Exodus by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The fourth and final novel in the Orbs series sees the last desperate role of the dice both from the remaining crew of the NTC Ghosts of Atlantis and those from the biosphere as potentially the last of humanity leave Earth as free beings. A journey to Mars to meet up with the earlier NTC expedition and perhaps to make a new home free of the "Organics" and their masters on a world already devoid of most of is water is the only hope but it's no safe haven. The Organics are waiting but Dr Winston's commune with the aliens gives the survivors a small edge and together and apart the revelations of the aliens plans and goals are fully revealed.
The final novel in the series is for me the most enjoyable, more alien tech/scifi hardware focused worked well with the foundations laid down in the previous novels. The surprising twists were also most satisfying and the ongoing trend of sacrifice for the greater good felt right given the opposing viewpoint of the guiding force behind this invasion and so many more fallen worlds and civilisations. This novel got the fifth star because it's worth it and it wraps up a very strong scifi story, there were few "wins" for the characters and humanity which you would expect given the odds they faced but everything fell into place and conclusion was so worth the wait. Stand out character may surprise some but I really enjoyed the AI Alexia and her growth throughout the series, initially met with some mistrust she grew with the human characters and playing a critical role throughout.
I can highly recommend the Orbs series even though the aliens want our water has been done to death in the movies (mostly poorly at that) but here we get a strong and believable narrative with good characters a few of which stick around but most burn bright but leave their mark.
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