Thursday, April 13, 2006

ORBIT by John J. Nance

John J. Nance, ORBIT (Simon & Schuster, 2006).

One man's dream of space travel turns into a nightmare in John J. Nance's new adventure novel.

The year is 2009 and Kip Dawson is the luckiest man on Earth. He has won a ticket for a ride into space on a privately-owned spacecraft. Choosing to ignore the misgivings of his wife, Kip boards the Intrepid for a six-hour expedition orbiting the Earth at a relatively low altitude. Even though he is not going into what we might consider "outer space," the voyage is still risky. For one thing, the administrator of NASA opposes private space missions and has vowed not to mount a rescue if anything goes wrong.

Right before take-off, the other passengers, who purchased their million-dollar tickets, are unable to go. That leaves Kip and the astronaut, Bill Campbell. They make it into low orbit with no problems. Then a small rock blasts through the Intrepid, killing Bill Campbell and disabling all lines of communication between the ship and mission control. Kip Dawson must now take control of the vessel and figure out how to return to Earth before his available supply of oxygen runs out.

Adventure lovers should definitely check this one out! John J. Nance places you in the cockpit of the Intrepid detailing the maneuvers that novice pilot Kip Dawson must master if he hopes to survive. Kip must also get a handle on his wide-ranging emotions: terror, guilt, panic, fear, resignation and hope.

What books/authors have you read that describe a character going through a harrowing life-or-death test of skill and stamina?

The political intrigue that occurs "on the ground" reminded me of author Vince Flynn's work.

Doris Dixon, Raleigh Branch Library


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