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Chindi (The Academy #3)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,819 ratings  ·  162 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Chindi is Jack McDevitt's third novel -- after The Engines of God and Deepsix -- to feature Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins, veteran starship pilot and one of the most credible heroines in contemporary SF. Both she and McDevitt are at the top of their respective forms in this big, lovingly detailed new novel of interstellar suspense.


ebook, 528 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published July 2nd 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Zachary Jernigan
Sometimes you love a book for one scene. Don't get me wrong; I like Jack McDevitt's Priscilla Hutchins books; but this one has got a single narrative masterstroke that makes the whole book simply superb.

Imagine, for a second, you're in love. Imagine then that you're separated from the one you love, and you know you'll never see them again because their space ship is traveling too fast for you to ever reach it. What gesture toward that person would be your last?

And I'll leave it there. It gives m
A lot of people seem to like this book, but I found it pretty annoying for the most part. In the not-too-distant future, a large part of the galaxy has been explored by humanity but few other intelligent species have been found. A group of rich people who are determined to make first contact commission a new starship and hire Captain Priscilla Hutchins (called Hutch for most of the time) to investigate a mysterious signal found in orbit around a neutron star. From there, they make the discovery ...more
Garret Reece
Another Library of Babel recommendation; I'd never heard of Jack McDevitt before. The one line review is "Indiana Jones, in space, no Nazis."

This is not the first book in this series; it appears that Deepsix chronologically precedes this one. That said, as only passing reference to the first book is made (and if I hadn't noticed it on the shelf at the library when I got this book, I could believe that no book existed), this book stands on its own just fine.

The plot follows a small exploration sh
You can get a synopsis of the plot on the Amazon pages. So I am going to give my impression of the overall series.

Some of the action is a bit over the top, but this is a thought provoking book. I recommend it.

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 series. Overall though, it is good "hard sc
Meh. McDevitt's readable; he maintains just enough interest to keep me turning the pages, but not very enthusiastically. I guess "workmanlike" would be the way to put it. Chindi, as with many of his science fiction works, has little character development (his protagonist, Priscilla Hutchins, a starship pilot, feels very cardboard-cutout-like), has characters doing poorly-thought-out and irrational things, and treats starship travel almost as if Hutchins is a glorified bus driver. Doesn't exactly ...more
Melissa Proffitt
This is definitely my favorite of the Priscilla Hutchins/Academy novels. Obviously it's because it has one of my favorite things, Archaeology In Space!, but also because it's so intense that I'm on the edge of whatever seat I'm using every time I read it. It's a lot like a horror novel in that respect; everyone is just so dumb about the risks they're taking, and they never get any smarter. It's always push, push, push, just a little farther, explore just one more room in the dark, deserted, alie ...more
I've read two other of McDevitt's books and they were both good reads.... "The Engines of God" and "Omega". In Omega the characters reference events that occurred during Chindi so I read it to find out what had happened. I found the book to be a very exciting and enjoyed it immensely.

It has a strong woman main character (Hutch) but what I like about it is that the characters are not too smart and not too brave. They are only smart enough and brave enough. That makes them more real to me. The cir
Christopher McKitterick
This is a novel about the kinds of people who explore the unknown, who push the boundaries of the human world. The true believers and fanatics fund and design their missions, and other brave souls go along for various reasons: It's a job, one of their best friends or loved ones is going, or they just think it'll be an adventure. George and Nick are the fanatics, and without them, humanity never would have discovered the interestellar, alien communications network, the various rising and fallen c ...more
"Chindi" is the third novel in the Priscilla Hutchins series. The archaeological mysteries continue.

"Hutch", as her friends call her, is fed up with her career as pilot. She gets all of the blame when things go wrong and none of the credit when things go right. She's been asked by her employer, the Science Academy, to pilot one last mission before landing a desk job: ferry the well heeled members of the "Contact Society", an E.T.-phile crowd, around in a ship they commissioned for the Academy on
In “Chindi” we got to learn a lot more about Priscilla Hutchins’ love lives. She gets talked into taking a ship out to where signals were heard, which are artificial in nature. The crew she takes with her are from a group many at the time think are a little nutty. And they certainly seem to be. They want to hunt for UFOs and aliens, regardless that at this time there have been many faster than light ships out there and not much was found.

After a long, long intro and some flashback, where she fl
This one's been sat on the shelf for a while.

McDevitt has a reputation for solid old-fashioned SF, with an emphasis on plot rather than characterisation. His work reminds me of the SF being published (and I was reading!) back in the 1980's.

This is pretty much that.

