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Odyssey (The Academy #5)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,063 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
To boost waning interest in interstellar travel, a mission is sent into deep space to learn the truth about "moonriders," the strange lights supposedly being seen in nearby systems. But Academy pilot Valentina Kouros and the team of the starship Salvator will soon discover that their odyssey is no mere public-relations ploy, for the moonriders are not a harmless phenomenon ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 423 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Ace (first published November 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
Conflicted Review

I’ve long been a fan of McDevitt. In his fictional universe there is still more than a little mystery and sense of wonder out there. These days, in fiction, the stars are only a backdrop to the story. Not so in McDevitt’s mysteries. Stephen King blurbs him as the logical heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. This makes sense, considering the irresistible old-school charm of his novels.

There is an incredibly authentic feel to McDevitt’s future. His unique approach, such as
Feb 09, 2012 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Impressions: Odyssey took some getting used to in order to plow through it! My only other introduction to the author Jack McDevitt is through his excellent novel, "Time Travelers Never Die" so I was hoping this book was going to be a continuation of the excellent style I was used to.

"Not so" say a few other reviewers, who pointed out to this writer that McDevitt has a series and Odyssey is the culmination of such a series starring Hutch, a former space pilot now administrator of the Acade
Brent Soderstrum
This is the 5th of 6 Priscilla Hutchins novels and I think it is the best so far. Hutch is still working as an administrator in the Academy which is under attack heavy spending with not much to show for it. Orion Tours, an interstellar touring outfit, starts seeing Moonriders on various parts of the tour. Moonriders are basically UFOs. The Academy sends out a ship to see if there are such a thing as Moonriders. On the ship are MacCallister, a newspaper reporter who has been critical of the Acade ...more
Clay Kallam
Jack McDevitt's ‘Odyssey’ ($24.95, Ace, 416 pages) is set in the same universe as the popular ‘Chindi’ and ‘Omega’, but it’s not nearly as successful. In fact, ‘Odyssey’ is basically a novella expanded well beyond its limits -- which is clearly revealed by the fact that it takes 188 pages to get the main characters to where they need to be (and we knew they’d be) to advance the plot.

And speaking of the characters, the love story between curmdugeonly writer Gregory MacAllister and the beautiful s
Apr 06, 2008 Mike rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
As another review mentioned, the short punctuated sentences were pretty annoying. There was one (possibly) self-referential part where MacAllister talks about how that type of writing is the best type of writing (or something).

Also, though it came out in previous books, and despite having Hutch as a lead, McDevitt comes across as misogynistic. This brought out further by the author's identification with the misogynist character MacAllister (see above, Mc/Mac).
Dec 06, 2015 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Odyssey is another 2 Star addition to my new secular progressive female chauvinist environmentalist science fiction shelf. All the women are fantastic while almost all men are sh*ts. Even the one woman who is in on the corporate plotting is doing it for selfless reasons, and she becomes the most heroic figure in the book in the end. (I think McDevitt is trying to counter every Heinlein caricature of a woman, and simultaneously counter every heroic or admirable male character). This entry in the ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quantum mechanics is a strange beast, a typically human construct whose utility is just that. Because of that some things get ignored, like the quantization of space/time and how some states come to be occupied other than by determinism that transcends the supposed stochastic inherency. Altruism and unintended consequences are two such: the first by its transcendence of the Copenhagen interpretation as a state that can only be collapsed by an actor rather than an observer; and both their admixtu ...more
Initial Thoughts/Review: Interesting enough story. There are many point of view changes, and by the end, I'm not sure that even the author knows which character he is following (specifically referring to the last chapter). Deceptive cover, in implying what the book is about. A somewhat deeper (and yet oddly thin) look at Hutch's earth and Academy (and the system set up to explore space).

Story (bare bones): Finances are tight, cuts to the Academy funding, and maybe outright closing of the Academy
Jun 04, 2013 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's quite a lot to think about in this fifth Priscilla Hutchings/Academy novel; space and religion and society and politics... McDevitt presents the puzzles and leaves much of what he concludes ambiguous, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions. Hutch herself is still serving as an administrator for the unpleasant politician Asquith at the Academy, and is busy raising her daughter. The irascible Gregory McCallister returns, and goes on a voyage with a new pilot named Valentina, a p ...more
May 19, 2016 Jerry rated it it was ok
A Quickie Review

