Ace, Jan 2003, 7.50, 384 pp.
The alien Spinners bestow gifts upon races far less technologically advanced than they are. These presents include a faster than light ship and ftl communication ability. Shortly after they are used the Starfish arrive, hostile aliens who destroy entire solar systems wherever beings that use the ftl communications exist.
The Starfish destroy Earth and the rest of the solar system. Human colony planets, spread out throughout the known universe, are being destroyed and it looks like Homo sapiens will soon become an extinct species. Caryl Hatzis and human engram (an advanced simulation) Peter Alander are desperately trying to find a way to save what is left of mankind. They discover a third alien race, the Yvel, who have been trailing in the wake of the Spinners and the Starfish for twenty-five hundred years. They survive by staying behind their enemy but now Caryl and Peter want humanity and the Yvel to make a stand against the Starfish.
ORPHANS OF EARTH is space opera at it's finest as Sean Williams and Shane Dix have created a rousing adventure starring alien races that seem so real and superior to mankind that it is no wonder there is no communication between the various species. Though the Yvel are alien also, they share the same needs as humans and make believable allies. It will be interesting to see what far away galaxy the next installment in this exciting series takes the reader to visit.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner