David's Reviews > The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1

The Softwire by P.J. Haarsma
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's review
Jul 10, 10

bookshelves: kids-fiction, young-adult

Thirteen-year-old Johnny Turnbull and two hundred other human kids land on the first ring of Orbis, in a sleeper ship where all the adults have died. But once their spaceship lands, he is identified as the first-ever "softwire" — a human with the ability to enter and communicate with computers through his mind — and becomes the focus of intergalactic intrigue. Johnny and the rest of the refugee orphans are put to work in alien factories to pay off the cost of passage to Orbis, and very quickly things go very wrong. When the all-knowing, all-controlling, and technologically "perfect" central computer starts malfunctioning, suspicions turn to Johnny, and he's imprisoned. Is he the one responsible? (Goodreads Summary)

The initial book of a four part series, The Softwire, includes danger and discovery as the children encounter conditions as indentured workers on the first of the four rings of Orbis. Johnny tries to care for his sister, avoid a bully, and solve mysteries with the help of two other children and an entity that exists within the computer. This is an interesting world the children struggle to exist in a society concerned with wealth and luxury. A great addition to science fiction for older kids and teens. For grades 6 to 10, reluctant readers, and those who enjoy original worlds in science fiction.

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