Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Orphanage” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Orphanage (Jason Wander #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,237 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Mankind's first alien contact tears into Earth: projectiles launched from Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, vaporize whole cities. Under siege, humanity gambles on one desperate counterstrike. In a spacecraft scavenged from scraps and armed with Vietnam-era weapons, foot soldiers like eighteen-year-old Jason Wander-orphans that no one will miss-must dare man's first interplanetary ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published August 7th 2008 by Orbit (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Orphanage, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Orphanage

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Military Science Fiction for the Rest of Us

Brief Synopsis:
The story starts with Jason Wander, a somewhat misguided youth with two options: join the military or go to jail. Enter the devastation caused by the alien race later termed as "the slugs." The story follows Wander and his exploits in basic training and the planning behind the first counter offensive against the slugs on their base on one of Jupiter's moons.

Overall Impressions:
ORPHANAGE, by Robert Buettner, may remind many readers of STAR
Another example of a "Starship Trooper" or "Forever War" book. Not bad. I read it through today, so it obviously kept my interest. There were parts that were fantastic, but plot holes you could drive a rocket through.

The descriptions of military life were fantastic. He could have shared my barracks in AIT (Advanced Infantry Training). He obviously spent time in the Army Infantry, likely as an enlisted man. (He probably has that in a bio somewhere, but I haven't gone looking.) His description of
Jonathan Bergeron
Personally I think the Marine Corps is better but I may be biased.

Orphanage is one great book. It’s probably the best military sci-fi book I’ve ever read. My definition of military sci-fi differs from publishers that’s probably why. I think of books like Orphanage as military not the ones where some vague alien officer is off doing their thing. I digress though.

I loved the boot camp part though. It really brought home the differences between Army and Marine Corps boot camps.

I’ve heard a lot of p
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay I admit it I like a good space war book (Military science fiction). This one makes little pretense of trying for "great" depth (it's got some never fear) but in the end I just found it a good story.

I haven't gotten to the next book in the story, another condemned to indeterminate waiting as I read other books that keep getting moved ahead of it.

So, get ready for futuristic, extra-planetary, violent other words saddle up for a desperate battle against impossible odds! Cool.
Jared Millet
There's a fine line between accurately depicting military life and fetishizing it, and while the first half of Orphanage felt to me like the latter, Buettner dives straight into "War Is Hell" territory in the second half. If you're a fan of military SF who can't get enough of Robert Heinlein and has watched the boot camp segment of Full Metal Jacket more times than you can count, you will love this book and should run out and buy it right now.

As for me, while I always stop channel surfing for R.
I almost hate to review this because I really don't like saying negative things about the works of living writers, who I'm sure that, just like myself, are trying their best to produce good writing that readers will enjoy. However, I've reviewed everything else I've read so here goes my 2 cents.

First there are plenty of positives about the book. It is well written and there are some nice turns of phrase. There seems to be some pretty good accuracy on the military elements, and this is despite th
David Dalton
Don't let the 3 star review fool you, I liked this book and will read on into the series.

Compares very much to Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, but I liked that aspect of this story. Jason just always seems to have his things go his way, or IN his way. Kind of a simple but fun sci-fi thriller. Not too deep into sci-fi details of how things get done or work. The cool new cover caught my eye and I went on to read the reviews and then I was reading the book. This guy gets promoted faster than Kirk did in the Star Trek redo a fe
Carol Lindsey
I suspect the author traveled forward in time to publish it, and actually wrote it before Starship Troopers. Great book! I agree with Dan's review.
I recently enjoyed Chris Bunch's "Last Legion" series, which told the story of training, combat and down time in an army marooned without help and seemingly without hope in deep space. Robert Buettner's "Orphanage" promised more of the same, although based a little closer to home, so I was greatly looking forward to it.

The world is on the brink of destruction, with an unknown enemy having taken over Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, and firing large missiles at cities all over the world. Ja
Michael Elia
A good start to a series. A bit of a stretch that this guy could have learned enough as a ner do well slacker to actually command troops, but still a good read. I will pick up the next in the series and see how it goes.

The book has an odd internal feel thru the read: Certain parts and descriptions are overly sanitized and others are right on the mark. Characters important to the protagonist should really be shown to be real, even if they later vanish from the story for whatever reason. I hope th
Malcolm Cross
Interesting, kinda workman-like MilSF. Nothing too new here, but a very traditional and nostalgic visit to the old school of MilSF, where the bug eyed monsters are incomprehensible and must be mowed down with vast amounts of firepower and field promotions slaughter everyone over the protagonist's head.

