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The Engines of God (Priscilla) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Dec 1995


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Mass Market Paperback, 1 Dec 1995
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (Dec 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441002846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441002849
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 10.5 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 902,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Quraqua. 28th Year of Mission, 211th Day. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gadgeteer1066 on 12 Sep 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Engines of God is the first book in a series of six involving Priscilla 'Hutch' Hutchins as the main protagonist, albeit her role in the books changes over time, along with her career. I liked this, rather than having a hero and fixing them at a set point in time, she is able to develop and allows for other characters to come to the fore (and move on again afterwards). Having read all of them in a condensed period of time and in the right order, I can say that the Engines of God lays the foundation for what is to come in the later books in the series. That said,they are all totally stand-alone, but you do find out a little more along the way and the final book answers some of the bigger questions that might seem to have been left hanging in the earlier novels.

As it is the first book in a series, the author has taken the time to set out and populate his universe and I liked the detail which he consistently applied across the novels. It was not done in a repetitive way and avoided the almost 'copy and paste' set paragraphs that some writers fall into. Like all of his books, I think you can divide them into two halves. The first is 'scene setting', 'getting ready', 'dealing with things' and generally taking the reader on a journey up to the top of a 'big dipper' roller coaster. It can be a little slow for those who are eager to leap ahead. But, equally, it is detailed, well written and engaging. As the first half comes to an end and you drop off the edge, rushing to the story's conclusion, it all falls into place and is well paced and keeps you turning the pages.

Jack McDevitt is a very consistent writer and I believe that if you like one of his books, you will like them all. If you are going to read this series, I would suggest you try to keep them in sequence: The Engines of God (1994), Deepsix (2001), Chindi (2002), Omega (2003), Odyssey (2006), Cauldron (2007).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun 2000
Format: Paperback
This is best of McDevitt's books that i have read. We have his standard small group of intrepid travellers (too small and too intrepid really, but it makes them fun to read about) charging between the stars in pursuit of a hunch that something big is happening and that we need to know about it. They're right of course, and in the face of (the usual) political interference all is ultimately revealed. Okay, it isn't really - The book is quite long already and would have to be one of those tedious great trilogies in order to have space to offer a full explanation. This is a failing really, and prevents the book from becoming more than a decent page-turner - it is certainly that, although some action set-pieces do have a feeling of having been stuffed in to hot the pace up ('hmm, the plot is sagging, lets put everybody in deadly peril for a bit'). Read it anyway though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Oct 1998
Format: Paperback
On the strength of this novel, I went out and bought everything the author has ever written and enjoyed them all. Engines of God is well written with a fasinating plot regarding the mysterious destruction of alien civilisations. If you enjoy well-written hard SF, then this is a great book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jun 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is the first in Jack McDevitt's "Hutch" series that features the resourceful Priscilla Hutchinson and runs for six books of varying quality. It is also the first and strongest of three Hutch adventures that involve the mysterious, destructive, and seemingly unstoppable Omega Clouds. The other two books are Omega and Cauldron.

Hutch pilots a ship to Quraqua, where an Academy of Science and Technology team of archeologists is pressured by a deadline. They must remove key artifacts from The Temple of the Winds before an impending terraforming operation destroys this underwater site. The terraformers are all too willing to endanger the archeologists as well as their valuable artifacts. Hutch and her colleagues evaluate ancient artifacts, translate alien inscriptions, and explore strange ruins on Quraqua's moon. They find clues to the identity of the long-departed Monument-Makers, creators of a hauntingly beautiful ice sculpture on one of Saturn's moons. And they have their first, near-disastrous encounter with the planet-scourging Omega Clouds.

This is one of McDevitt's better books. It introduces strong characters who face dangerous situations with plot-changing consequences. Some of them don't make it. It lays out new and imaginative ideas, gives readers a feel for the deep time of galactic history, and encourages a thoughtful and systematic approach to figuring out the universe. I recommend it as good reading and a good informal lesson in problem-solving.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a cross-over in genres between mystery (where the mystery is archaeological - the myserious monuments left behind by another race) and SF.
For me it worked well because of the sense of mystery and wonder it invokes. This isn't the archaeology of my back lawn but of a whole other sentient race... why did they make these monuments and what exactly happened to the race.
Start of a series. In the end I read all of them and was very sorry that it finished.
In this country seem out of print, which is mildly insane! Can't recommend more highly.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Where I compared The Dreaming Void (Void Trilogy) to a journey on a potholed road that ends nowhere in particular -- with, I might add, a lot of boring people in the car -- The Engines of God might be compared to a first-class train ride through interesting cities and spectacular countryside, with stimulating travelling companions and a knowledgeable, well-spoken guide. McDevitt knows how to write characters: the "good" people have bad points, the "bad" people have redeeming features, and they can learn from their experiences and develop as the story goes on. I was tempted to skip only when the story became so exciting that I couldn't bear to wait until the end of the chapter! The only fault I can find is a bit of gratuitous peril on Beta Pacifica III which claims several lives but ultimately has nothing to do with the story. Everything else fits together, and in the very last chapter McDevitt introduces another theme by more or less saying "Oh, by the way, in a thousand years or so an entity which destroys civilisations is going to come to the Earth...but that's another story." I look forward to reading it in some of his later books.
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