The Red Rover: Origins by C.E. Whitaker III

by Hope Hanson
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The Red Rover Origins Cover

Humanity has always possessed a fascination with the unknown. More specifically the universe.

In the case of thirteen-year-old Orion Moore, it literally was all he had ever known. Since birth, Orion has lived amongst a group of over five hundred Earthlings on the Rover Base Alpha, a gigantic space station that left the Earth decades’ prior in search of a new home. In a matter of weeks, the Base’s leadership put a plan into action that would send their Rover teams to foreign galaxies in hopes of securing a planet suitable for colonization.

At the same time, Orion and his fellow classmates were expected to begin their exploration training, an intense military program designed to take them from neophytes to cadets. Sent away on the Red Rover, it was during this training exercise that these young people would learn the survival skills needed to cope with the harsh conditions that many of the uncharted worlds in the galaxy already possessed.

Unbeknownst to Orion and his friends, their lives were about to be irrevocably changed forever, forcing them to band together in an epic adventure for survival. For them, this was only the beginning. Some say that destiny cannot exist without a journey… and for the members of the Red Rover, they’re about to see exactly how prophetic that statement really was.

–from the blurb about The Red Rover: Origins

Thank you so much to C.E. Whitaker III for providing me with a digital copy to review! Check out his author page on Amazon or find him on Instagram.

The book suite 3 Star Review graphic
Rating: 3.5/5

Like many people, I absolutely love science fiction. Though, that should be obvious by now; have I not raved about The Hitchhiker’s Guide enough yet? And while, obviously, sci-fi doesn’t necessarily have to mean space travel, I can’t deny that I think that’s the best kind of sci-fi. (Again, I include THHGTTG in way too many lists for that not to be obvious.)

Today, I’m sharing with you my review for The Red Rover: Origins. I honestly really enjoyed reading this; so, I’m excited to share my thoughts with you.


To start with, this book features plenty of classic science fiction tropes. Military training; a massive spaceship amidst the stars; humans emigrating from Earth to colonize other planets in the galaxy. Honestly, there were a lot of different elements at play in this book. Largely, that was because Whitaker explored many different perspectives throughout the story.

As for the overall plot of the book, I do think it was a little slow. Basically, I feel that a lot of what happened was setting up the bigger problems for future books. The central plot of this first book, I suppose, was Orion and his classmates’ trial. But, there were also a bunch of other side plots that took away focus from the main storyline; though, I admit that those parts did need to be included for context.

Going back to the characters, I liked this cast, when it comes down to it. I think Delly was especially interesting; I wish I could have read more about her adventures. Though, maybe subsequent books in this series will deliver on that front! Plus, I did enjoy reading about Orion’s adventures with his classmates. Each of them was interesting in his or her own way, and I look forward to learning more about them in future books.

In general, though, I do think some characters could have been given more development and characterization. Some characters had a lot of fleshing out, but others seemed a little lacking in that department. I really liked Orion’s characterization, though; seeing him develop from being doubtful and disappointed in himself to succeeding and thriving was amazing.

Finally, although I enjoyed the multiple different settings and locations of this book, I do think they could have used some more fleshing out, too. Though, to be clear, Whitaker did give some degree of detail; I just would’ve enjoyed immersing myself in this story more if he’d given more. Some aspects were a little unclear, and I would’ve liked to see them explored more.

TL,DR Recommendation

I do recommend giving this book, and this series, a try. With all the different classic sci-fi tropes touched on in this book, fans of the genre won’t be disappointed. And while I definitely felt that this first dealt mostly with setting the scene, but I still enjoyed it. Plus, I also have high hopes for the rest of the books in the series.

I hope you enjoyed this review for The Red Rover: Origins! As always, if you’d like to read some more similar reviews, feel free to check out the science fiction tag or click here to see my full library of reviews.

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