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5.0 out of 5 stars PJ Haarsma's perfect scifi read, 3 Oct 2007
P. Christie (Scotland) - See all my reviews
The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 is an excellent book. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. P.J. Haarsma is obviously a very talented writer, he manages to keep the reader enthralled throughout the novel. The Softwire is a brilliant story filled with original ideas and characters. I particularly liked the Keepers. With plenty of suspense, unanswered questions and mysteries I can't wait for the future installments. Turning the books into a movie series would be a great success as I am sure they will maintain the very high standards set by The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1.
Jericho Reid
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Voice for Reluctant Readers, 22 Sep 2007
Denise Gary (San Antonio, TX USA) - See all my reviews
The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 revolves around an imaginative world of computers, fantasy creatures, kids banding together in crisis, and a boy struggling to find his purpose in life amid adversity. It includes themes of facing fears, importance of "family," kindness versus cruelty, self-reliance and the power of a positive attitude. What more can you ask for in a young adult reader?

The main character is immediately appealing. In JT, the author has found the voice for all children struggling to deal with self-consciousness towards their unique qualities. Most children can identify with this, but especially kids who face challenges. For this reason, the book has a strong drawing power for youngsters who have difficulty reading. Just like the "hero" in the book, they usually feel less worthy. Further enhancing the appeal for reluctant readers is the fact that there are no long, drawn-out descriptions to drag the story down. The book gives enough information to spark the imagination, but does not overdo it. Rather, the action moves along at a fast clip from the outset, building and building to the exciting and surprising ending.

The author has created Rings of Orbis, a free online videogame based on The Softwire book series, to grab the attention of those kids who would never pick up a book for recreation. Answers to questions in the game are found within the book, encouraging the players to read. What an innovative idea for improving literacy among children!

The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 is the perfect book to give kids who could benefit from a strong protagonist who overcomes adversity with grace and perseverance. And it's a fun read for adults as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 9 April 2007
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
I'm the first to admit that science fiction has never been my favorite genre, but I wanted to give VIRUS ON ORBIS 1 a try. I have to say that I'm very glad I did. Besides having an interesting and entertaining story, the true beauty of the book, at least for me, is the fact that I never felt so overwhelmed with the new world the author created that I wanted to give up. There weren't a thousand crazy names I had to figure out how to pronounce, or a million-and-one gizmos and gadgets that made no sense. With this book, Mr. Haarsma has created a world that even young teens will relate to, and that adult fans of science fiction are sure to enjoy, as well.

Johnny Turnbull, thirteen, is a resident of the seed ship Renaissance, along with his eight-year-old sister, Ketheria, and about two hundred other children. Children, and no adults, since all of them died and left the children as orphans. In Johnny and Ketheria's case, their parents had signed a contract to work on the Rings of Orbis (four rings surrounding a wormhole) for four years. Unfortunately, since the children have been on a ship with only a computer called Mother supervising them, no one knows what will happen once they finally arrive at the Rings of Orbis. They do know, though, that they'll be at the mercy of its citizens.

There's a problem, though, as there usually is. Johnny has recently discovered that he's a human Softwire - the very first human able to directly communicate with any computer using just his mind. He's been trying to warn the citizens of Orbis that a virus is attacking their central computer, but few are willing to listen. Actually, few are willing to even take the fact of his being a Softwire seriously at all. But it is that fact that could possibly be the only thing that will spare Orbis -and its inhabitants, including the orphans - from destruction.

VIRUS ON ORBIS 1 is the first book in THE SOFTWIRE series, and it will be interesting to see where the author takes Johnny next. The majority of this story features him battling both the Trading Council and Orbis's rulers, the Keepers. After reading this great first installment, you'll definitely be ready for the next book in the series. I know I am, and I'm not even a science fiction fan!

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Once you set foot on Orbis, you`ll never want to leave!!, 17 Feb 2007
Darren J. Field (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
PJ Haarsma joins the pantheon of fictional genius - JK Rowlling- C.S Lewis - J.R.R. Tolkin - with his debut outing as an author. The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 is both intellegant and thought prevoking.

The story of Johnny Turnbull is gripping from the get go. As soon as you enter this world you never want to leave it. Fanciful cityscapes described in an abundance of detail. Glorious aliens lining the pages of this well crafted tale. A sense of family amidst a chaotic new frontier, this book has it all.

The first in a series, of which i hope there are many. This book works as every bit the triumphant introduction to this wonderfully woven and expertly executed piece of fiction.

This book turns the fictional into the fantastic and the impossible into a mere word. As a science fictional read it delivers everything you could possibly want, as a moralistic tale it sets the standard for books of its kind and as an all round great read it has something in it for everyone.

Although it is aimed at the young adult audience there is no duming down. Every descriptive adjective serves to heighten your senses and alert you to the world you find yourself in. Just as the main character does.

Looking to a future that may some day become a reality if the earth is used up at the rate she is going, The softwire: Virus on orbis 1 is an all too realistic look at how different societies cannot coexist without trust and that we must all work together for the greater good.

All in all a fantastic read and i strongly suggest you order your copy right now!!

Ordered it yet?? Why not? DO IT! :)

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