BLACK HOLE SUN, by David Macinnis Gill (Greenwillow, Sept. 2010)(12+). For seventeen-year-old (in earth years) mercenary chief Durango, things keep getting worse. Once a member of an elite military corps, now he's just trying to get by.
It was one thing to attempt (for hire, of course) to thwart the bizarre kidnapping of the children of a noblewoman, but now he's taken a job protecting a group of reclusive miners from humanoid cannibals in the antipodes of an anarchic Mars. But the miners are harboring a secret, and even the cannibals are not quite what they seem. Can Durango and his group hold it together, overcome their past, protect the miners, and still get paid?
Plot is well-wrought, fast-paced, with an intriguing back-story; Durango, his AI implant Mimi, and Vienne (Durango's number two) are intense, sarcastic, and sometimes brutal in a society whose law has deteriorated into "kill or be killed." In sum, in BLACK HOLE SUN, Gill offers an exciting, action-packed read on a Mars that is red in tooth and claw.