Orphan's Destiny (Jason Wander Series #2)

Orphan's Destiny (Jason Wander Series #2)

by Robert Buettner

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316019132
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Series: Jason Wander Series , #2
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 681,932
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert Buettner is a former Military Intelligence Officer, National Science Foundation Fellow in Paleontology, and has been published in the field of Natural Resources Law. He lives in Georgia, creating the sequel to ORPHAN'S ALLIANCE and snowboarding passably. His website is: www.RobertBuettner.com.

Read an Excerpt

Orphan's Destiny


By Robert Buettner

Warner Vision

Copyright © 2005 Robert Buettner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61430-0


Chapter One

"ANYBODY OUT THERE? OVER."

Static, not a human voice, cackles back through my earpiece.

Sssss. Pop.

Ten feet across this egg-shaped chamber, the hull-plate barricade I've thrown across the entry glows red. The Slugs are burning through their own ship to finish me. Roasted metal's tang singes my nostrils. Two minutes, tops, then Slugs will surge through their opening like man-sized, armored maggots.

I reverse the pistol in my hand to use it as a club. The gesture measures my resolve. The pistol's empty magazine well measures its futility.

I sigh and my breath worms out and glows purple in Slug interior lighting. Before my heart can beat, my helmet ventilator wicks away the condensation like a stolen soul.

My legs sprawl across the quaking Slug metal-blue decking and I thump my numb, armored left thigh with a gloved fist. Leg infantry needs two good legs. I could limp if I had to. But to where?

I let my back sink into the rescue-me yellow mattress of the Polytane hull-breach plug. That's how we boarded this monstrosity, like pirates in Eternad armor, but the hull breach is no way out for me. Behind it stretches vacuum, the emptiness that fills space between Earth and the moon.

My visor display freezes the year in emerald digits at 2043. The timer, though, rushes down to four minutes and keeps falling.

When those timer digits spin down to zero, the human race will live or die. I die either way. I'm Jason Wander. For now, history's youngest and screwed-est major general. For a while, a twenty-four-year-old lieutenant. For eternity, Infantry.

I'm also the human speed bump between the Slugs and Brumby. A mile beneath me in this beast's belly, he may blow this invasion transport into rutabagas and both of us with it. If I can buy seconds here at the price of my life. If we fail, Slugs by the millions will overrun Earth in slimy waves. Mankind will struggle, of course, with a brick-by-brick tenacity that will make Stalingrad look like a pie fight. The Slugs don't know mankind yet, not when it's defending its own turf.

The oval that outlines the Slugs' emerging doorway glows white. We didn't know they could do that. We know even less about them than they know about us. Soon, we may both know too much.

One minute left before they break through, just over three minutes until detonation, if ever.

My shoulders sag under my armor.

It has, all things considered, been a fine twenty-four years. I knew my parents, though not for so long as I would have liked. I grew up. I met good people. The best, in fact. I experienced the one great love of my life, albeit for just 616 days. I had a godson I came to love like my own child. Oh, and, depending on which version of history one read, I saved the world.

My 'puter beeps. Three minutes.

They say contemplation of death comes in phases: denial, anger, some other stuff, then, finally, acceptance. Maybe that was the thing I had been luckiest about, compared to the other orphans I had known. A soldier's destiny is to die young and unexpectedly. Soldiers often die nobly. Soldiers often die for others' hubris or stupidity. But it is rarely a soldier's destiny to have the time to accept his death.

The first molten metal plops, then sizzles, on deck plates as the Slugs burn through. I grip my spent pistol tighter.

In some alternate reality, there may be truth in the soldierly deception that war is bloodshed that brings life. I cock my head. That is, word for word, what the woman who bore my godson said when I delivered him in a cave on Jupiter's largest moon.

That's where this started for me, three years ago.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Orphan's Destiny by Robert Buettner Copyright © 2005 by Robert Buettner.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Orphan's Destiny (Jason Wander Series #2) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Those of us who read ¿genre¿ fiction choose these books because of the familiar stories, plot devices, people types, and, well, all the ingredients that make it a Romance, a Western, a Mystery and yes, even Science Fiction novel. We love to revisit these familiar stories and search for new authors who can transport us from our reality to their ¿worlds¿. Science Fiction has many genres within its broad scope space opera, hard science, first contact, alien invasions, discovering that big thing in the sky and, of course, military fiction. Which brings us to ¿Orphan¿s Destiny¿ the main reason I enjoyed this book so much, besides being just a good ol¿ fun read, is the story is about imperfect people repeatedly overcoming extraordinary odds 'not always with the best ¿final reel¿ outcome' and grow with each experience. Being a former Military Intelligence Officer, Mr. Buettner brings to his books a military reality to give the stories some real bite. And, gosh, I like Jason Wander he makes wrong decisions 'for the right reasons', follows his heart 'a bit too much for a soldier' and is constantly putting his booted foot in his mouth. In other words, Jason is a human just like you and me, and we can relate to his troubles AND triumphs! Robert Buettner is a wonderful new voice in Science Fiction and I hope to be reading his books far into the future!
atdCross on LibraryThing 2 days ago
It was an interesting read with interesting plot and charcters; the aliens were wierd but presented in a way that didn't make you think it was so absurd (at least, to me). My only criticism is that I wish they had more combat situations (like his first book, Orphanage) and were not so political. However, the combat situations that the book did have were good.
Parsiya on LibraryThing 2 days ago
The 2nd book in the series, less action, more politics, post-war trauma etc etc. I am beginning to think that I don't want to read the 3rd book, but hopefully it will have more infantry action.
geordicalrissian on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Who thought that the Slugs setup on Ganymede was all there were? Orphan's Destiny is a solid follow up to the original. I actually liked the "politics" in the first third of the book. Although, I thought that the humans were being a little stupid and naive. But who knows, maybe that is how we really would react to an alien encounter that ended in a near death experience for the species. I read through this book fairly quickly and had a good time with it.
usnmm2 on LibraryThing 4 days ago
"Orphan's Destiny" About par for a second book of a series. We see the survivors ( 700 of ten thousand) of the Battle of Gandymede come home to a Hero's welcome. after which they are descarded by a war weiry populations. General Jason Wander is paraded around as a trophy and celebrity to drum up support for politicians' ideas that he doesn't agree with. Of course the Slugs return and the battle begins again.Still not a bad read for those that like military sci fi , or a few hours of pure escapeism.
taylorh on LibraryThing 3 months ago
smashy squishy funSequel to the adventurous Orphanage, Orphan's Destiny follows the continued battle to save the Earth from the impending invasion of the Slugs. This is fast paced military sci-fi along the lines of Starship Troopers, Star Corps, Ender's Game, The Forever War, and the Deathworld Trilogy. This is a fun smash em up, shoot em down and save the world romp through alien guts.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book a bit slower than the first but that was ok. I still enjoyed reading it and I cannot wait for the 3rd book in the series