Saturday, April 04, 2009

Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1

Haarsma, PJ. 2006. Softwire: Virus On Orbis 1. Candlewick. 272 pages.

I was surprised by this one. Perhaps it was the cover. Perhaps it was the name. I don't know. It just didn't scream out read me, read me. But. I was more than surprised by this one. I picked this up on a day when I was in a reading slump. Nothing was working for me. I was disconnected and cranky.

But I picked this one up--mainly because the third book in the series had come a day or two before--and was amazed. I picked it up and didn't want to put it down.

I was immediately drawn into this sci-fi world created by PJ Haarsma. It has an interesting premise. A star ship of children arrive on Orbis. Their parents--all the adults--are dead. Have long been dead. (The sleepers had failed. But the embryos (such as they were) survived. And with the help of the computer were hatched (terrible term I know!) in two batches (again horrible word) and raised by the computer. The original plan had been that the parents would work four years on the rings of Orbis thus earning their sponsors the cost of the flight. After four years of indentureship, they'd have the right to earn their citizenship on Orbis. But with the parents will the Keepers (and Citizens) react to their arrival?

Our narrator, Johnny Turnbull, has a gift. He's a softwire. The first of his kind--the first human to have this gift. He's able to connect with computers--interact with them using his mind. But I won't go into all the details of what other gifts he has.

If you like science fiction, you might want to give it a try. There are two more in the series so far. I hope to get to them soon.

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Carrie K. 8:52 PM  

I read the first two books in this series last year, and really liked them. I'm glad to hear the third is coming out soon!

Unknown 9:29 PM  

I've enjoyed this series, too! Glad that you discovered it. There's not much that I would call real science fiction for kids, and this is a great series to help fill that gap.

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