The Orphan Factory by James and Lance Morcan

By Ekta R. Garg

August 23, 2012

Rated: Borrow it

The father-duo writing team of James and Lance Morcan return with the second book in their “Orphan Trilogy” series.  In the first book, The Ninth Orphan, the authors introduced readers to Nine, a young man created in a lab by the elite, secret organization called Omega that has designs for a New World Order.  To achieve this goal, scientists fulfilled the Pedemont Project by harvesting the best genes from across the world and artificially inseminating a group of women to create twenty-three children with optimal physical features.  These children, collectively known as the Orphans and addressed only by their birth order, will carry out Omega’s missions.  In The Ninth Orphan, Nine has decided he has hit his limit with the manipulative Omega leaders and does what he can to escape.

In order to lay the groundwork for readers to understand just what has driven Nine to revolting against Omega, the authors offer readers The Orphan Factory.  In this book—a prequel to the first—readers will get to experience the start of the Pedemont Project and meet Nine in his adolescent years.  From the start Nine has set himself apart from the other Orphans by his excellence in academic knowledge and physical prowess, but even though Nine knows he’s the golden boy of the Pedemont Project he remains dissatisfied with his life.  He knows the life he shares with the other Orphans doesn’t resemble the life that normal children experience, and experiencing his first crush motivates him to run away from the orphanage home he shares with the other children.  The runaway stint doesn’t last, however, and when the Omega leaders find him they bring him back to the orphanage and vow to seal Nine to themselves completely.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy more details about Nine’s world with this second book in the trilogy.  The authors have constructed an interesting concept that falls right in line with the current trend of dystopian fiction, and some sections in The Orphan Factory will make readers smile (note, for interest, the casual manner used to talk about the length of Nine’s hair earlier in the book and how cleverly this fact becomes important later.)

Unfortunately the book’s main drawback is its overabundance of exposition.  The authors certainly don’t take their readers’ intelligence for granted, explaining plot points several times.  At one point, in fact, readers might be tempted to skip a few paragraphs because they know they won’t miss much: whatever they miss the first time around will certainly be explained later.

The unnecessary exposition slows down the pacing of the story, and several times readers might feel like the book drags.  Nine’s fate, however, will keep readers engaged until the end.  Readers should prepare themselves for a narrative that might slow down in parts, but overall this reviewer recommends The Orphan Factory for those interested in dystopian fiction.


What the ratings mean:

Bookmark it!–Read this book and then buy it and add it to to your own collection.  It’s definitely worth it!

Borrow it–Check this one out from the library; it’s a worthy read, but think twice before spending your hard-earned money on it.

Bypass it–Free time is precious.  Don’t spend it on this book!

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