Jack McDevitt is one of my favorite authors, not only because of his great writing talent, but also because he paints a future where religion, including the Christian faith, still coexists with the rest of society. Unfortunately, this is among the worst of his that I've read. An entire subplot focuses on a student who was allegedly made mentally ill by going to a Christian school. Add a main, oft-quoted character who is a bit of a jerk, a higher profanity count than usual, and ev
Okay, this ones a bit melodramatic, but it is a sci-fi mystery thriller. This is the third book of McDevitt's I’ve read (the other two being Chindi and Omega) and I found this one to be most interesting. The plot wasn’t the greatest, but the story didn’t seem to drag on as it did in the other two. I found myself interested enough to keep turning those pages. McDevitt seems to have a theme in his books, or at least the three that I’ve read now – big mysterious object in space is threatening human ...more
May 19, 2016 Jerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
See my review of the other edition.
May 19, 2014 Benedict rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, fantasy
McDevitt is a smart author, and his characters have emotional depth -- and he's masterful in his understatement of that: often a single clause or sentence will reveal the deeper layers of the interactions of a scene, and if you aren't paying attention, you can miss it. On the other hand, when I caught them, these moments often made me pause, shaking my head in admiration, and take a few moments to reflect both on what was happening and how well-crafted it was.

But the real delight of THIS particu
Jan 23, 2016 Aik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't think much of this one. It's well written, but it takes the least interesting elements of the plot and blows them up into most of the book, leaving the most interesting parts as an afterthought. I want to hear about the aliens, not budgets and public relations in a future that feels barely changed from the present.
There's a strain of dreary cynicism that runs through the whole book, even when it's not the dedicated cynic's turn as PoV character. I don't mind a bit of cynicism in my scienc
Víctor Gutiérrez
No conozco más títulos de este autor, sólo los 6 libros de la Saga de Las Máquinas de dios, pero he de decir que son extremadamente buenos. Su ciencia ficción realmente te hace volar hacia los confines del universo. Este libro en particular se me hace un libro de transición en la saga, es como un puente, ya que uno espera que esta vez si haya contacto con alguna civilización extraterrestre, pero el "contacto" te genera más dudas que respuestas. La manera de redactar de Jack es genial, es simple ...more
Scott Holstad
I think McDevitt's lost this series. I think he lost it when he moved the great character, Hutch, from space ship pilot to administrator. The books since then have been bland. She's been bland. It's been a huge disappointment. I miss her fire, her leadership, everything about her missions.

In the opening of Odyssey, an Academy ship jumps out of hyperspace with a blown engine thinking they're a zillion miles from earth. Ships are sent to search for them. Turns out they're in our own solar system.
Oct 23, 2015 JP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: The Academy is running out of money. In the meantime, MacAllister, a senator's daughter, a pilot, and a PR guy from the Academy are on a tour looking for UFOs because reasons. Eventually the find some (ish), the daughter gets contacted by aliens (maybe, no one believes her at first and it's never really explained), and a bunch of people die.

As with a few other books in this series, it takes half the book to get to what feels like the main plot point, with a massive acceleration in the l
Mark Easter
Jul 19, 2015 Mark Easter rated it it was amazing

To boost waning interest in interstellar travel, a mission is sent into deep space to learn the truth about "moonriders," the strange lights supposedly being seen in nearby systems. But Academy pilot Valentina Kouros and the team of the starship Salvator will soon discover that their odyssey is no mere public-relations ploy, for the moonriders are not a harmless phenomenon. They are very, very dangerous-in a way that no one could possibly have imagined.

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the 23rd ce

Jeff Miller
So far the weakest book of the series. Previously each circumstance in the series seemed to top itself in its imagination and world building. It also didn't help that the character of MacAllister was prominent in this book MacAllister an H.L. Menken type was interesting in the previous novels, but combined with a minor subplot made this book less enjoyable than the ones where Hitch is more prominent.

There has always been some religion bashing in these novels with MacAllister playing a part in th
Jul 28, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book overall. I liked the space adventure and McDevitt always builds a good mystery. He is weak on how the mystery plays out though. Things are inevitably disappointing. Potential aliens are a great mystery it is so fun to wonder about them, but things gets very lame once actual aliens appear. This is espcially the case when these aliens are supposed to be "superior" to mankind. Its as if our imaginations can not handle this and freeze up and only produce lame!

I enjoy the characte
Antonin Januska
Sep 22, 2013 Antonin Januska rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Odyssey is definitely one of the best books in the series. There seems to be much more personal and emotional involvement with the characters than in the other books which brings a new whiff of freshness into the "Hutchins" universe.

This is one of the better sci-fi books I've read in a long time and it stands apart from the contemporary sci-fi and typical best-sellers. It is neither a typical story wrapped in speculative fiction, nor is it a "coming of age" novel frequently seen on the stands. I
Apr 23, 2013 Dawson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-space
You can get a synopsis of the plot on the Amazon pages. So I am going to give my impression of the overall series.

