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VOYAThis third volume in the Orphans trilogy is pure space opera—plot driven, written with little concern for writing style or character development. Earth and many of her colonies have been destroyed. The "engrams" (sentient software personalities), together with the remnants of humanity, are trapped between the benevolent, gift-giving alien "Spinners" and the destructive "Starfish"—a marauding starship horde that hones in on the Spinner-made FTL transmitters. The cardboard characters debate various courses of action, settling on confrontation with the Starfish horde. The ensuing space battle provides enough action to satisfy any military SF aficionado, although the lack of style and compelling characters might prove off-putting to some readers. The book's greatest asset lies in its combination of brand-new scientific concepts with intriguing speculation—an area where the authors excel. It will appeal to senior high readers who enjoy hard SF and who are not bothered by a lack of writing style or character credibility. Unless the other volumes of the trilogy are in the collection and circulate, it is not a necessary purchase. VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P S A/YA (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, Ace, 348p., pb. Ages 15 to Adult.