Iron Jaw and Hummingbird, by Chris Roberson
In an alternate reality, the Chinese control Mars and its inhabitants. Gamine was rescued from the streets as a small child, where she was raised and schooled by the upper class. But after serving her purpose, she was abandoned on the street yet again where she takes up with a con artist. Soon after young Huang Fei joins the army, his ship is attacked by bandits. But Huang quickly moves from the bandit leader’s pet to trusted advisor. When Gamine (Iron Jaw) and Huang (Hummingbird) meet, they team up to overthrow the current regime.
Geared towards teens and older, this science fiction story has the feel of a fantasy, as Roberson’s other books Set the Seas on Fire and Paragaea also do. But this story is completely unique as it is based solely on an alternate reality Mars. Granted the planet itself has little bearing on the story, which revolves around the two central characters Gamine and Huang. Both go through tremendous ordeals and hardships which eventually lead the two together, aiming for a common goal. Both Gamine and Huang also have to go through a range of emotions that eventually force them to deal with the thoughts of revenge in their hearts.
Gamine and Huang’s stories began as completely different situations. Gamine, as a child from the streets, who eventually grows from a thief and con artist to a respected leader. And her ideals slowly change over time as well. And Huang, as a spoiled rich boy, bored with army life, who eventually evolves from a slave of a group of bandits to their leader. But meanwhile, he discovers the bandits are more than just thieving monsters, they have a past and a purpose.
Iron Jaw and Hummingbird is a fascinating story of two very different young people and their journey to finding themselves and a fight against a corrupt authority .
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Iron Jaw and Hummingbird releases October 2, 2008.