A good read, though maybe one of the weaker in the series. However, I really liked the interplay between the characters of Amy and Gregory.

If you've read one of my review of the series you've already read below.

Part of a 6 book (so far) series. As another reviewer said, the books have something of a mystery novel feel to it. Much more noticeable is the documentary/diary feel to this
Randy Mcdonald
Jack McDevitt's science fiction novels have always struck me as refreshing for their author's willingness to imagine a space opera universe without clichéd space opera tropes: rapid FTL travel without any immediately appealing destinations, intrepid characters who can't pierce to the heart of the mysteries they encounter, truly inscrutable alien species. Odyssey, an installment in his Priscilla Hutchins series, continues this tradition, pitting Hutch and her colleagues up against the mysterious ...more
Jack McDevitt's latest novel returns to the Academy series, home to such gems as The Engines of God ,and Chindi . Unfortunately, Odyssey fails to capture the same atmosphere as his previous works.

In McDevitt's other Academy books, he does an extraordinary job of bringing alien worlds to life, and building up an underlying mystery, usually resolving itself in some surprising, thought-provoking way. In many ways, McDevitt's books are like Science-Mysteries. Odyssey contains little of the magic
Dec 26, 2012 Michael rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
The adventure aspect of the book was minimal. There was a lot of politics and social commentary that, to be fair, turned out to be very important to the story told. It all hangs together well. The politics and social commentary reflect things as they are today even though events take place 200 years in the future. The greenhouse effect is an accepted fact but no one is really doing anything still. People are moving north and away from the coasts, that's all. No huge programs of carbon sequestrat ...more
Jul 18, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This far-future novel is about mankind’s attempt to learn the truth behind mysterious lights in space called moonriders.

Space travel and industrialization just has not paid off the way humanity had hoped. The search for intelligent life has been disappointing. On Earth, there is a growing call to cut the space exploration budget, and focus on domestic issues, like global warming. In a last-ditch effort, the Academy puts together a mission to investigate moonriders, once and for all. The modern e
Barry Martin Vass
I'm a big fan of Jack McDevitt and have read most of his novels. Deepsix was a great read, as were Infinity Beach, Seeker, Eternity Road, and Omega. That being said, Odyssey seems extremely over-written and just plain tedious to read. When you consider that it's a 400-page novel and the first 180 pages are simply plot- and character-development, with zero action, this is a book in need of serious revision. But then it's McDevitt, and any McDevitt is better than none at all...
Manuel Nesbet
De lo mas flojo hasta el momento de McDevitt... se pierde un poco la sensación de asombro y soledad ante lo inmenso e incomprensible de las grandes distancias interestelares. Aún así bueno, me gusta su estilo, y es capaz de darle mucho relieve a sus personajes.

Mas centrado en tramas políticas que en la esencia de las obras anteriores. Buen final a pesar de todo, aunque mantengo la opinión de que es lo mas penquita hasta el momento de McDevitt, dentro de la saga "Academy". Sigue "Cauldron".
Dec 09, 2014 Chet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is #5 in a series, it would probably stand alone. I recommend that one reads the series from the start, though, in order to benefit from the character development. This book has two strong female leads, Hutch as an administrator and Valya as a pilot, along with Amy, a girl who plays a pivotal role. The action adventure c. 2235 is a side story here as the alien Moonriders play a subplot to the political maneuverings of space exploration funding.
Ramon Yáñez lópez
Entretenida como todas las De McDevitt. Correctamente traducida, pero aun asi, llena de errores que se podrian haber corregido con una relectura antes de publicarla.
La mejor perla en la primera pgina del prologo. Traduccin de "Jovian" joviano por jovial. O sea que los planetas tipo jupiter son "joviales", jeje...
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Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. His work has been on the final ballot for the Nebula Awards for 12 of the past 13 years. His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, McDevitt won the first $10,000 UPC Internation ...more
More about Jack McDevitt...

Other Books in the Series

The Academy (7 books)
  • The Engines of God (The Academy, #1)
  • Deepsix (The Academy, #2)
  • Chindi (The Academy, #3)
  • Omega (The Academy, #4)
  • Cauldron (The Academy, #6)
  • Starhawk (The Academy, #7)

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“Truth, beaten down, may well rise again. But there's a reason it gets beaten down. Usually we don't like it very much.” 6 likes
“The secret to a successful career in virtually any field is good public relations. Forget results. Forget the facts. Perception is all that matters.” 0 likes
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