Orphaned at birth, his foster parents were killed when he was a young boy. While he has been taken care of by a generous lady in Moontown, Crater is truly alone. He is an impressive young boy though, he works hard and is very good with engineering, building and repairing things. This makes him appealing to the Colonel of Moontown who sends him on a dangerous mission - a convoy along the Dustway to deliver Helium-3, and to retrieve an important but secretive package. The Colonel also sends Maria, his grandaughter, on the trip and tells Crater to take care of her. One the journey they encounter many dangers, surprise attacks and hardships and Crater must learn many lessons along the way as he develops into a young man.

Positives: A fair amount of action and suspense, along with mutant creatures and the fact that it takes place on the moon will make this story appeal to young boys.

Negatives: I must admit I am not a science fiction fan and maybe that is why I didn't enjoy the story that much. I chose this book as I thought it might be something my boys would enjoy, but I found it lacking. I could not get engaged in the story line. At times events were choppy and disconnected, it felt like the author didn't know how to develop the story or characters at a particular point so he killed them off. There were also many questions left unanswered. I know that this is the 1st installment in a trilogy, and maybe some of the questions will be resolved, but I still felt I needed more answers to continue to feed my interest. The whole plot of Crater being sent to retrieve a secret passage took a backseat until nearly the end of the story and then it became the focal point.

Talking Points: Crater Trueblood was a good, moral boy. He worked hard and tried to always do what he thought was right. Ask your children if this is them? Do they try to do what is right? Do they live by following their conscience? Do they think that this will get them to heaven? Although there is very little mention of anything religious or spiritual in this story I could not help but think about all the kids who grow up believing that if they try to do what is good they will go to heaven. Scripture tells us just the opposite! Please share the gospel with your children! Here are some basic points with Scriptures that they need to understand:

  1. God is Holy (Is. 6:1-3, Rev. 4:8, Matt. 5:48)
  2. People are Sinful (Eph. 2:1-3, Rom. 3:23, Rom. 5:12)
  3. There is a penalty for sin (Rom. 6:23, I Cor. 6:9-11, Rev. 20: 14-15)
  4. Jesus came to the earth, was crucified and rose again (Matt. 1:23, John 1:1-5, Phil. 2:5-11, Col. 1:15, Is. 53, Heb. 9:22, Mt. 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, John 19-20, I Cor. 15)
  5. We place our faith in Christ alone (John 20:30-31, Acts 4:12, Acts 16:30-33, Eph. 2:8-9, I Tim. 2:5)
Do not let your children have a false sense of security. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts that the truths of God's Word may pierce their soul and bring about new life (Heb. 4:12-16, II Cor. 5:17-21)!

Age Level: 9-13 years of age

 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in 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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