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25 Reviews
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good continuation with multiple plot threads
I read Mike Cobley's first epic space opera book, Seeds fo Earth, prior to its release last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Orphaned Worlds, the sequel and part two of the trilogy, was a highly anticipated release for this year and upon getting a copy through the post I made sure it was high on the list of to-read books. While not quite on the same level as Seeds of...
Published on 22 April 2010 by Mark Chitty

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars losing the plot
Mmmmm, Seeds of Earth wasn't too bad, though hardly worthy Iain Bank's 'review' (or the Guardian one I bought it on the back of), and I'd hoped Cobley would have settled down a bit in this one, but it's just too disjointed, the characters are one dimensional, retro explaining missing sections just doesn't seem to work, and whenever the various plot sections are geting a...
Published on 6 July 2010 by ricardo


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5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly written piece, 30 Sep 2012
By 
S. M. Gedeon - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Orphaned Worlds: Book Two of Humanity's Fire (Paperback)
Having already gone through the first book, Seeds of earth' I was very much looking forward to this second installment.

I can honestly say that this book is a joy to read. The story and the whole scope of the worlds and characters captured are nothing short of magnificent.

There are a lot of nice twists and turns that keep you guessing. Lots of action and a off course, lots of SciFi goodness also!

It is as good if not better than the first book. If you have gone through the first book and you think you can guess and see where this is all going, you are most likely mistaken. The story is anything but predictable! Its very skillfully written and keeps you locked in and coming back for more and more.

Very much looking forward to the third book which I'm about to start now.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting better..., 14 Feb 2011
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C. Jones (Ffestiniog, Wales) - See all my reviews
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Cobley may live in Scotland but he does not have aa ear for the Scot's vernacular, but apart from that there is not much wrong with either book. The plot is rather dense and convoluted to start with, myriad characters, etc, but that is usual for 'space opera', and he is no less inventive with his characters than Ian Banks. Cobley is obviously influenced by Banks, and there are nods acordingly, but where Banks is subtle Cobley weilds the sledgehammer. Imagine Stargate mixed with Star Wars, liberal dashes of Hamilton and Banks written by a 23rd century Luddite. I am certainly curious enough to await the third (and final?) instalement, which says a lot about the previous two books.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter tosh, 15 May 2011
This review is from: The Orphaned Worlds: Book Two of Humanity's Fire (Paperback)
Thought I'd give the 2nd book a go because I thought it couldn't possibly be worse than the first one. How wrong I was. There is not one original idea in these books, the author pillages popular movies, sci/fi and comic books and mangles them into a ridiculously convoluted ho-hum plot that trundles along before lurching to badly written action set-pieces. The characters aren't even 2 dimensional and are mostly stereotypical versions of characters found in pulp pap. I gave it 1/2 a star for the decent illustration on the cover, hopefully he won't be writing a third. For decently written space opera with original ideas try Virnor Vinge or Stephen Baxter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Orphaned Worlds: Book Two of Humanity's Fire (Paperback)
Good Book, Great price, excellent service, what more could you want ! ash
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Orphaned Worlds: Book 2 of Humanity's Fire, 17 Dec 2010
The Orphaned Worlds is the second instalment to Humanity's Fire by Michael Cobley. He does a great job of weaving subtle reminders into the narrative of the events of the first book so you very quickly pick up where you left off. Once you've settled in, the book jumps to hyperspace with excellent pacing that ensures that as one character plot winds down, another picks up the pace. At no point did I feel the book was losing steam.

Exotic locations are beautifully described, the scope of which helps to make this universe more tangible to the reader. All of this is grounded by solid characterisation which continues to improve upon the first outing. These are characters full of human foibles, who are prone to making mistakes, they feel like people you could meet in your everyday life and as a result you care about what happens to them. Often grand Space Opera creates grand characters who seem too removed from humanity, what you get with Orphaned Worlds is grit, grime and sweat juxtaposed against epic odds, dynamic worlds and ethereal beauty. I can't wait for the next instalment!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Itching to see what happens next....., 15 Sep 2010
By 
Mazza "book rat" (Gloucester, England) - See all my reviews
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I enjoy space opera and have read much of it over the years. Michael Cobley's 'The Orphaned Worlds' found me itching to turn the pages to see what happens next. My only regret here is that I read it too quickly and have a long wait for the third book in the trilogy. Disagreeing with some previous reviews, his characters are not shallow - they develop over the course of the book, and although there is a great deal of action and events (always keeping you on the edge of your seat) they are not confusing. He has an easy, comfortable style of writing and I'm sure that anyone who likes space opera will find his books a good read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably 3.5 stars, but...., 13 Sep 2010
By 
R. M. Lindley - See all my reviews
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...I have read a lot of bad books recently and this seems better in comparison. I would agree with a lot of other reviewer comments that in the second instalment of the Humanity's Fire trilogy, Cobley misjudges the plotting and fragments the action just that little bit too much, resulting in a series of plot threads that do not hang together coherently.

There are some more good set pieces and ideas however - I love the many levels of hyperspace and the descent to the mysterious Godhead - and the excellent surprise ending. Battles involving automated robot factories and gritty Scottish rebels are also always going to be good, although it was a shame that the Ewoks, sorry, Uvovo, didn't get to smash one up with a couple of trees banging together.

In all I will certainly look forward to the third book, which I am sure will improve as the plot threads come together, although in the (admittedly narrow) book-2-of-a-current-space-opera-trilogy-genre Gary Gibson's Nova War edges ahead.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't even start it, 24 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Orphaned Worlds: Book Two of Humanity's Fire (Paperback)
I found it so difficult to get into book one that I didn't even attemot this one. Wouldn't have been able to follow on anyway as I didn't finish book one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Fantasy in a space opera setting, 30 Jan 2013
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Orphaned Worlds: Book Two of Humanity's Fire (Paperback)
As a long time reader of epic fantasy, this book seemed pretty familiar in a lot of ways. Cobley wrote a pretty good fantasy trilogy some years back, and Orphaned Worlds reads like a fantasy author writing space opera: in some places the reskinning appears pretty light on, and I could almost believe that it was first written as high fantasy and then rewritten as space opera. For me, that's not a problem, for purists, it may be.

This is a middle volume, building on Seeds of Earth and opening up new adversaries and new alliances. All of the old characters are back, although it does not necessarily end well for some (or indeed all) of them. We have a quest through the Tiers of Hyperspace - a nice concept - an ancient enemy revealing itself, and a whole lot of other twists and turns. There is not a lot of classical deep space ship to ship combat, but that's not what this story is about. I found the book gripping and enjoyable, and maybe because I am used to big sprawling plots, not overly complex - although to the degree there was confusion, I generally found it on the part of the characters not knowing what was going on around them rather than poor writing.

All up, I really enjoyed this, and now I'm sorry I had it sitting in the to-read pile for a year or so. Hopefully The Ascendant Stars is a suitable finish - and then there is apparently a 4th Humanity's Fire novel in the works.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Orphaned Worlds (Humanity's Fire, Book 2), 5 Sep 2011
very interesting can't wait too read the next one very well throught out sequel michael cobley has a wonderful way of picking the story off the page and placing it in your mind and then giving you the space to run wild
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The Orphaned Worlds: Book Two of Humanity's Fire
The Orphaned Worlds: Book Two of Humanity's Fire by Michael Cobley (Paperback - 3 Mar 2011)
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