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The Orpheus Plot

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A rebellion in space pits one boy’s past against his future. Lucas Adebayo grew up on a small mining ship in the asteroid belt, but wants to join the Navy and become the best pilot in the galaxy. The Navy has never accepted a Belter cadet before, but Lucas’s skills secure him a place on the training ship, the Orpheus. Life in the Navy couldn’t be more different than life in A rebellion in space pits one boy’s past against his future. Lucas Adebayo grew up on a small mining ship in the asteroid belt, but wants to join the Navy and become the best pilot in the galaxy. The Navy has never accepted a Belter cadet before, but Lucas’s skills secure him a place on the training ship, the Orpheus. Life in the Navy couldn’t be more different than life in the Belt, and Lucas struggles to find his place. As a Belter, he’s an outsider among his peers; as a Navy cadet, he doesn’t quite fit in at home anymore, either. Lucas is caught between the worlds of his past and his future when a Belter rebellion puts everyone’s lives at risk. Only he can lead the way to peace.


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A rebellion in space pits one boy’s past against his future. Lucas Adebayo grew up on a small mining ship in the asteroid belt, but wants to join the Navy and become the best pilot in the galaxy. The Navy has never accepted a Belter cadet before, but Lucas’s skills secure him a place on the training ship, the Orpheus. Life in the Navy couldn’t be more different than life in A rebellion in space pits one boy’s past against his future. Lucas Adebayo grew up on a small mining ship in the asteroid belt, but wants to join the Navy and become the best pilot in the galaxy. The Navy has never accepted a Belter cadet before, but Lucas’s skills secure him a place on the training ship, the Orpheus. Life in the Navy couldn’t be more different than life in the Belt, and Lucas struggles to find his place. As a Belter, he’s an outsider among his peers; as a Navy cadet, he doesn’t quite fit in at home anymore, either. Lucas is caught between the worlds of his past and his future when a Belter rebellion puts everyone’s lives at risk. Only he can lead the way to peace.

