Review: Black Hull: The First Season by Joseph A. Turkot
Black Hull is a space adventure serialization. It’s a good thing that I got to read the compilation of the first season because many of the chapters ended on a great cliffhanger that left you wanting more. Mick Compton, FRINGE agent, wakes up alone on an empty dying ship. Mick was on a secret mission to retrieve valuable ore from deep space. On his return to Earth something went wrong and the ship’s crew, except Mick, is killed. The ship is slowly failing and Mick desperately tries to find help in empty space. The search for answers in the beginning of the story is frantic and palpable. Mick has to find out where he is, but soon learns that the date is more important than the where. Answers come quickly in the story, but then open up just as many questions. Mick is lost in space far from home in a future where humanity is barely recognizable. The human soul and consciousness can now be saved onto memory sticks and uploaded to a computer as a .hum file; meaning eternal life to anyone who can fully mount their .hum file in a computer or a robot avatar. He’s saved by a robot named XJ that has an electronic form of Alzheimer’s that is affecting a lot of robots in this time, but has an otherwise upbeat personality. He’s taken to a pirate named Sera who agrees to help him in exchange for his own help to get her into a place that every, non-tainted, human in the galaxy is trying to get into called Utopia. This is appropriately named as it is, apparently, literally a utopia. Mick wants to get back to his family in the past and Sera wants to get her family into Utopia. This sets the stage for the rest of the story to unfold. Mick and Sera take on different missions, encounter interesting characters and deal with their lingering pain from their past while deciding if their final destinations are really the answers to their heartache. Black Hull, as it starts out, reminds me of the Red Dwarf TV series where disparate and dysfunctional characters live together in a restrictive setting. Black Hull explores small, but interesting twists on science fiction staples: time travel, space pirates, robots, and the general decline of humanity in an advanced society. There is a definite yin and yang between the characters and their place in the story where many of the absent minded robots remind me of the comic relief of R2D2 and C3P0 in Star Wars, and the other deep complicated, and sometime dark, characters stand in stark contrast. But the story sometimes gets a little too campy and it stands in the way of telling an amazing story about the impact of technology on humans. The story is concise and quick, but I sometimes found myself drifting from the story, wanting more compelling dialogue or captivating character interactions to keep me engaged. But all that aside, Black Hull is an intrepid wild west space adventure.
Kindle Edition: 185 pages
Published April 21st 2013 by Planetside Press
Posted on September 11, 2013, in Book Reviews, Three Stars and tagged .hum, black hull, book review, joseph turkot, lost in space, red dwarf, sci fi, science fiction, space adventure, the first season. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.