Beyond the Orion Nebula
by Edgar J. Guedez
Trafford Publishing

"We're not alone in our galaxy. We've just been unlucky thus far to find extraterrestrial intelligent life."

Fugitive princesses, Arianne and Amelie, aid in a war effort against a treacherous cousin who wishes to dethrone their father, ruler of an intergalactic empire known as the Alidonian System of Worlds. The story starts with them on the run from Narbonne, their cousin. While in pursuit, the princesses's fleet becomes badly damaged from a nova explosion, and, as a result, Amelie is injured, requiring the fleet to set up a base on an unexplored planet called Waterworld until she recovers from her wounds.

Throughout the novel, Narbonne relentlessly hunts for the princesses's hidden location while combating their father's army. Arianne and Amelie, on the other hand, seek to recruit humans to their cause so that their cousin will no longer be a threat. They unexpectedly find love and loss along the way.

The story, while it has its fair share of suspense and adventure, is not the main focus of the book. Rather, the narrative centers around the themes of exploration and the awareness that despite subtle differences, species can share the same struggles and needs. The author wonderfully illustrates this concept by having humans viewed as an alien race. Beyond the Orion Nebula combines subterfuge, intergalactic war, love, and discovering new alien life into an action-packed read that is quick and enjoyable. Guedez's work will appeal to fans of the Ender's Game series, a storyline that shares a similar theme of the struggle to overcome the instinctive threat of the unknown.

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