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Reviewed by J. C. Steel for Readers' Favorite
In Orion Rising, Chard Andrews pulls you into a future where humanity’s remnants are crowded onto the great southern islands, and the rest of the planet is scorched earth too dangerous to set foot on. Orion Trayfer is second officer aboard a Harvest ship, one of the vessels servicing the great floating farm pods that line the coasts of New Zealand and feed the ever-expanding population. When his ship finds one of the precious pods loose from its anchors, its assigned ship nowhere on the horizon, Orion is one of the crew sent aboard to prevent damage to the pod field. The job takes a turn for the unusual when they discover missing power sources and traces of blood, and becomes stranger still when their reports are largely discounted. New faces aboard old ships and weird shipments on the docks begin to add up to something more than anything Orion and his crew mates can imagine.
Orion Rising is a unique science fiction adventure set on the oceans of Earth’s future, brought vividly alive by Chard Andrews’ knowledge of ships and the sea. The descriptions had me holding my breath and seeing the hull sinking away under me. Rich characterization makes the dialogue and interactions shine, introducing people with their own humor, traumas, and wants, while hyper-realistic action kept me turning the pages. The world Andrews creates is expertly drawn and very plausible, seamlessly exposed through the experiences and actions of his characters, and rife with tensions that are all too easy to identify with.