Title: Nighthawks at the Mission
Author: Forbes West
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 316
Synopsis: The Oberon. Off-World. Thousands of settlers from America have come to live in this mysterious land accessed only by an energy portal in the South Pacific. The settlers are there to mine orichalcum- a mineral that can give even the casual user magical powers - and to reap the strange high tech salvage that litters the dead cities of an extinct human civilization.
In today's universe, it's the last place a settler from the USA can find the old American dream alive and well. Facing a futureless existence and betrayed by her long-time boyfriend, Sarah Orange leaves the Earth. There she falls in with a group of illegal salvagers that operate at night in the empty ruins that dot the landscape. Sarah risks death and betrayal from The Oberon's corporate overseers as well as the murderous hatred of the alien Ni-Perchta that live a medieval existence there. With her life spinning out of control, Sarah searches for love and money in a world so close to- and yet so different from- our very own.
What distinguishes Nighthawks at the Mission from the competition?
1. Nighthawks at the Mission is an epic, fantasy, sci-fi, tour-de-force. It is also a slightly demented, scatter-brained, fragmented, meme-dropping, allusion-riddled, drug-addled, Jack Kerouac-like, stream-of-consciousness mind thumping that dares you to "get it.
2. Written in a 2nd person point of view, which people appreciate as a way of being drawn into an unusual story. It seems like just a fun ride on the surface but it creeps inside your brain with each detail and forces you to try to figure out what the author’s telling you.
3. Nighthawks is sharp and funny oozing with pop culture references and sci-fi shenaniganism. Shades of Hunter S. Thompson flirt effortlessly with undertones of Lewis Carroll.
4. This book is layered and frequently pulls from its literary and cultural history, and if you get it, than the book will provide endless enjoyment. It is a conversation by the nerds, for the nerds.
5. It playfully pokes a cheeky finger in the eye of recent Young Adult fiction by showing what would be the more realistic outcome of a teenager finding themselves put in this situation and by portraying a deeply flawed and selfish character who rather than being a clean cut hero, makes some terrible decisions, trusts some pretty shady characters while doing her best to dig herself out of the monumentally large hole she has dug for herself.