Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Review – Orphanage by Robert Buettner

Orphanage

Robert Buettner

Book Review - Orphanage by Robert Buettner cover

By the author’s own admission Orphanage is a conscious homage to Robert A. Heinlein's classic science-fiction shoot-em-up, Starship Troopers, but it is also much more than that. It is a modern telling of a style that I thought almost gone. Thankfully, the Golden Age of Science Fiction is revived in Buettner’s capable hands. Reminiscent of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War and Mindbridge, Fred Pohl’s Gateway, and Robert H. Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit Will Travel, as well as the above-mention Starship Troopers Buettner certainly reveals his mastery of the military aspect of his stories. The action scenes and sequences are choreographed superbly and the battle scenes compelling and poignant. In addition, Orphanage, as well as all the other books in this series, contains everything that is good about excellent military science fiction. No, let me amend that. Orphanage contains everything that is good about excellent fiction, period. Buettner writes characters that you will care about, plots that are tight, dialogue that flows, and he has a grasp for spinning a tale that is always entertaining. Spending time with these brilliantly written works of mankind at war with a devious alien entity will not disappoint.

Buettner should be honored to be mentioned with the likes of Haldeman, Pohl, and Heinlein. I know I’m privileged to add him to my list of favorites.

Jason Wander Series

1. Orphanage (2004)

4 ½ stars out of 5

The Alternative’s Nutshell Recap: Evil aliens throw rocks at the Earth vaporizing many large cities. The world relies on one counterstrike in space led by soldiers left as orphans by the attack. Using outdated space craft and weapons the Orphans are ordered to invade the enemy on Ganymede.

2. Orphan's Destiny (2005)

4 ½ stars out of 5

The Alternative’s Nutshell Recap: Foot-soldier made General by losses in the Slug War Jason Wander returns home only to find that the real war has just begun. A full armada-sized invasion must be stopped by a single, ancient space craft and a suicide squad led by recently promoted General Wander.

3. Orphan's Journey (2008)

4 stars out of 5

The Alternative’s Nutshell Recap: Sent to the resort planet of New Moon Jason and crew are propelled into deep space when the test of a space ship goes wrong. Stranded on an alien planet Jason must save not only his friends but everyone else on the planet.

4. Orphan's Alliance (2008)

4 stars out of 5

The Alternative’s Nutshell Recap: Humans have been found in space. Jason Wander is sent as an emissary but finds that politics can be harder than leading men into battle. When mankind battles the Slugs for a strategic pieces of space Jason discovers that the most dangerous enemy is not always the one you expect.

5. Orphan's Triumph (2009)

4 stars out of 5

The Alternative’s Nutshell Recap: General Wander prepares for the final conflict as Earth and her allied forces organize to employ a doomsday weapon that can end the war. When a strategic reversal threatens mankind Jason Wander must confront the demons that turned him to the military in the first place and stripped away the innocence of his youth.

Additional Reading:

Orphanage Artwork

Author Site

Author's Blog

 Internet Speculative Fiction Database

SF World Review

The Alternative

Southeast Wisconsin

 

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