Jason will bite your kneecaps off

The Jason Wander books have been compared favorably to many works of popular fiction, but the Helium review of Orphan’s Journey, by writer G.N. Jacobs, takes the comparisons to a new – not to say unexpected – level.

I’ll paste the full review in below, or you can click http://www.helium.com/items/955648-first-blush-think-review  to read it.  Beware, it contains spoilers, but just kind-of mini spoilers.

Book Reviews: Orphan’s Journey, by Robert Buettner

by G.N. Jacobs

At first blush, I think I’ll do this review in the style of my 13-year-old nephew.

There’s this guy and, like, his name is Jason Wander. He’s a General and he, like, gets in trouble in Tibet so the Pentagon sends him to an orbiting station, where there’s this alien ship left over from the last attack. The ship starts up and takes Jason and his team to a distant planet with dinosaurs and, like, the bad guys’ fuel source. And Jason, like, frees the planet and beats the aliens in a big campaign.

I will stop now, because I forgot to mention that this particular nephew needs a public speaking class the way I need a masseuse that…oh, never mind. My nephew is fun to tease, though.

The words came to me because this book is a teenaged boy’s wet dream: a war story set on a planet where the cavalry rides duckbilled dinosaurs and the heavy chariot corps harnesses T-Rex. However, “Orphan’s Journey” is no juvenile effort by some kid with more imagination than ability to speak.

Robert Buettner’s third entry in his Jason Wander series could only come from a writer whose bio blurb proudly proclaims he is 1) a former Army spook and 2) a respected paleontologist. This story was as inevitable for Mr. Buettner to write as my own books about reporters surviving the Home Office are for me.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all three books in the series, but especially this one. Jason Wander feels real to me much like the guys that made up my ROTC cadre back in college. He makes mistakes (albeit in the beginning where the script immunity is less) and recovers to win the big fight that matters at the end.

I am concerned that Jason Wander is written as a cross between General George S. Patton Jr. and the more humorous Black Knight from Monty Python’s “Holy Grail” (I’ll bite your kneecaps off!). General Wander, poor guy, through each of the books seems to be developing into the guy with nothing to live for but the next pitched fight with the giant space-faring garden slugs that populate the series. He loses body parts and loved ones to the war. Clearly, there will be no oars upon his shoulder nor a farm to retire to. I wouldn’t care if I didn’t like him so much. Oh well, I didn’t write the book.

The cool part, beyond the visual spectacle of dinosaur cavalry, is that Mr. Buettner crossed a Special Forces advisory mission with Operation Overlord (the Normandy landings). Jason has to convince three disparate tribes of humans once abducted from Earth to fight together now that it is clear that the Slugs’ are going to kill most of the people on Bren, except for a few slaves to mine fuel. And then he must make an impossible amphibious landing.

The Sea of Hunters is a narrow channel infested with every sailors nightmare, including the squid-like kraken and something bigger and a whole lot worse. The plan is to do a little harpooning and grenade fishing to chum the water so the predators will kill each other and not the boats rowing across. At least, Wander’s army will make the crossing under two full moons so they may outflank the Slugs’ land defenses.

Telling you more would be like ruining the end of a good movie, but the 13-year-old already gave it away if you paid attention above. I loved this book and if I were a really cool uncle I would give my nephew my copy. However, I wouldn’t get it back, he’ll want to read it twice.



One Response to “Jason will bite your kneecaps off”

  1. playfish Says:

    i wouldn’t have considered this was great many years back and yet it is amusing just how years evolves the manner of how you see original creative concepts, thank you for the posting it’s pleasant to go through something clever occasionally in lieu of the popular nonsense mascarading as blogs and forums on the net, i’m off to take up a smattering of hands of zynga poker, regards

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