Friday, July 31, 2009

The Orphanage by Robert Buettner

The Orphanage has a great quote in the front from a fragment of a letter recovered from Omaha Beach, Normandy June 1944. It is a few sentences long but the last sentence of the quote reads “Strip away politics and whatever or whenever, war is an orphanage.”

This quick science fiction read works on the premise that an alien race has taken up residence on one of the moons of Jupiter and is sending down projectiles (no live explosives, just VERY big rocks) that are destroying entire metropolises at a time. The world is in a race with extinction and no doing too well considering space programs kind of slacked off the R&D years ago. Eighteen year old Jason Wander has recently lost his mother to a projectile attack, had a bit of a mental breakdown and now finds himself in danger going to jail. The judge offers him a choice, prison or the army. Jason Wander chooses the army and what follows is the funniest and, at times, saddest of stories. Jason is a big of a screwup and the consequences vary from cleaning toilets with the tiniest of implements to losing good friends. What it eventually comes down to is that we have one chance and one ship to launch. As the book cover says, “Their failure is our extinction.” (I may not have that quote exactly right, but it’s close enough)

I love Jason Wander! This is a series I’m delighted to begin following. The next in line is Orphan’s Destiny and I’m going to start it as soon as I catch up on some bookgroup obligations!

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