Orbis

Orbis

by Scott Mackay

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Overview

Award-winning author Scott Mackay delivers an “intriguing alternate history” of conquest, rebellion and the destiny of humanity… (Booklist).

Two thousand years ago, as the Roman Empire beat back the rise of Christianity, the saviors of mankind arrived. And they weren’t Jesus of Nazareth or his Disciples.

They were the Benefactors.

They appeared as heavenly beings on a mission of hope, convincing the people of Earth to accept their kindly dominion by hi-jacking the insurgent Christian Movement and turning it into an instrument of control. When the mighty Roman Empire refused to bow down, it was destroyed.

Ever since, the Benefactors have guided and led, and humankind has followed and prospered, but at a price.

In an alternate 1947, the truth behind the Benefactors’ origins and motives are about to be discovered. And unless three ordinary people can find the courage to fight against everything they’ve been taught to believe and obey, the end of humanity may already be inevitable…

With this “riveting drama,” Scott Mackay once again proves himself a writer of rare talent and captivating imagination in the realm of science fiction (Locus).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625673510
Publisher: JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
Publication date: 01/25/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 406
Sales rank: 453,051
File size: 727 KB

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Orbis 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
plappen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Several thousand years ago, bodiless beings called the Benefactors came to Earth. Having the ability to take over human bodies, they attached themselves to one of the religious sects operating in the area of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a sect which became Christianity. Two thousand years ago, the Benefactors fought a major war against the Romans, the rulers at the time, forcing the Romans to flee to the stars.In the mid-20th century, the Benefactors rule under a benevolent dictatorship (but still a dictatorship) on the North American continent. This book takes place in the Missouri-Arkansas Territory of the Papal States of America. Most of the continent is off limits to P.S.A. citizens. The mere possession of parts to build a radio, or a Latin-English dictionary, are hanging offenses. Two senior members of the "church" travel into the Restricted Zone, contact the Romans by radio, and ask for help. The Romans have started to spread radio beacons throughout the galaxy because they have lost the knowledge of their origin. The Romans return to Earth, and defeat the Benefactors.If life under the Benefactors is bad, life under the Romans is much worse. All young people are sent north to work in the iron mines, to pay for the Roman occupation. Any mother who refuses to send her child gets both hands chopped off. Those who remain are virtual slaves. A new insurgency is started among those who are left, Plains indian tribes (who live in the Restricted Zone), a more "liberal" Roman general, and the last of the Benefactors, who has been very influenced by the person whose body was taken over. Can they succeed, especially when told that 50,000 Roman troops will be arriving within days?This one has some good alternate history ideas, and it¿s an interesting speculation about Christianity. It gets rather bloody by the end, but it certainly belongs in that large gray area of Pretty Good or Worth Reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very intersting and a fast read. The ideas are fascinating, especially of the space-going Romans. Characters were good enough to make you care about what happens to them. This is an ok alternate-earth novel. Just two things that bugged me: the author seems to be racists towards Indians and has a low opinion of Jesus. He calls Jesus a "whore-loving schitzophrenic that frequently defrauded his followers". Now this is set on an alternate earth, so anything is possible. But looks more like it that the author didn't like growing up catholic and is taking this out on Jesus's good name. BAD FORM.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was hard to finish. The plot was everywhere, with no real structure. Character development was weak. The story had potential, but seemed hastily wrote. Too many differing subjects combined into one. However, some of the ideas were unique and could be successful if developed correctly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At the height of Rome¿s power, the Benefactors landed on an alternate Earth and went to War with Julius Caesar¿s legions. Unable to defeat the Benefactors, the Romans stole their spaceships and flew to a place where they could live. After two millennia, the Romans forget where earth is located, but both the Romans and the humans remain determined to defeat the Benefactors.

The Benefactors took the teachings of Christianity and used it to spread their own message. An underground resistance in North America is giving hope to the people who want to cast off the Benefactor¿s rule. In Europe, the Prussian Empire is openly at war with the Benefactors and is slowly clearing the land of them. There will come a time of reckoning when the Romans and its conquered people as well as the humans must meet, defy the Benefactors, and reach some kind of accommodation with each other.

Scott Mackay can always be counted on to create a work that is original in design, yet absorbing and populated with a cast of characters that unite for a common goal. The ethics of the Benefactors is also fascinating because while their plans and battles are malfeasance, their morality is not. They do what they must to survive which is the natural order of a sentient species. If they were not on Earth, would humans be so quick to condemn them.

Harriet Klausner