01/11/2009. Contributed by Paul Hanley
pub: Orbit. 302 page paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK), $ 6.99 (US), $ 8.50 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-316-01913-2.
check out website: www.orbitbooks.net and www.robertbuettner.com
This is the second book in the 'Jason Wander' series, the first being titled 'Orphanage'. Whilst it is probably always best to start with the first book of a set and work forwards, this book is capable of being read alone although I did read the other book first.
The stories are set a little in our future with the basic background that Earth is under attack with huge meteorites being flung at the planet from the vicinity of Ganymede. As space exploration has progressed little if at all from our day, craft like the US space shuttle are hurriedly mass-produced and in the first book an expeditionary force, exclusively manned by those orphaned by the alien attacks, is despatched to Ganymede. This second book, 'Orphan's Destiny', takes the hero of that action, Jason Wander, and follows him as he deals with further alien threats. Although the aliens were vanquished on Ganymede and many thought the threat was over, an armada of vast spaceships are detected approaching Earth and, with the military cutbacks, only one spaceship is available to meet it. This is a book full of action and for those who like a good story set within a military environment this is an excellent read. The author clearly knows how the military works and is able to bring the fighting realistically to life, especially as in his scenario much of the weaponry, equipment and vehicles his characters use are known to us.
Whilst the first book dealt with large-scale action, this book deals with the actions of Jason Wander and a handful of those as they battle against the dire alien threat. Clearly, these books have a parallel with Robert Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers' but they also hark back to earlier fiction with gallant chaps saving the day by their resourcefulness and courage such as Hornblower and Biggles.
I enjoyed the book and will certainly be reading the others in the series. I am sure that if you enjoy military SF and a good read you will enjoy this book, too.
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