Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm
Alastair Chisholm is a children’s author and puzzle creator from Edinburgh and ‘Orion Lost’ is his first novel. The premise is the transport ship Orion which is on its way to Terraform a distant planet at the other end of the galaxy when it encounters ‘an event’. The children of the senior officers are the only ones to be woken by Ship after this event and are subsequently tasked with running the ship with only their rudimentary skills and the help of Ship, the ship’s hologram. They manage to navigate their way through space for a time, jumping from one sector to another, encountering an alien race and dealing with a series of technical malfunctions. However, there are twists and turns aplenty apart from this. Is the heroic Captain Kier, lost in his scout ship during the event, all he seems to be? Is Ship really telling them everything?
I found this novel absolutely enthralling. I’m a big fan of Star Trek, Farscape and Babylon 5, and I think the author is too, for you can detect traces of all three in this novel. This is a real page turner for teenagers who will all find one of the teenage crew with whom they can identify. As well as the action, there are plenty of personality clashes, moral dilemmas and philosophical questions around themes such as xenophobia, power, control and the greater good to keep all readers engaged. I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it.