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Betrayal on Orbis 2 (The Softwire #2) Hardcover – March 25, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5–9—A sequel to The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 (Candlewick, 2006). Johnny Turnbull, 14, is a "softwire" who can use his mind to communicate with any computer. He and fellow "knud-niks," who were enslaved to alien Guarantors on the Rings of Orbis to pay off their parents' debts, are sent to Orbis 2 now that their duties on the first ring are complete. Here they encounter harsher conditions, crueler Guarantors, and a web of political intrigue centered around the harvest of valuable crystals. JT is the only one capable of communicating with the Samirans, the gigantic aquatic aliens who have been cooling the crystals for many rotations and are now showing signs of unrest. The story and mysteries are compelling but complicated, and a working knowledge of the first book's events and vocabulary is essential. The characters are recognizable types, but the actions are morally nuanced: in one of the most memorable scenes, cruel Odran puts JT in charge of the other young human workers and forces him to punish Switzer, a bully, with an electric-shock device. Themes of family, political maneuvering, tension between races, and the desire to escape captivity are palpable throughout.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library
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In the second volume in The Softwire series Virus on Orbis 1 (2006), JT Turnbull learned that he would be forced to work off his late parents’ debt from their passage on the ship that brought them to the Rings of Orbis. In this sequel, JT is released from his alien Guarantor’s service and transferred to Orbis 2, along with his sister, Ketheria, and a crew of fellow child laborers, or knudniks. Forced to work for a repugnant and spiteful alien, JT and the knudniks are charged with caring for enormous aquatic creatures, called Samirans, that manage the crystals necessary to the health and wealth of the Rings. As a softwire, JT alone is able to communicate with the Samirans, and he finds himself caught between the machinations of his new Guarantor and Samiran interests. A fast-moving plot filled with kids fighting against the odds; bizarre creatures both devious and noble; real messages about civilization, barbarity, ethics, and freedom; and a healthy dose of alien gore make this a strong science-fiction read for the younger teen set. Grades 5-8. --Holly Koelling
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Top Customer Reviews
The author does a good job of quickly getting you into the story as well as lots of action that has you eagerly waiting to turn the page. Your heart will race a little bit during some of the action scenes, and you get a feeling of actually being a part of the story vs. just someone reading a tale. I enjoyed this one quite a bit as did my children, now I'm off to purchase book 3 in the series.
While reading book 3, I realized how well-planned out the plot lines are. You see everything start to come together in book 3, and you start to see the story arc of the entire series.
Book 1 really hooked me, and the rest of the series (so far) is just as good, or even better.
Recommended by N. Fillion to all his fans on twitter.
Sci-fi kids' series, but enjoyable to read as an adult.