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The Orphan Army

(The Nightsiders #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  313 ratings  ·  64 reviews
David Gale at Simon & Schuster has acquired the first two books in a debut middle-grade series by Rot & Ruin author Jonathan Maberry. In the series, called The Nightsiders, human and monster teens work together to defend the earth from alien invaders. Book #1 pubs in summer 2015; Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger brokered the deal for world rights.
Published June 2015 by Simon & Schuster (first published May 19th 2015)
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Henry Herz Maura is correct. It is a middle grade novel. There are no illustrations.

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know Jonathan Maberry's Rot and Ruin series is hugely popular, and I might've read the first book of the Nightsiders series for that alone. But I was truly drawn in by the illustrated cover. I love how detailed it is. The swampy background, Milo throwing a stone, Evangelyne using magic, and the shadow of a menacing claw - all pretty accurate to the book contents. (I cared so much about that sort of thing when I was in the proper age range.)

I do thing THE ORPHAN ARMY starts slow for a book aime
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Orphan Army is the first book of a series aimed at young readers, aged 8 to 12 according to the cover. Personally I think it's a terrible idea to put an age range like that on the cover because it puts off any teenager who would enjoy it from giving it a shot, and likewise discourage people selecting it for advanced seven year olds. It's quite long (almost 400 pages) for the average kid, and I believe some older readers would be fine with it. I also thought the cartoonish cover made it look ...more
Lola Snyder
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of ideas going on in Jonathan Maberry's first book for middle grade readers. It's dystopian fiction with sci fi aliens, preternatural creatures, fantasy fey, and possibly a supernatural ghost. BUT, I really liked it. Maberry puts all of these elements together into a story that fits any and all of these genres wonderfully. There's tons of action that keeps the story moving along and, so far, no romance among the 11-12 yr. old main characters. THANK GOODNESS! ...more
Ryan McCarthy
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It bit slow at the start but overall, a really enjoyable introduction to a promising series. Very suspenseful and dark for a MG sci-fantasy, much to my surprise.

Can't wait for book 2, Jonathan!
Sarah Nicolas
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super fun! I'm trying to read more middle grade and I'm glad I picked this one up. Really enjoyed this one. ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-con-2016
So far I am 2 for 2 with Jonathan Maberry. He generally writes for a younger audience, but I absolutely loved his Rot and Ruin series. When I picked this up at Comic Con I actually didn't even realize it was Maberry at first--I just saw a free book and grabbed it. It wasn't until I got home and started going through my spoils that I paid closer attention and got excited about the author.

Even then, I waited a long time to read it. The cover doesn't do much for me and it definitely seemed geared t
Ms. Yingling
Milo lives in a post apocalyptic society in a pod of other young people who train to fight against the space alien "bugs", or Dissosterin invaders that have taken over Earth. When he comes across an odd pyramid, he meets an equally odd girl who tells him that the Heart of Darkness is missing from the pyramid, and will spell disaster for them all. Barnaby, Milo's Cajun friend, warns him that the girl might be a Rougaroo-- a werewolf. It's a good guess, because there are all sorts of threats in Mi ...more
Dan Rogers
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads "First Reads" program. When I first saw the book listed I thought it might be interesting for my 5th grade students to read. Then, when I received the book, I thought there was no way I was going to enjoy it. I mean, science fiction in a futuristic world where bugs many times larger than any we know, are attacking the earth. Come on, what is there that even sounds remotely enjoyable about this? It's just weird and freaky. Now, having finished ...more
THE ORPHAN ARMY by Jonathan Maberry is the first book in the new Nightsiders fantasy series.

When Earth is invaded by aliens, young Milo becomes part of a group of scavengers helping soldiers in a remote area of the Louisiana bayou. During a scouting expedition, Milo stumbles upon magical creatures who are also battling the alien invaders. Together, they form a ragtag army, save their friends, and take back an ancient, magical artifact stolen by the evil Huntsman.

This fast-paced, science fiction
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Six years after alien bugs with a hive mentality have invaded Earth, Milo Silk is fighting a David and Goliath battle with them, alongside the remnants of humanity. There are shape shifters, fairies, and other paranormal beings involved as well. Milo's dreams often come true, and they are pretty frightening dreams. He is challenged to be the hero, the Frodo, in this fight for survival, against The Huntsman, super evil, half human, half creature who has his own ambitions.

Exciting stuff, and boys
I did not think Maberry could write another series I would love as much as Rot & Ruin, but this is fantastic. It's also a great example of how YA books cross genres. Aliens, magic, a touch of apocalyptic survival- it's all there wrapped up in an action packed adventure with fun and quirky characters alongside an earnest main character you can't help but want to follow. I also like that the main characters are actually still just kids. I didn't think I would, but it fit surprisingly well. I'm hop ...more
Wendy Bocock
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, I was a little concerned, since this is a middle-grade book (and I like the book cover itself better than the dust jacket cover), but I should have known better. I was immediately engrossed, and would never have known just by reading it that it was a middle grade book. In my opinion, it would be a great read, no matter what your age! Loved the characters, and the world they inhabit was fascinating, as per usual with Jonathan Maberry books. I don't know how, but you've done it again, Jo ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first read by Jonathan Maberry, I am impressed. A young adult adventure, with great characters, battle scenes, and evil antagonists. Flowing prose, with good description and creatures of nightmares. The first in a series. This would make an enjoyable read for all. Highly recommended.
Neil Gaudet
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
A decent book. Aimed at preteens it would I think entertain well. I love Maberry’s writing. They are escapism at its best. This one didn’t grab me as much as his ‘older audience’ novels but was still good enough for a light entertaining read.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic
While reading this book, I had the impression it was the author's first novel. Its flaws are reminiscent of Henry H. Neff's first novel, The Hound of Rowan, and Nancy Yi Fan's first book, Swordbird, which was written when she was twelve. However, about three-fourths of the way in, I looked at the back cover and found out this is not, in fact, his first book. Therefore, I am puzzled as to how the book could have so many flaws.

