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Review by Elisabeth Carey


by Robert Buettner

Aspect, 2004, ISBN 0-446-61429-7

Jason Wander, eighteen years old, with no particular skills, in trouble with the law, and with his only family killed in the alien attacks that are slowly destroying Earth’s ecosystem and killing the human race, somewhat involuntarily enlists in the infantry. He does not suddenly discover that this is the life he was born for, but he does, eventually, decide that he doesn’t want to fail at this, too, or let down the few people who believe in him. He makes some appalling mistakes on his way to that decision, and it’s not smooth sailing after that, but Jason does start to make a foot soldier of himself. When an expedition is dispatched to take the war to the enemy, at their base on Ganymede, Jason and his squadmates are part of it.

This is a book that borrows heavily from all the great buddy war movies, as well as Starship Troopers and The Forever War, and freely acknowledges its debts. Orphanage doesn’t break new ground in the genre, but it’s a solid, enjoyable read.