My latest read, Crater, by Homer Hickman, is a sci-fi YA book set on the moon, a free book sent by Thomas Nelson publishers. Although science fiction isn't my typical choice for literature, I found the author's knowledge of the moon--its terrain, the way people move on it, the variety of geological and biological differences--to work really well for me. Unlike many sci-fi novels, he doesn't take a ton of poetic license with scientific knowledge. Instead, he constructs a world that doesn't sound far-fetched at all. His enthusiasm for this particular heavenly body really shows.
But I like the characters, too, especially Crater's little biological sort of slime-mold robot, a gillie. That a tiny character with no eyes or other distinguishing characteristics could grow into as cute a creature as a little kitten in my imagination was no small feat, and it stems from the clear, sympathetic writing that manages to capture a great deal of the humanity in each character, even while a dramatic plot is going on. The only real criticism I have is that the book leaves a lot of loose ends, but since it is an intended first book in the Helium-3 trilogy, that is to be expected.
Only the object in the book--and I won't say what it is so that I don't spoil it for anyone--does not work at all for me. I neither understand its magic nor its hold on so many groups of people, and its significance does not satisfy me at the end or justify much of the violent encounters that it seems to cause. Perhaps that problem, though, will also resolve itself in a future volume. I'll find out, I'm sure, for I will definitely read the sequel.
So, what about the rest of you? Give me your best space books, the ones that really show a planet and its inhabitants, that really have something cool to say.