Firstly, this book failed to trim the proverbial fat, to the point I wo
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Good, not astounding or amazing. But good. I am tough on my ratings because I only want the best, out of every book, which means I feel d to be harsh and judgmental in reviews. I’m definitely planning on reading the complete series when I get a chance. It was interesting, kept me wanting to read more, and had quite a few good lessons contained in it if you cared to look. This is a great book for kids who are just learning to love reading.
Ben Raymond
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book will speak to many people of all ages. It speaks about what it means to be a hero. It speaks about how monsters are not always what they seem. It speaks of growing up and all that it brings. I can't wait to dive into book two ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish it. As a family, we decided to give up. It was too weird. ...more
Jim Lay
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
Jill Hamilton-Krawczyk
4.5 stars! ⭐️ Mr. Maberry really knows how to write an action-packed story... for any age!
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-scribd
I picked this book up at the book outlets boxsale this year just to fill the box it was just another book but last night I was going threw Scribd and found the audiobook and decided to listen to it (I have attention problems I can't read books much anymore it's easier to listen) . I didn't realize until scrolling threw the reviews here that it's for 12 year olds and I'm 24, but so far im loving it, it has a good plot, good character development (not making Milo the hero right away) would recomme ...more
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting sci-fi mash-up. Aliens (insect type) vs. humans and mythical creatures (werewolves, witches, vampires, faeries, trolls, etc.). Ecological destruction and belief in magical realms abound. A bit overdramatic for me, but could see how Grades 5-8 might be swept along. (a bit of gory war-type violence)
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
The alien Bugs have invaded humanity. With their giant Hive ships in safe in space, their drop ships deliver swarms of shocktroopers and worse to stomp out what bits of humanity survived the initial attacks. Milo Silk knows the history, of course. He was even alive back before, and can faintly remember what it was like before everything changed. But he's fairly happy in his current life, as comfortable with the world as anyone can be---until he finds the wrecked ship. The pyramid. And his world ...more
Apr 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't want to straight out say that The Orphan Army, volume one of Jonathan Maberry's middle grade series The Nightsiders, is a mess of ideas, but it rather is. For one, we start out with a post alien invasion world and then are immediately thrown not into a dystopian story but rather a fantasy/sci-fi mashup of ideas. Milo is near twelve and just trying to survive with his friends and what's left of his family in Louisiana following the arrival of the alien bugs. But then he starts seeing thin ...more
Milo has survived for six years after the initial invasion of Earth by alien invaders. These aliens are large advanced insects who have come to mine all of Earth's resources while destroying anyone or anything that demonstrates resistance. While living in the bayous of Louisiana, Milo comes across a mysterious stone pyramid and an even more mysterious girl who accuses Milo of stealing a powerful item from it. As Milo's small group of survivors faces the hardships of living in this post-apocalypt ...more
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Milo Silk may have to adapt to a new perspective of the world he lives in for the third time in his short life. When destructive aliens, referred to as Bugs, attacked earth, Milo's safe world of home, running water, and electricity ended. Milo is now a scavenger living in a camp and hiding from the invaders destroying his home planet. This camp, run by his mother, hunts for salvageable food items or recyclables. Haunted by dreams he records in a journal and harassed by the Witch of the World, a ...more
Tara Zellam
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I will start out by saying that I am a fan of Jonathan Maberry. I started reading his YA series and have been trying to catch up on his other works. I point this out to admit some bias towards the author.

The Orphan Army is a fun, fast-paced novel that seems perfect for the target audience. That being said, my inner eight-year-old was very happy with this book. The characters were fun and relatable, with the struggle of not-quite-a-child-but-still-not-a-teen being laced in very well with feelings
Apr 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-sci-fi
Our eleven year old hero is a survivor of a devastating alien invasion, yet in many ways is just a normal youth full of curiosity and doubts. He also has oddly prophetic dreams, is a great runner, and a trusted part of his scavenging troupe. His world has been turned upside down; his father disappeared during the invasion, his mother is the military leader of their band of humanity and often at risk, and all humanity is scrambling in hiding places to avoid the insect-like invaders. In his dreams ...more
Brent Soderstrum
I won this book through GoodReads First Read program.

This is book one of the new Nightsiders series written by Jonathan Maberry. I am not a big science fiction fan and this is certainly that with huge alien bugs attacking the earth. It was written for 5th-8th grade although I think any age would enjoy it if this is your thing. Milo and his pod mates in Louisiana are trying to survive the attacks from the alien bugs. Milo has dreams that come true. He ends up hooking up with a werewolf, a stone b
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one book that did not intrigue me as much as I hoped or would have liked it to. However as I did pick this book up for my nephews, I think that they will enjoy this book a lot more than me. Which is not a bad thing. In fact, this is a good thing as this book is written and geared towards my nephews ages of 11 and 12. So they will enjoy the whole storyline and characters. I myself personally could not get into the story or the characters. Yet, I did recognize that Mr. Maberry wrote this ...more
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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT &

Other books in the series

The Nightsiders (2 books)
  • Vault of Shadows (The Nightsiders, #2)

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