Orbis Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Orbis

Roc, April 2002, 6.99, 416 pp.
ISBN 0451458745

   At the height of Rome's power, the Benefactors landed on an alternate Earth and went to war with Julius Caesar's legions. Unable to defeat the Benefactors, the Romans stole their spaceships and flew to a place where they could live. After two millennia, the Romans forget where earth is located, but both the Romans and the humans remain determined to defeat the Benefactors.
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    The Benefactors took the teachings of Christianity and used it to spread their own message. An underground resistance in North America is giving hope to the people who want to cast off the Benefactor's rule. In Europe, the Prussian Empire is openly at war with the Benefactors and is slowly clearing the land of them. There will come a time of reckoning when the Romans and its conquered people as well as the humans must meet, defy the Benefactors, and reach some kind of accommodation with each other.

    Scott Mackay can always be counted on to create a work that is original in design, yet absorbing and populated with a cast of characters that unite for a common goal. The ethics of the Benefactors is also fascinating because while their plans and battles are malfeasance, their morality is not. They do what they must to survive which is the natural order of a sentient species. If they were not on Earth, would humans be so quick to condemn them.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Orbis

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   alternate history Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   overthrowing govt/kingdom If an invasion, from Earth/human POV:    -   fighting overt invasion (attacking aliens) War or Invasion    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   mage/magician Age:    -   40's-50's


Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Scott Mackay Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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