THE LAST FRAGMENTS OF THE HUMAN RACE ARE FORCED TO ADAPT TO A DANGEROUS NEW WORLD OR FACE EXTINCTION.
When starship mechanic, Denton Castus, is caught in the destructive path of a devastating war, he abandons his home and seeks refuge on a distant planet. However, this new safe haven has undiscovered threats of its own. Eliana Veston, a scout preparing the planet for the refugees, struggles with a deadly pandemic that is killing off colonists. The hunt for a cure unleashes a new threat to humanity-the Sirens-mysterious beings with incredible powers and a deep hatred for invaders.
In the Orbit of Sirens is a thrilling novel that will appeal to both experienced sci-fi readers as well as those new to the genre. The highlights for me are the world building and the fast-paced story that I absolutely flew through. The world of Kamaria is beautifully imagined, the use of advanced technology is well done, and contains elements of the plot that I think will appeal to readers of fantasy.
The world building in this book is done exquisitely, Bruno fleshes out Kamaria with vivid descriptions of the flora and fauna. The main sentient species that humans encounter on this planet are intriguing, with unique aspects of their biology and culture that make their dealings with humans interesting to read about. The technology is written well, with many uses for both combat as well as the everyday tasks of exploring a new world and building a new civilization for humanity. Speaking of combat, the battles were so well done. I was sucked into each and every one of the combat scenes, whether it was space battles in giant war ships or ground based fighting with alien creatures. The large battle at the climax of the novel was executed exceptionally well and had me anxious until the end. This novel is definitely not hard sci-fi but there is enough explanation of the technology to make its existence plausible, without the deep dive into physics that could bore many readers.
The plot of the novel is also very compelling. Humans have been forced to flee the solar system after a long war against an AI that they created. An advanced force was sent ahead to Kamaria to prepare the way for a colonizing expedition of 10,000 people that would follow 10 years later. The trip takes 300 years and upon arrival, the advanced force discovers that while the air is technically breathable for humans, there is a bacteria present in the air that will kill them within minutes of inhalation. They have 10 years to discover a cure before 10,000 more people arrive, along with the rest of the challenges of establishing a brand new civilization on a foreign planet. The beginning of the novel switches between the “present” of the exploration party on Kamaria and 300 years prior when humans lose their war against the AI and instead of sending 10,000 people to Kamaria, load up 30,000, the last vestiges of humanity in the universe. And while it appears that they have escaped, I can’t help but wonder if this AI intent on destroying humans will play a role in future novels. The rest of the novel takes place in the “present” day, after the surprise group of 30,000 humans arrive and are faced with more challenges and new enemies. It is hard to discuss the plot on Kamaria without spoilers, but I found it was fast-paced and action-packed. There are elements to the antagonist that I think will really appeal to fantasy readers.
I was sucked into reading this book and just couldn’t stop reading, which is probably the highest praise I can give. I recommend this novel to any readers of speculative fiction and can’t wait to further explore Kamaria in the rest of the trilogy.