Today we’ll take a look at The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1. Johnny Turnbull, his sister Ketheria, and their other friends (and enemies) on the seed-ship Renaissance have waited their entire lives to see their new home. Four ring-shaped planets surrounding a wormhole, the Rings of Orbis have been a source of fascination for them, and it’s only after they arrive that they learn that they have to follow an agreement their parents made before they were born.
The only way to earn a place to live on Orbis is to work a year on each of the rings. If you work satisfactorily, you become a free person with a chance of citizenship; if your owner is dissatisfied with you, you are forced to work another year. Since the children’s parents died in an accident, they will have to complete the work cycle themselves.
Johnny, who has always had a gift with talking to computers, is shocked to discover that his talent has a name: He’s a Softwire, someone who can communicate with computers and, when trained, teleport through space. But his gift poses a problem to the group, because soon after their arrival, a virus is discovered which is destroying Orbis’ memory files. As the only Softwire on Orbis, he is the main suspect for this trouble. If he is found guilty, Orbis’ harsh laws will banish him– or worse…
As Johnny tries to prove his innocence, he also searches for the truth behind his parents’ accident. When he does find the truth, it only produces more questions: Who were his parents? And, of all the kids on the Renaissance, why was he the only one with the Softwire power?
The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 by PJ Haarsma is a great start to the series with plenty of action and mystery. I enjoyed it, and have read the next two books in the series, Betrayal on Orbis 2 and Wormhole Pirates on Orbis 3; however, Orbis 1 remains my favorite.