Cover Notes is a new series I’ll be running every Monday. Rather than focusing on covers of books I’ve read, I’ll be writing about books I’ve never read and recording my first impressions of their covers. Each book will also have an Embarrassment Factor of between zero & five, with zero meaning “a totally awesome cover I want to write fan mail about” and five meaning “I’m ashamed to be seen with this in public.”
This week, I was actually on my way to the young reader section to look for a cover–and then the spine (yes, just the spine!) David Macinnis Gill’s Black Hole Sun grabbed me. Also, a little bit of fan girliness here–from his bio:
David Macinnis Gill is an associate professor of English education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, specializing in young adult literature…
I love seeing “professor” and “specializing in young adult literature” in the same sentence. It’s very validating. And now…
Things I love about the cover: Can I say everything? I love the outlining of the font and how it accentuates the blackness–and how that blackness is doubly accentuated by the stars/comets/space debris streaking past and the red lights in the background.
Also, the spine on this book is stunning, from the under-outlined O to the shadowing of what? A rocket perhaps? And the colors! I love the colors!
Things I’m not so hot on: The other text. Getting a Suzanne Collins blurb is a huge deal, but I feel like the quote was tacked on after the cover design had been finished, so it doesn’t quite fit. Something about the author’s name looks off, too, but I can’t tell what.
What I think it’s about: This screams science fiction to me–and I desperately want it to be science fiction, a kind of Sunshine without the intense horror elements (I loved the premise of that movie, but the horror was too much for me by the end).
Between the blurb and the cover itself, I’m thinking dystopic world where the sun is ending its red giant phase and about to collapse into a blackhole. And our hero’s journey? A boy and a girl (for some love interest), and a race to get onto a seed ship. There has to be a sequel.
Cover art by: unknown. Google only turns up details for the album of the same name.
Embarrassment factor: 0.
The Jacket Blurb
The synopsis isn’t quite enough here, so I’m posting the PW blurb too.
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.
Gill (Soul Enchilada) shifts literary gears, delivering an exciting and brutal science fiction tale about teenage mercenaries on Mars. Durango is a disgraced Regulator who, roninlike, did not kill himself when his previous master (his father) was arrested. Along with his gorgeous second, Vienne, and the snarky AI of his former commander, Mimi, which has been “flash-cloned” to his brain, he now takes jobs that most other Regulators would refuse, using the money to try to make his father’s life in prison more bearable. When they get called to protect a group of miners from the cannibalistic monstrosities called Dræu, they discover secrets that could cast new light on the entire history of Mars, as well Durango’s own past. Gill fills his story with well-crafted action sequences and witty dialogue, and the fast pace more than makes up for the predictability of the plot. Everything from the inevitable betrayals and the heroic sacrifices to the dark secrets is by the numbers, though the character development, banter between Durango and Mimi, and solid action will entertain most readers. Ages 14 up. (Sept.)
Overall: So, so wrong. And I should have seen something mercenary was involved–the target is a (dead) giveaway. Two things, though–
- I love this premise–it reads a little like YA William Gibson to me, and I need to read it. Soon.
- This is the first time I’ve been sad about being wrong! I’d love a novel along the lines I described, a cross between Sunshine and Titan A.E. and the boy-girl part.
Have you read Black Hole Sun? Would you?