Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Orion Plan by Mark Alpert

Posted by Rebecca Brendel

Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I Read: The Orion Plan by Mark Alpert

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: “Scientists thought we were safe from invasion. The distance between stars is so great that it seemed impossible for even the most advanced civilizations to send a large spaceship from one star system to another. But now, a species - a planet - other than our own has found a way.

An unassuming probe from another star system lands in an empty corner of New York City and drills into the ground underneath, drawing electricity from the power lines to jumpstart its automated expansion. When it's discovered, it injects nanodevices into those people unlucky enough to come near it. The devices migrate to the brains of the victims and influence their behavior, forcing them to perform tasks that will assist the probe as it prepares for an alien colonization. When the government proves slow to react, a NASA scientist realizes he must lead the effort to stop the probe before it becomes too powerful.”  – From the Publisher

What I Thought: I have to tell you first that I haven’t read many science fiction thrillers in the past. So, I have very little background knowledge I can use to judge this book based on what I have read in other titles.

The Orion Plan piqued my interest because of the real science research the author used to write the material around his story. I enjoy reading stories that use and twist real historical events to weave a tale either mundane or fantastical. The author does a very good job of sticking to the science used in the novel and applying it to the events that unfold. However, in doing so, the story does tend to drag in parts to provide an explanation of what is being discussed. When the action does start, the start moves quickly.

I wouldn’t call this book a thriller so much as an urban contemporary science fiction story with elements of history. General thrillers are sinister and dark and suck you into the conflict that is unfolding one piece of the puzzle at a time. The Orion Plan does propel you forward and guide you along a journey but it never truly sucks you in for the ride.

The adventure and dialogue are interesting and well put-together. The characters are believable and show the many faults of humanity and how we cope with both our everyday stresses and how people respond to insurmountable obstacles.

If you would like an interesting story involving science fiction themes, a good plot, and characters you can almost relate to, then this is your read. I would give the book three stars for the story and the breakdown of the content, but I could never really get into the characters and how the author used them in the story. I did find it to be a quick read and enjoyable to the end. Make your own assumptions about the book and enjoy the adventure.

Readalikes: Prey by Michael Crichton 

Or look this book up on NoveList!