Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Orbs by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

It's been six years since the solar storms of 2055 wiped out much of the midwest, leaving a radioactive wasteland in their wake. Dr. Sophie Winston witnessed the storms and the results firsthand and is well aware that a second occurrence could mean the end of mankind. No one wants to stand by and wait for that to happen and so scientists around the world have been searching for an alternative option. One man, Dr. Hoffman of the NTC, has conceived of a possible solution: a Mars colony. It will be both costly and difficult, but it could be the only way to save the human race. 

Sophie been recruited to be part of a team of scientists tasked with testing Hoffman's new biosphere set up. If successful, the biospheres would be the basis for the Mars colony and Sophie would be ensured a place there. But just days into the experiment, something goes wrong. Sophie and her team quickly realize that it's not the biosphere that has failed or malfunctioned, but that something has gone wrong on the Earth's surface. What they discover when they emerge is worse than they could possibly imagine. 

Sophie and Emanuel from the short "Solar Storms" play a big role in this first of the series. Brothers Jeff and David from "White Sands" make an appearance as well. I'd been wondering if and how they would and I do have to say the author has done a fabulous job there!

I am really loving this series! Orbs is post-apocalyptic alien invasion fun - big on entertainment and not too big on scientific jargon. It's a total popcorn read (as in big blockbuster movie fare and all that's missing is the popcorn). You don't have to have read "Solar Storms" or "White Sands" prior to reading Orbs. In fact, much of "Solar Storms" does make an appearance in Orbs. (Personally, I found "White Sands" to be particularly fun in introducing David and Jeff, so I would recommend checking that one out.)

As per my post on the shorts, "Solar Storms," "White Sands," Orbs and Orbs II: Stranded are out now. Orbs III: Redemption and another prequel short, "Red Sands," are due out next year.

Rating: 3/5

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