Orbs by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Orbs was a novel or more accurately part of a series that was recommended to me in the usual Amazon fashion and the price was good and the blurb was interesting so why not. Four books later I was totally satisfied with the story that Nicholas had penned about an alien invasion of the Earth and the subsequent events which for humanity and the world were not good, not good at all.
In this first novel we get much of the backstory of the Earth set in the near future which carries throughout the series, the environment is damaged and political and economic issues have led to a corporate power being the defacto world leader to the point that China as a "power" were removed from the equation at the hands of the New Tech Corporation. Complications arise after a solar event slashes the Earth with destructive radiation and stella material leaving millions dead and cities gone or uninhabitable. The eyes of the corporation look towards Mars and a biosphere project is undertaken to prove the concept under the eyes of a highly advanced AI and selected specialists led by Dr Sophie Winston. Soon after the project is sealed under Cheyenne Mountain all contact is lost with the outside and the animals violently destroy themselves. The last time anything like this occurred was when the Earth was bathed in the radiation storms and while the team can last for months in this self sustaining complex the team need to know what has happened to the billions who lacked this protection...
I'm not going to go into too specific details of the events the followed leaving the Cheyenne complex but I will admit I was hooked, it's not easy making an alien invasion story work given all the questions that are often asked when the goal seems to be resource lead but this was by far more interesting than anything Hollywood has done recently. We were presented with a good mix of characters and good dynamic between them, personalities clashed and the AI was a good addition offering a look at events offset from the emotions of the team members.
I pretty much read all four novels over the course of a week, one of the benefits of being late to the party is that there is no waiting for the next installment and while this novel only got a four star rating the series as a whole will get five, it was that good.
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