Book Review: “The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1”

“The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 (The Soft Wire #1)” by P.J. Haarsma

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction

Source: Kindle Freebie

Other Softwire books

Summary from Goodreads:

Thirteen-year-old Johnny Turnbull has always known there was something different about him, even before he and two hundred other kids landed on the first ring of Orbis. But once their spaceship lands, he is identified as the first-ever “softwire” — a human with the ability to enter and communicate with computers through his mind — and becomes the focus of intergalactic intrigue. Johnny and the rest of the refugee orphans are put to work in alien factories, and very quickly things go very wrong. When the all-knowing, all-controlling, and technologically “perfect” central computer starts malfunctioning, suspicious eyes turn to Johnny. Is he the one responsible? This action-packed, fast-paced sci-fi novel will keep kids on the edge of their seats.


Hooray! A young adult science fiction story with no romance in sight! Do you have any idea how hard those are to find?

My favorite part of sci fi books is the crazy technology that they have. The tech in this book is the some of coolest I’ve come across so far. We’ve got the pretty “normal” technology where money and other goods are tied to your body/clothing so you don’t really have to carry things when you go out. There’s the awesome technology where you have a chip placed into your brain BUT you’re now able to understand any language you hear (very helpful when surrounded by dozens of different aliens) and you’re able to learn by simply uploading information to your brain. Then there’s JT. He’s a software meaning he’s connected to computers naturally and can push himself into a computer.

The story is a bit convoluted. It really doesn’t help when there’s SO much going on that you do understand. The story is futuristic. You’re surrounded by very different aliens so it’s hard to keep everyone straight. Because you’re in a very different world you have no idea of this history of the world. This makes it really hard to know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Even when things are “explained” they didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It wasn’t terribly off putting though. I still enjoyed the story but I didn’t love it.

The bottom line? It’s a fun sci fi book!


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