ABR's full Orbs audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.
Aliens come to Earth and kill 99% of the humans. Sound familiar? Orbs is different in that it takes a generally original and unique approach to the time honored alien invasion. Instead of bombs, lasers or some other weapon of mass destruction, the aliens are sucking the water from every source available – lakes, ponds, animals, plants and humans. They leave all the structures intact. The physics of this idea are dicey, but the logic is sound. Water is likely to be the common denominator of compatible species. And when it becomes scarce enough, aliens might indeed attack other worlds for it. Smith asks the important question, will they be so different from us that moral concerns for other life simply won’t matter.
Just under the surface of the action packed story is an environmental theme of guilt and waste; that the humans have taken something so precious for granted. The reader is not bashed over the head with it, but the theme is clear and helps us empathize with the characters. There is a strong feeling of connection to our dying earth, personal and deep. “What have we lost?”
Most of the characters are well developed and easy to empathize with. Sometimes the reader is told too many times about the deep emotions of the characters rather than showing us through dialogue or action. There is also a tendency to report on past action rather than move forward at times. These writing quirks are sometimes distracting, but don’t harm the story.
Elizabeth Evans does an excellent job with the narration. Her voice is clear and strong and enjoyable to listen to. Each character voice is clearly differentiated and male voices are strong. Her only weakness are her accents, they sound strange. This doesn’t hurt the story, and is only slightly distracting.
Orbs is the first volume of a trilogy. It ends at an appropriate point, leaving the reader hungry for the next book, but not hanging on a cliff either. Good, hard science fiction for any lover of alien invasions or post-apocalyptic earth. You’ll want to move right on to book 2 and find out if humanity really is doomed.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.