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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hunter's Run by Martin, Dozois, Anderson

This selection was the SciFi Bookgroup selection for September. 

Hunter's RunHunter's Run by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: Running from poverty and hopelessness, Ramón Espejo boarded one of the great starships of the mysterious, repulsive Enye. But the new life he found on the far-off planet of São Paulo was no better than the one he abandoned. Then one night his rage and too much alcohol get the better of him. Deadly violence ensues, forcing Ramón to flee into the wilderness.

Mercifully, almost happily alone—far from the loud, bustling hive of humanity that he detests with sociopathic fervor—the luckless prospector is finally free to search for the one rich strike that could make him wealthy. But what he stumbles upon instead is an advanced alien race in hiding: desperate fugitives, like him, on a world not their own. Suddenly in possession of a powerful, dangerous secret and caught up in an extraordinary manhunt on a hostile, unpredictable planet, Ramón must first escape . . . and then, somehow, survive.

And his deadliest enemy is himself.

As the description to the books states, a man’s worst enemy can be himself. In Hunter’s Run, this is doubly so when Ramon discovers he was made from the finger of his Twin, who is frantically trying to return to civilization after a prospecting run gone bad.

What I found fascinating about this book was the story is told from copy-Ramon’s point of view, not the original. The reader gets to watch as copy-Ramon struggles with identity and survival. Who should live and who should die or should both of them live? If both of them live, who would have the rights to the bank accounts? The insurance? The woman Elena? Is this an opportunity for rebirth by breaking ties with everything and everyone or to succumb to the temptation to return to what is familiar and comfortable. The reader is drawn into the tumultuous emotions of what it means to be an individual, what it means to fight to the bitter end, and what happens when self awareness asserts itself.

Set on a planet settled by Latino’s, Portuguese and Mexicano’s (and, according to Ramon, some nortamericano’s and Jamaican’s as well), we see a society over seen by the mysterious but seemingly benevolent goober shaped Enye and dictated by customs brought from Earth and shaped by a new world. A fast paced read that doesn’t disappoint.

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