First off, this book seems short. If I remember correctly, the first book was also short or at least it seemed that way. Anyway, the story does get told, but leaves everything open for another book in the series. For this one, you’ll remember that the Orion, an Earth colony ship, crashed on some uncharted planet after a member of the Disciples (a terrorist group) planted a bomb in the engine room. Stacy Wilson, a Civil Authority Special Agent, was looking for Disciple members while the ship was being built. They had tried to prevent the ship from leaving Earth. The Disciples are a group of Transients who don’t believe in human genetic manipulation as done by the Eternals. The Eternals have extended their life-span to almost immortality via gene manipulation. Of course, this treatment costs a lot of money and only the wealthy were able to afford it. So now Earth is divided into the Eternals and the Transients. Most Transients don’t care one way or another.
One Transient is Dean Slade. He’s a mechanic in the Orion construction crew and has no intention of leaving Earth on this ship. But,circumstances beyond his control change things until he finds himself aboard the Orion and helping Stacy track down a Disciple. They catch one, but not the other one and that causes the Orion to crash land on the planet they know nothing about. The ship didn’t make it down in one piece. In fact, the ship has been scattered all over the planet with escape pods and shuttles flung everywhere. Dean and Stacy find each other and then some more colonist and lead them to a large remnant of the Orion. There they meet with a large contingent of surviving colonist and the leaders, Elon and Arun, both Eternals.
After getting things kind of organized, two groups head out to find more colonist and to find the communications equipment somewhere on another piece of the ship. Stacy and Dean head join the search for more colonist. While their current group is about 2,000 or so, the Orion carried over 150,000 colonist! It also held in its brig, one of the Disciples that Stacy and Dean captured before the ship blew up. It was thought that he died in the crash, but Dean believes he saw someone in the dark shadows and now believes it to be the terrorist. Dean and Stacy’s party are heading out to a large piece of the Orion and to find the piece that contained the brig. They want to confirm whether or not the crash did kill the terrorist.
Unfortunately, they find something far more serious. While the planet doesn’t seem to have an alien civilization, it did seem to have one in the past. What happened to that civilization is a mystery, but the colonist do know that something lurks in the forest several kilometers from where they are now located. In fact, Dean was on one of the exploratory expeditions into the forest where one of the colonist was killed by something. Now the forest have become off-limits while they hope whatever is in there doesn’t come out. Again, unfortunately, it doesn’t stay in the forest.
This is a pretty good story. There seems to be only one action taking place at a time so it’s not that hard to keep the story-line straight. Most of the story centers around Dean and Stacy as they are the main characters. Dean’s character sees more development in this book. He’s got a past that we just now find out about. It’s interesting and doesn’t distract from the main story, but does fill the book. Nothing really is revealed about Stacy, but I’m sure she will get her story told later.
As mentioned at the end of the book, “Orion Awakened” will be coming in January 2019. Hey, that’s this month so I’ll be on the look out for it.