When the team at Jovian Resources set out to get revenge on their former colleague by capturing the asteroid his company, Excelsior Launch Systems, is towing back to Earth to mine for minerals, they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that sends them running from both the law and unscrupulous Russian assassins. As they delve deeper into the source code leaked from Excelsior, they realize that more is at stake than just bad blood between competitors, and that time is running out faster than you can say “cataclysmic event”.
ORBITAL DISRUPTION by Andrew Brook is a cross-genre novel combining elements of hard sci-fi with the plot and pacing of a thriller. Written in close third person, the reader has an almost cinematic experience, watching the action unfold as the main characters slowly decipher the mystery, but also getting glimpses of the antagonists’ actions and motivations. There are even some scenes written from the perspective of AI, which is a fantastic worldbuilding device that explores the technological advancements of the near-future American society in which it is set.
The blurb for the novel gives the impression that the storyline might lean towards humorous, which is not the case, and those who enjoy their sci-fi to be more space opera than science tech will probably be disappointed. If, however, you enjoyed the math and logistics from The Martian by Andy Weir, then you’ll probably feel right at home here, although this novel is firmly set on Earth with a only a few scenes taking place in space.
The cast of characters is diverse and it’s good to see the female characters playing technical and physical roles as convincingly as their male counterparts. However, one place where the novel fell a bit flat was in character development, while some conversations seemed a little stilted, although that could be due to the technical jargon that would make any interchange a tongue twister. The main villain was particularly interesting to watch, even if his defeat was not as challenging as it could have been. Similarly, the ending, although spectacular, was slightly disappointing and the epilogue somewhat baffling – perhaps it hinted at more to come? An even bigger conspiracy? We’ll have to wait and see.
Space piracy sets the backdrop for ORBITAL DISRUPTION, an exhilarating tech thriller, where the rewards are great, but the risks even bigger. Conspiracies abound and the very fate of the Earth is at stake – a nail-biting race against the clock for fans of Michael Crichton or Andy Weir.
~Suneé Jones for IndieReader