An interesting angle is the heavy reliance on old-school weapons and equipment throughout the book, including an upgraded Apollo mission and upgraded versions of Vietnam era equipment. I'm not sure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy Phillips
This book is too similar to 'Starship Troopers' not to draw a few comparisons. The story follows a recruit in the infantry as he trains to fight a slug-like alien enemy who are busy destroying major cities on Earth using huge projectiles. There are also supporting characters in the form of a school friend who becomes a pilot and the usual stereotypical drill instructor. A mission is launched to take the fight to the enemy and save mankind. Sound familiar?

Although this is essentially the same sto
Aaron Graf
I have had this book sitting on my shelf for quite a while now (lol, more than 6 years in fact), and finally decided to finish it. The overall story is OK, but nothing mind-blowing. It is very similar to the likes of “Starship Troopers” by Robert A. Heinlein. Actually, almost the whole time I was reading this book, I just kept thinking about “Startship Troopers”. It is not bad by any means, but I desired a little more. The characters are substandard and typical sci-fi characters, the grunt who i ...more
Ryan Abe.
I’m a quick reader, and few authors have smashed so much content into individual sentences as much as Robert Buettner has, and still remained not only palatable, but enjoyable. Orphange comes out swinging for keeps as it hits the reader with immediate energy and sense of urgency in the opening pages. By the time you gather the very real sense of terror about to occur you are shuffled away to years before hand to give what you just witnessed some context. A lovely non-linear way of strapping in y ...more
Orphange by Robert Buettner is Heinlein’s Troopers without the mechs and Denise Richardson.

The good news is: The novel highly enjoyable. If you hate military books then this one will not turn you off. If you hate “the chosen one” type of story lines then you’ll like this since Jason Wander our protagonist is nowhere near the chosen one. Those who hate deep descriptions of war and blood: There’s barely any and if it is, it’s quick and nowhere near horror movie standards.

The bad news is: It’s too
Aug 23, 2009 Carrie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi and military fiction; and video gamers who like Halo, etc.
The book follows Jason Wander as he evolves from being a kid with a chip on his shoulder to an effective, dedicated soldier, as the human race is threatened with annihilation by an alien race.

More than a sci-fi story, the book is about war. It almost doesn't matter that the enemy is a slug-like alien race. The focus is war, what it takes to be a soldier, the horrors of battle, the amazingly courageous acts in the face of death. The enemy is the enemy. The details may differ from enemy to enemy,
Un roman honnête, mais qui ne révolutionne pas le genre du space op' militaire.

L'écriture de Buettner est plaisante, mais le background général de son roman est commun. J'ai immédiatement pensé à deux références frappantes après à peine quelques pages de lecture :

- Full metal jacket, de Stanley Kubrick.
- Starship trooper (ou étoiles garde à vous ! pour sa première traduction), de Robert Heinlein.

On trouve du Full metal jacket dans toute la première partie où les orphelins sont formés au combat,
You should be geeking Jason Wander.

Jason Wander is the youngest Army General in history; he’s a man who went from a private to General in one battle.

This Earth is a place not unlike ours. We live in relative peace and worry about very little but when mankind discovers they aren’t alone in the universe war comes. From the Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, comes mankind’s first alien contact. Projectiles launched at Earth crash into the surface and vaporize entire cities.

Humans do what they always do when
This was a real page-turner and I thoroughly enjoyed it (read it in a day). Some other reviewers compare it to Starship Troopers and The Forever War; however, Starship Troopers is much more cerebral than this book (and dare I say more boring than this book?) and the only similarity to The Forever War is that there are infantry troops fighting aliens. That hardly makes them the same book.

I almost gave this book 3 stars because there is a section of science in this book that is laughably bad and i
Started off great, but then became absolutely awful. One minute the protagonist is a bumbling, drug-addled moron, and the next he's being used to make first contact with an alien species. It got really stupid, really quick. Why would someone bother with this tripe when they could just read Heinlein or Scalzi or the surprisingly great Halo books?

Also, I have to make a note about the author's politics that are shoehorned into the narrative in as disruptive a manner as possible. I think it is tota
David Agranoff
This is not an insult to this book when I say that this book is basically Guns of Navarone meets 2010. It sums it up well and it’s not an insult to me. Buettner has created another entry into military science Fiction that fans of the sub-genre can’t afford to miss.

I am a fan of this sub-genre of Science fiction. Military Science Fiction kinda of started off with Heinlien’s Starship Troopers and certainly it is it’s most famous book. The king daddy is Joe Handleman’s Forever War. For me Barry Lon
Norm Davis
Dec 15, 2012 Norm Davis rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
Recommended to Norm by: Book Cover blurb.
Orphanage is a four star Heinlein, “Star Ship Troopers” type of space war-apocalyptic novel with Jason Wander as our main protagonist. The author Robert Buettner does a fine job at developing his characters. They aren't Jane Austen characters but they are developed well enough that you care about them when their adventures and mis-adventures change their lives and leave you hurt or happy depending on how a scene turns out.

