Review of ‘Orbital’ by FX Holden *****

Orbital - FI


The Russian economy is on the brink of collapse, and the only thing that could save it is an increase in world oil price for its exports. To bring that about, the Saudis need to drastically reduce production, which they refuse. In retaliation, the Russians cripple a major Saudi processing complex using one of their kinetic weapon satellites blanketing Earth. The plant is obliterated and everyone pretends it was done by a meteor shower. This was not enough for Russia, and they destroy a Chinese gas distribution hub. The American Space Force seek to neutralize this threat by Russia, but the weapon satellites have defenses, which the Space Force and the British suborbital fighter find out the hard way. Russia does not want an all-out war with America, but China and the physically and emotionally scarred Chief Scientist, designer of the Russian weapon satellites, have agendas of their own. War threatens the world when Cape Canaveral is obliterated, forcing America to unveil its own secret space weapon. Will the ICBMs fly? And what has China to gain from an exchange?

With Orbital, FX Holden plunges the reader into his superbly written techno-thriller from the first page. Blinded by a meteor strike as a child, Anastasia Grahkovsky becomes the designer and Chief Scientist of the Russian kinetic weapon satellites. It is her creation, her baby, and nothing will stand in her way to protect it, even her superiors. The Russian Energy Minister entices the lovely Italian-born Roberta D’Antonia to be his personal strategic advisor and help him become the Defense Minister. However, Roberta has another master, and it does not take the Russian secret service long to uncover that she is a Western spy. FX Holden handles the interplay between his characters with deft skill, but the focus of his novel is unmistakably on military action sprinkled with a wealth of acronyms techno-thriller readers will devour with relish. Tom Clancy and Dale Brown stand aside. Orbital is a gripping story of possible warfare in space that forces readers to keep turning the pages. The ending is somewhat forced and rushed, but lovers of this type of genre will hardly notice this, their eyes focused on space.

This book is available on Amazon.

About FX Holden

FX Holden

FX Holden is a pen name of award winning author, Tim Slee. The material published here is published to raise money for charity.

Tim Slee’s first success was as winner of the Allen & Unwin INK short fiction prize. In 2016 he started independently publishing long fiction, and was the winner in Feb 2017 of the Grand Prize in the US Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize in Fiction. In 2018 he received the HarperCollins Banjo Prize for unpublished Australian fiction, and his manuscript TAKING TOM MURRAY HOME was published in August 2019 by HarperCollins Australia.

BERING STRAIT (This is the Future of War) was his first book published under the FX Holden imprint. The second book in the ‘Future War’ series, OKINAWA, was published in November 2019. The next title in the series, SUBORBITAL, will be coming in November 2020. Each is a standalone story but with some continuing characters.

As a bonus for FX Holden fans, in 2019 FX Holden also released hard sci-fi title DEEP CORE because … why not.

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