Today, I am looking at Orphan Planet by Rex Burke.

The book comes out !8 April 2023 and I was lucky to read this one early. 

Book 1 in the 'Odyssey Earth' series – a feelgood SciFi space adventure .

With Earth in crisis, humans are travelling deep into space. But humanity’s future just took a wrong turn.

A seventeen-year colony-ship voyage – a straight shot to a new planet. Handpicked, single-minded crew, and a thousand settlers in hypersleep. No children, no families, no fuss.

That was the plan, anyway.

Captain Juno Washington commands a ship of loners and oddballs. The teenagers of the Odyssey Earth didn’t ask to be born, and face an uncertain future. And Jordan Booth really didn’t want to be woken up early.

After an unexpected change of course, relationships are tested like never before. If they listen to advice, pull together and stop squabbling, they might just make it.

Yeah, right. Good luck with that.

As the Earth succumbs to catastrophic climate change, Jordan Booth decides to join the crew of the Odyssey Earth on a one way trip to establish a new colony amongst the stars. With the proviso that he will be asleep for most of the seventeen year journey he will be kept in stasis, so imagine his surprise when he is woken up to babysit a bunch of teenagers.

Orphan Planet is an enjoyable character driven sci Fi about found family and finding your place in the world, even if it is not on this world.

This is a typically British tale that brings together influences from that old institution of the British sitcom. Yes, there are very definite echoes of things like Red Dwarf, and this is always going to appeal to me as I do love that series. However, there are a number of other things in there which give the book a sense of individuality.

Now one of the things that I like about this book is that whilst it is sci fi, it's very accessible and definitely falls into the soft end of the spectrum, but beneath it all there are definite hard edges there, and it does ask questions like where are we going.

Not only that, I loved the characters, particularly Jordan who is that quintessential awkward British bloke who gets thrust into a situation that he doesn't know how to deal with. The bunch of teenagers themselves are surprisingly endearing and the interactions between them and the ships AI, Reeves is one of the high points if the books.

Rex Burke writes with an easy prose that successfully mixes comedy, pathos and sci Fi that makes the book an easy read that gently creeps up on you.

Orphan planet was one of those books that appears to be quite unassuming at first. However, it soon sinks it's hooks into you and I really enjoyed it.


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