The story of Jason Wander is one of typical screwed up youngster through h
The first chronicle of Jason Wanderer.
This story is somehow greater than the sum of its parts.
The story is not unbelievably original, you have already read it if you read Starship Troopers.
The technology quips are actually a bit off-putting... That is to say the main characters, talks about having to use something from our time - though he is in 2040 - and he whines about how it is ANCIENT ETC...

Still I do not think of this as a rip-off of Starship Troopers, but rather an homage, and the start o
Lis Carey
Jason Wander, eighteen years old, with no particular skills, in trouble with the law, and with his only family killed in the alien attacks that are slowly destroying Earth's ecosystem and killing the human race, somewhat involuntarily enlists in the infantry. He does not suddenly discover that this is the life he was born for, but he does, eventually, decide that he doesn't want to fail at this, too, or let down the few people who believe in him. He makes some appalling mistakes on his way to th ...more
Although I never read "Starship Troopers" and only have the movie as a reference, this book of military science-fiction is very reminiscent of it: replace "bugs" with "slugs" and it is pretty much the same story with the same testosterone feeling after seeing the movie.

It builds up a nice flow of adrenaline as it progresses(or maybe that was the influence of listening to heavy metal during the last 100 pages), which is why I enjoyed this light outing. With a character you care about, a little bi
Another book I read because my husband recommended it... but this one is a winner. The writing isn't top-notch: the characters are a little flat, the main character is a bit whiny, the treatment of women is odd (women are either heroines or prostitutes), and the science in the sci-fi is weak.

This is a great story, though. Just when you think you're going to put the book down because the main character is getting too whiny, the action moves you right along and you forget the whine. I can see why
this is a great first book in a series by robert buettner featuring the lead character of jason wander. it is somewhat of an homage to the novel starship troopers by robert heinlein as it follows some of the same plots and developments. jason wander is an 18-year-old who just lost his mother in a "bombing" of indianapolis. an alien group (known as the slugs) have been dropping "projectiles" on the earth and destroying major cities while creating dust to hurt the atmosphere. he ends up with charg ...more
Jay Javier
Orphanage is the first volume in the "Jason Wander" series.Mankind’s first alien contact tears into Earth: projectiles launched from Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, vaporize whole cities. Under siege, humanity gambles on one desperate counterstrike. In a spacecraft scavenged from scraps and armed with Vietnam-era weapons, foot soldiers like eighteen-year-old Jason Wander-orphans that no one will miss-must dare man’s first interplanetary voyage and invade Ganymede.

From page 1, the book is obviously a h
I've read most of the Military Science fiction staples, and this book ended up being one of my favorites. I really enjoy the author's writing style, offering a humorous point of view of the main character. I've finished the entire 5 book series, and it ended up being one of my favorite military science fiction book series, maybe the best right now. This is one of those books that is hard to put down. And the story and writing are really well done.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Clone Republic (Rogue Clone, #1)
  • Star Corps (The Legacy Trilogy, #1)
  • Death's Head (Death's Head #1)
  • First to Fight (Starfist, #1)
  • The Battle at the Moons of Hell (Helfort's War, #1)
  • The Complete Hammer's Slammers Volume 1
  • Starship: Mutiny (Starship, #1)
  • The Myriad (Tour of the Merrimack, #1)
  • Midshipman's Hope (Seafort Saga, #1)
  • Legion of the Damned (Legion, #1)
  • Valor's Choice (Confederation #1)
  • Redoubtable (Kris Longknife, #8)
  • Freehold
  • Courageous (The Lost Fleet, #3)
Robert Buettner’s best-selling debut novel, Orphanage, 2004 Quill Award nominee for Best SF/Fantasy/Horror novel, was called the Post-9/11 generation’s Starship Troopers and “one of the great works of modern military science fiction.” Orphanage has been adapted for film by Olatunde Osunsanmi (The Fourth Kind) for Davis Entertainment (Predator, I Robot, Eragon). Orphanage and other books in Robert’ ...more
More about Robert Buettner...

Other Books in the Series

Jason Wander (5 books)
  • Orphan's Destiny (Jason Wander, #2)
  • Orphan's Journey (Jason Wander, #3)
  • Orphan's Alliance (Jason Wander, #4)
  • Orphan's Triumph (Jason Wander, #5)
Orphan's Destiny (Jason Wander, #2) Orphan's Journey (Jason Wander, #3) Orphan's Alliance (Jason Wander, #4) Orphan's Triumph (Jason Wander, #5) Overkill (Orphan's legacy, #1)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »