Orbit by John J Nance

A lucky winner is given a free ride on a commercial space flight but as soon as he arrives on orbit, bad things happen. Now trapped high above the Earth, one man writes his thoughts, feelings and epitaph, not knowing that the world below is reading every line.

As the author states at the start of the book. Orbit is unlike any of the previous books that John J Nance has written. The previous books were all airplane based and they are all very entertaining and enjoyable.

Yes, Orbit features someone who is in a plane like craft and who gets into trouble but it feels as if that is only the scenario, not what the book is about. At the very least, Orbit is a good science fiction (although not really) thriller about a man trapped in space and the attempts to rescue him as he faces up to the fact that he is going to die. Take at face value, if Orbit was simply that, it would be a very enjoyable book, especially in the style that John J Nance writes which flows and conveys technical information about airplane and controls in an easy to understand way.

Orbit is much more than a sci fi thriller though. What it does is tell the story, almost literally, of Kip Dawson, father of four, married for the second time, and pharmaceuticals salesman. Kip writes his stories and memoirs and the readers, both real and in the story get caught up in story.

While Orbit is a departure from John J. Nance’s usual fare, it is only a departure in the same way that Harlan Cobens books stopped being about Myron Bolitar and became stand along thrillers. It is not a decrease in quality, rather a change of direction, and one that is very successful.

This is a great book, one of the best. It captures the readers attention and holds it tight.

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