42 review for The Orpheus Plot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus In a world where Miners who live in the asteroid belt ("Belters") don't much like the Navy who regulates them, Lucas Adebayo still wants to join the Navy. His adopted sister, Tali, has been accepted into training school on the ship Orpheus, since she was born on Mars but came to live with Lucas and his father after her parents were killed. Lucas hopes she can get him into the academy, but she is surprisingly reluctant. When a chance encounter results in him being E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus In a world where Miners who live in the asteroid belt ("Belters") don't much like the Navy who regulates them, Lucas Adebayo still wants to join the Navy. His adopted sister, Tali, has been accepted into training school on the ship Orpheus, since she was born on Mars but came to live with Lucas and his father after her parents were killed. Lucas hopes she can get him into the academy, but she is surprisingly reluctant. When a chance encounter results in him being admitted, he is thrilled but a littler wary. Luckily, most of the other students are kind, and he finds good friends in Rahul, Maria, and Elena. Some of Lucas' academics are poor, but he makes up for them by having real world skills in flying and mechanical maintenance. When the group travels off ship, he meets some sketchy people who give him a chip, and while he's leery of using it, Rahul thinks he can diagnose it without it connecting to the Orpheus' computers. Unfortunately, it does just that, and lets a group of Belters bent on revolution onto the ship. Even the Rieschling Base is overtaken, so the students have nowhere to turn. Even Tali is suspect, but Lucas and his friends need to use all of their skills to deal with the chaos and try to find some way to save themselves and their school. Strengths: The set up of Lucas' world gives us just enough information to pull us right in and join his journey from Belter (where personal hygiene is hard!) to cadet, where there are new uniforms and big responsibilities. The fact that his academics are a little weak but his work ethic helps him is a great message. Tali is a fascinating character who has hidden depths. The cadets work well together and put their knowledge to good use, and of course get the better of their oppressors. A fast-paced, interesting science fiction adventure! Weaknesses: I wish that the Belters had found a better way to change their situation than taking over ships, but it certainly makes for an intense story! What I really think: Perfect for readers who want a little more space adventures like Landers' Blastaway or Levy's Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy. There is always room in a library collection for books with what I think of as a Star Trek vibe-- they boldly go where no one has gone before and have a variety of adventures without veering into dystopia.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: If you get caught, I'm going to pretend I don't know who you are. Premise/plot: Lucas Adebayo dreams of joining the Navy, but as a "belter kid"--someone who grew up on a mining ship--it seems unlikely, until it isn't. Given the opportunity to join the Orpheus as a cadet, he is thrilled at the opportunity. Even if his older sister (adopted), Tali, is strongly against it warning him that the Navy life isn't all that wonderful and that it will be all work with little reward. And it do First sentence: If you get caught, I'm going to pretend I don't know who you are. Premise/plot: Lucas Adebayo dreams of joining the Navy, but as a "belter kid"--someone who grew up on a mining ship--it seems unlikely, until it isn't. Given the opportunity to join the Orpheus as a cadet, he is thrilled at the opportunity. Even if his older sister (adopted), Tali, is strongly against it warning him that the Navy life isn't all that wonderful and that it will be all work with little reward. And it does have its challenges. Sure he gets along (mostly) with his bunk mates, Elena and Rahul. But the other cadets don't exactly welcome him in. And the teachers don't know quite what to make of him. In some ways he's far advanced--than even fourth year students--but in others he's way behind from where he needs to be. Still, they see some potential. But it won't be easy divorcing his old life from his new--and the Belters don't necessarily have high opinions of the Navy (calling them Muskrats) and vice versa. His new career--especially once he becomes a commander or a pilot (etc.) will have him at odds. There is plenty of tension between the two...and as the jacket copy implies...when rebellion comes it may be up to Lucas to save the day (and save lives). My thoughts: I liked this one. I loved, loved, loved Swiedler's In the Red. I didn't love this one. It was solidly good. I didn't dislike it. But I wasn't wowed like I was with In the Red. I have no idea how this is 400 pages. I read an e-book of it, and so I never held the book in my hands. But it went by way too fast to be 400 pages. I would recommend this one to young readers (upper elementary to middle school) who love science fiction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    This was an exciting, well paced novel that will keep kids wanting to continue reading. I think it is a book that teens and tweens will enjoy. In this book, the kids are the heroes and they save the adults. It’s a fun, action packed novel that also has some good messages. There are lessons about being yourself, being truthful, being brave, trust, and forgiveness. I liked this book and I would recommend it to others. Thank you Net Galley and HarperCollins Children’s Books-HarperCollins for this d This was an exciting, well paced novel that will keep kids wanting to continue reading. I think it is a book that teens and tweens will enjoy. In this book, the kids are the heroes and they save the adults. It’s a fun, action packed novel that also has some good messages. There are lessons about being yourself, being truthful, being brave, trust, and forgiveness. I liked this book and I would recommend it to others. Thank you Net Galley and HarperCollins Children’s Books-HarperCollins for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. #NetGalley #The Orpheus Plot

  4. 4 out of 5

    Capturing Luminous

    The Orpheus Plot by Christopher Swiedler This was such a fun book, a perfect space adventure to read over the summer. I enjoyed how well paced the novel was, and the overall message of fighting for what’s right and chasing your dreams. This book will be coming out on June 15, 2021 I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amita

    for fans of Kevin Emerson and Yoon Ha Lee, you say? ... i am intrigued for fans of Kevin Emerson and Yoon Ha Lee, you say? ... i am intrigued

  6. 5 out of 5

    AR

    Great Navy Cadet In Space Story I read the entire book in a single day, really enjoyed the story. The build up to the big event is exciting and the resolution was fun to read. The MC isn't perfect, but always tries to do what's right. Great book. Great Navy Cadet In Space Story I read the entire book in a single day, really enjoyed the story. The build up to the big event is exciting and the resolution was fun to read. The MC isn't perfect, but always tries to do what's right. Great book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    Felt like a little bit of Ender's Game set in an early Expanse universe. I'll allow it. 3.5/5 Felt like a little bit of Ender's Game set in an early Expanse universe. I'll allow it. 3.5/5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kvara

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Imbody

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mynda

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mia

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Tanner

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kade Katrak

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Carter

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angie Johnson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leo

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole M. Hewitt

  19. 4 out of 5

    TheReadandSeek

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hall

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Swiedler

  22. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Hammelef

  23. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  25. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bailey S.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  31. 4 out of 5

    Maxine

  32. 5 out of 5

    Liz Miller

  33. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jen Schlott

  35. 4 out of 5

    Nadine

  36. 4 out of 5

    Tess Marie

  37. 5 out of 5

    Kye Cantey

  38. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  39. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  40. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

  41. 4 out of 5

    Bettye Short

  42. 4 out of 5

    James Cozzarelli

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