Odyssey, Jack McDevitt (ACE Books/Penguin)

Β —   Really good book within the genre, probably worth reading regardless of which genre’s you like, but may have a style of writing or setting that may not appeal to all readers. Alternatively, it may not have deep commentary or thought outside of the book itself.

In brief: Set in the universe previously visited in Chindi and Omega, McDevitt‘s new book combines solid Sci-Fi exploration with present day commentary in way I found intriguing and delightful.  Though this book does stand alone, it would probably be more appealing to those who have read the previous volume in this series.

Setting: A mid-to-far future (23rd Century) where FTL travel exists and humanity has reached the closer interstellar neighborhood of stars.

In Depth:

After years of funding deep interstellar exploration the public has lost interest in space exploration.  Space tourism is doing well, but funding for exploration and research is drying up as politicians focus on ‘more pressing’ issues on Earth.  Then an increase in Moonriders (a.k.a. UFOs) sightings spurs a joint commercial and government mission to find out the truth….

I must confess that my view of this book may well be biased.  I don’t know the author, nor had I read his works before. Even so, I was delighted by the not-so-subtle-but-still-unobtrusive critique this book made on America’s attitude’s towards the space program that I couldn’t help but love this book.  Yet, despite the fact I agree with McDevitt, I was very pleased to see that the book avoided condemning those who disagree with his (and my) viewpoints, while putting forward a very compelling argument in our favor. 

That having been said, I do feel this work stands up as a piece of literature on its own merits.  Indeed, I found myself quickly drawn into the tale even despite my total lack of knowledge with his earlier works in the series.  Odyssey has believable and sympathetic characters set in interesting situations that happily pulled me from page to page. 

I would readily recommend this book to anyone interested in Space Exploration literature, arguments about funding NASA or those who just want to see how a master can craft commentary into a story without making those who oppose them a villain.

About Thomas Evans

I'm a writer of mysteries, espionage, and speculative fiction. In my previous incarnation I was an archaeologist specializing in gender and identity in Iron and Bronze Age Europe. Mostly, however, I was known for my works with the use of geomatics, multiscalular spatial analysis and landscape theory within archaeology.
This entry was posted in Hard SciFi, Science Fiction, Series, Space Exploration, Strong Characters, Thoughtful and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Odyssey, Jack McDevitt (ACE Books/Penguin)

  1. Joachim Boaz says:

    Cool — sounds interesting!

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