Saturday, June 23, 2018

One Sunny Night (The Adventures of Sonny Knight #1), by Charon Dunn

Leaping Lagomorph, January 2016

Leroy Knight is fifteen, is nice enough looking, and has no particular talents. This is a real problem in his nation of Braganza in 3147, because talent is what his culture is all about. His family loves him, and worries for him.

Then a silly accident gives him a little notoriety, an accidental resemblance to an international clashball sports hero, Rufus Marshall. In an especially silly publicity stunt, Rufe's team, the Vanram Rams, invites Leroy and his family to the championship game.

What could possibly go wrong?

A rival nation with its own secret agenda uses the championship game to launch a terrorist attack. Leroy's family are among the people carried off as part of that secret agenda, and Leroy himself is an accidental accomplice in the assassination of Vanram's prime minister. He winds up escaping on a sailing ship with a very eclectic collection of fellow passengers, including Rufe Marshall, a doctor named Quicksilver, the dockmaster of Vanram's capital city of Argalia, a mysterious beauty named Risha, and oh, yes, the rival team's mascot, an oddly striped dog.

Except Hina isn't a dog. She's a thylacine, one of several extinct species recreated in this era. Thylacines were marsupial carnivores, in our time relatively recently extinct, and referred to as the Tasmanian tiger or the Tasmanian wolf. Hina quite quickly bonds with Leroy. Leroy himself gets a new name; he got hit on the head in the course of the excitement, and temporarily had a shaky memory. The others started calling him Sonny because he couldn't at first remember his name. It stuck.

Sonny Knight expects to get home fairly quickly. He has no idea what adventures he's in for.

Every one of this quite random mix of people has their own mission in the aftermath of the attack--and that includes the captain of the ship, Kai, who is determined to get needed repairs with minimal additional damage.

The plot here is a lot of fun, but it's only half the fun. This is a fascinating future Earth, with new geography (a meteorite did substantial damage), new cultures and species (see previous, a meteorite did substantial damage), and varying levels of technology the cultures are able to effectively maintain.

I really like Sonny, and he learns lessons near and dear to my own heart.

This is just rollicking good fun. Recommended.

I bought this book.