The Orpheus Plot. Christopher Swiedler. 2021. 400 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: If you get caught, I'm going to pretend I don't know who you are.
Premise/plot: Lucas Adebayo dreams of joining the Navy, but as a "belter kid"--someone who grew up on a mining ship--it seems unlikely, until it isn't. Given the opportunity to join the Orpheus as a cadet, he is thrilled at the opportunity. Even if his older sister (adopted), Tali, is strongly against it warning him that the Navy life isn't all that wonderful and that it will be all work with little reward.
And it does have its challenges. Sure he gets along (mostly) with his bunk mates, Elena and Rahul. But the other cadets don't exactly welcome him in. And the teachers don't know quite what to make of him. In some ways he's far advanced--than even fourth year students--but in others he's way behind from where he needs to be. Still, they see some potential.
But it won't be easy divorcing his old life from his new--and the Belters don't necessarily have high opinions of the Navy (calling them Muskrats) and vice versa. His new career--especially once he becomes a commander or a pilot (etc.) will have him at odds.
There is plenty of tension between the two...and as the jacket copy implies...when rebellion comes it may be up to Lucas to save the day (and save lives).
My thoughts: I liked this one. I loved, loved, loved Swiedler's In the Red. I didn't love this one. It was solidly good. I didn't dislike it. But I wasn't wowed like I was with In the Red.
I have no idea how this is 400 pages. I read an e-book of it, and so I never held the book in my hands. But it went by way too fast to be 400 pages.
I would recommend this one to young readers (upper elementary to middle school) who love science fiction.
© 2021 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews