Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review: Orphan's Triumph by Robert Buettner

Title: Orphan's Triumph
Author: Robert Buettner
Copyright: 2009
Publisher: Orbit Books
ISBN: 0316001759

Notes: 5th book in the Jason Wander series


Everybody Was Somebody Else Before the War - 5 stars - a book review
"Though Father of the great victory, I was laid upon the battlefield of Mantinea, bleeding from my wounds. I commanded my soldiers to lift me up, that I might see my orphans triumph, and I bade them make a lasting peace. But I died too soon to see these things, as all soldiers do."

-Epaminondas' Lament, attributed to Xenophon, ca. 364 BC (an excerpt from the opening of Orphan's Triumph.

True to form, Robert Buettner delivers in the finale of the Jason Wander series. Picking up at the conclusion of ORPHAN'S ALLIANCE, the United Human forces are ready to launch the ultimate counter stroke in the battle against the slugs that has raged on for four decades. At the heart of the novel is Jason Wander, the orphan who has stumbled his way to the position of Lieutenant General, much to the dismay of everyone. Wander was the first to encounter a slug and is determined to be the last one to see them alive. Along the way, through the entire series, he has sacrificed much, and lost even more.

ORPHAN'S TRIUMPH explores the price of command and the price of a life long service to the military as Wander comes to terms with what is necessary to win at all costs. As expected, the personal commentary by Wander in this first person account is raw and genuine. The voice is unmatched and deeply personal. As in ORPHAN'S ALLIANCE, there were times of true emotional responses from me while reading some of the passages, which proves the depth of this military science fiction installment.

The cast of characters includes those that readers of the series have come to appreciate (and love) including Ord, Mimi, Jude, Howard Hibble and his merry band of "Spooks," and Aud. Forty years of war has certainly had an effect on these people and as the end of the Slugs or the end of Humanity looms they will have to reconcile with each other and show the worth of their friendship/relationship. Buettner excels in casting his believable characters in situations that are, at times, excruciating and elegant to read, all at the same time.

ORPHAN'S TRIUMPH, as well as the entire series, is not to be missed. In the spirit of Robert Heinlein, ORPHAN'S TRIUMPH is today's commentary on war, exploration, and personal sacrifice.

Good reading,

Plants and Books

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