Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Orphanage-Robert Buettner

Robert Buettner
Orbit, Apr 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780316019125

In 2040 an unknown space armada attack planet Earth. From distances beyond anyone on the planet could achieve the aliens sent smart bombs killing innocent people like the mother of Jason Wander in Indianapolis when she came to see him. Unable to cope, Jason turns to drugs and crime until he is busted. His choices are boot camp as a soldier or prison as a convict. He chooses to become a grunt, but continues to not care until the enemy destroys nearby Pittsburgh killing everyone inside the city.

The Slugs as they have been dubbed continue to send long distance projectiles destroying city after city with a few earthlings able to shoot their missiles out of the sky. However, though it seems hopeless, the firing point has been established on Ganymede. To take them out a prototype ship is launched under the UN auspices. The counterassault fails leaving Jason, two gunner buddies, and his girlfriend left to either save mankind or the more likely outcome which is death.

The key to this entertaining military science fiction thriller is the hero who is a classic screw-up because he does not give a sh*t until Pittsburgh. Even after that Jason tries to do the right thing but still blunders and errs. Still he, his girlfriend and his buddies bond and prove that as a unit they are stronger than they are individually. Although there is little description of life on Battlefield Earth, fans will appreciate this opening engaging hyperspeed action-packed thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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