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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as gripping as his other books but still very good
What I like most about Jack McDevitt is that he is building his story line on humanity's possible near future; the story does not evolve around a galaxy-wide human empire or various species already known.

He elaborates quite in detail how we might embark on space travel, how politicians or corporations might react, what space travel might look like and so on...
Published on 28 Feb. 2009 by M. Gumustekin

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3.0 out of 5 stars moon riding
latest in a series of books from science fiction writer jack mcdevitt called the academy novels. set in a relatively near future with pretty realistic technology and some faster than light travel, the main character of them being a spaceship pilot called priscilla hutchings. hutch to friends. you could probably get into this if you've not read one of the earlier books as...
Published on 16 Nov. 2008 by Paul Tapner


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3.0 out of 5 stars moon riding, 16 Nov. 2008
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Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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latest in a series of books from science fiction writer jack mcdevitt called the academy novels. set in a relatively near future with pretty realistic technology and some faster than light travel, the main character of them being a spaceship pilot called priscilla hutchings. hutch to friends. you could probably get into this if you've not read one of the earlier books as there's enough exposition but you'll get more out of it if you're familiar with the series.

the debate for and against space travel plays a prominent role in the story, but never in a heavy handed manner. there's also some debate for and against religion, but that's also handled quite well.

the story involves humans sighting strange aliens called moonriders, and endeavouring to investigate them. at the same time, an intergalactic version of the hadron project to discover the origins of the universe might put reality in danger.

the cover design makes this look like it contains star wars style action, but the attempts to be realistic mean it's anything of the sort. and thus a lot of the book is character interaction and spaceship journeys describing what people are doing to pass the time. this is well written and readable enough.

the characterisation is decent, especially in the case of one pair who get closer to each other as the book goes along.

a few hidden agendas supply plot twists, and this does come together with the aliens in the end, although the latter do rather remain an enigma throughout. the book as a whole is relatively self contained whilst allowing for further stories in the same series to follow.

readable enough but probably strictly for those who've followed this series, where it's an adequate middle book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as gripping as his other books but still very good, 28 Feb. 2009
By 
M. Gumustekin (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What I like most about Jack McDevitt is that he is building his story line on humanity's possible near future; the story does not evolve around a galaxy-wide human empire or various species already known.

He elaborates quite in detail how we might embark on space travel, how politicians or corporations might react, what space travel might look like and so on.. all very feasible and realistic.. and that's exactly what is appealing to me

Odyssey evolves around contact with intelligent species and a possibly-catastrophic scientific experiment.. again all characters are well-built; neither heroes or villains.. rather usual characters with strong and weak points..

The story is not fast paced but nevertheless readable and enjoyable - particularly if you are not after a starwars like scifi
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly dreadful, 22 Sept. 2008
By 
Chris "chrisgb" (UK) - See all my reviews
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It's been quite a while since I last read one of McDevitt's books. I enjoyed Engines of God, and A Talent for War is currently his best (and also one of the best general sci-fi novels I've read in quite a while). Odyssey, however.....stay away. Like everything he's done after Engines of God, it's steeply downhill all the way. I've previously noted that e.g. Chindi wasn't great, and you're probably wondering why I went back. For one, I picked up the paperback cheaply, and for another, you begin to ask yourself, "Really, how bad can it be ? It's a book.".

It's bad. The original series of Star Trek featured prop conduits on the walls marked "GNDN" - "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing". That'd be a great tag-line for this novel. It's more of the "Hutch/Academy" series from the earlier books ("Mac" MacAllister also puts in an appearance), but the plot and story is plodding and dull. A central theme is that space-travel is a lot of sitting in ships looking out into interdimensional misty nothingness - in short, it's boring, and my God, does McDevitt really hammer this point home, beating it into your eyes with every additional page of deeply uninteresting internal monologuing by his characters.

To wit, some apparently alien spacecraft have started showing up and been noticed by human starship pilots. Some mischief is created. Broadly in line with McDevitt's other books in the series, you ultimately find out absolutely nothing else about them of any interest, except that They Are Alien And Have Their Own Agenda. They might not even be alien; you never find out anything else about them. There is some ham-handed and tiresome ecological moralising and a feeble attempt at heroic redemption, plus an interlude about a court-case on earth which, as far as I could tell, had literally nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of the plot. As with some of his other novels, A Big Rescue is required, where you basically get several pages of excruciatingly dull tallying of numbers and a terrible attempt to build tension by, predictably, people showing up late.

I could go on, but haven't the stomach for it. You should all be grateful; I've read this so you don't have to. So please, please don't. Learn from my error.
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Odyssey
Odyssey by Jack McDevitt (Hardcover - 7 Nov. 2006)
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