Where McDevitt scores is in developing that 'sensawunder' for the reader, so reminiscent to me of the Analogs and Astoundings of years gone by. Here we have long dead aliens and their cultural remains uncovered, underneath a sky with n
McDevitt is always good and it was great to visit with Hutch and Bill for a while, as expected. Beyong that, though, this book struck me as exceptional. McDevitt raised a lot of hard issues about space exploration, the search for "the Other," and the great potential for "othering" those found/met. He also had Hutch do some things that would appear, from the calm of one's livingroom, to be the usual sort of "stupid mistakes" authors often have women leads make. She also seemed to passively accept ...more
Jun 21, 2008 Chessa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of hard SF
Shelves: sf_fantasy
I liked this book in that it made me ponder the cosmological mysteries that never get boring - how stars are born and die, long-term events in space...But otherwise it's a straight 3-star book - not bad, not life-changing, but enough that I would most certainly read the author again. The main characters were all drawn very well, particularly the protagonist, Hutch (and I would also add that I was particularly happy to see a woman in the role she was in). But something about the sequence of event ...more
Sep 21, 2007 Dan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: First-time hard-SF readers
Shelves: sci-fi
Formulaic, predictable, bland and unambitious. (** Some spoilers ahead **)

If this was the first "hard" science fiction book I'd read, the thought of a massive self-directing artifact whose job is to collect a pan-galactic zoo and was built by a long-vanished uber-race whose mere detritus exceeds man's tiny grasp might indeed make for "an ambitious, exciting, big-idea hard-SF novel".

When we finally do encounter the mother-lode of alien treasure, it turns out to be a summer-home for some rich guy
This book is a part of a 5 book series, but I believe it works much better as a standalone book. We follow the life of Precilla Hutchins, who has retired from her job as a pilot, but is convinced to take one more journey.

+ The alien races described in this book are creative and non-humanoid.
+ Hutchins is a strong female lead, but not a "femme fatale" or a needy slut.
+ A possitive view of the future.
+ A nice mystery that is left ambiguous by the book's end

- Characters are often fleshed out and
One of the great tropes of classic sense-of-wonder science fiction is the space museum, which McDevitt uses with great success in this one. It's the third book in the Priscilla Hutchins series. We don't actually meet the aliens, but the archaeological investigations are presented with such deft grandeur that the results are Ozymandian. There are also some terrific hard-sf puzzles that are solved in a very clever manner. I didn't enjoy the characters quite as much as in the earlier books of the s ...more
I almost feel like a third of this book consisted of stressful rescue missions.....after the second or third rescue attempt, I found myself almost wanting to skip 5-10 pages at once just to get to the resolution of it and begin the next scene. I found a lot of scenes in this book to be pretty irrelevant to plot development or character development, and I was extremely unsatisfied with the ending and its lack of resolution of many plotpoints....

That said, there were some intriguing ideas, I only
McDevitt's very good. I'd say that two things stand out about this: one is that the plotting isn't ruled by the characters' sense of the possible. Rather, like a mystery novel, McDevitt seems to have set out the pieces in advance and then have the characters encounter them and try to make sense of them. However, the fact that this is being done in a sci-fi book, rather than a mystery (which typically begin with some criminal event that needs untangling), provides a grander scale and a set of mor ...more
My first book by McDevitt. Started slow but gets going soon enough. The story and science work nicely together. He has no problem with main characters meeting their demise as the story unfolds. The story should be have a subtitle "Chindi: or how many rescue missions can Hutch pull off?" I like her and the final rescue is a great thrill. The ending is a very unsubtle opening for a follow-on story. Guess I'm going to be collecting some more of his books. Strong recommendation for an enjoyable read ...more
Micah R Sisk
A mildly entertaining work that would have been much more satisfying but for its constant repetitions of the "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" variety. The set up is good, the premise is interesting, the writing skills adequate enough not to keep one reading...only it becomes pretty obvious early on that the entire plot follows one repeated chain of events, which can be summed up as follows:

We found something interesting.
Let's investigate.
Wait, that could be very dang
I accidentally stumbled upon this book and though that the premise could be interesting. I gave it 100 pages to read and I was sorely disappointed, because I was truly trying to break into adult science fiction and get away from YA.

Priscilla Hutch is given a mission to escort the Contact Society (extraterrestrial interested investors). She meets them and they are about 6 weeks into the mission...

I don't know what happens next, because I didn't finish. There were so many characters introduced w
Karl Schmiedeskamp
Jun 19, 2010 Karl Schmiedeskamp added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one I like
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not an unpleasant book, but one that dwells too much on rescues and stupid people fumbling around on alien planets given some of the high-brow ideas that get thrown around.
Vincent Stoessel
This book is the zenith of the entire series so far. It's a virtual wonderland of ideas and exploration that reads like a bestselling page-turner.
Karen Azinger
One of the best deep space science fiction books I've read in a long time. Very enjoyable.
Mike Muse
Jul 09, 2008 Mike Muse rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Glorious readers of Science Fiction
Up there in the Asimov realm... not quite Asimov, but great. Trust me.
This is the third book in the "Academy" series featuring female lead Priscilla Hutchins. Chindi stands on its own, but I recommend reading the series through from the start ("Engines of God") in order to see how the characters develop. An intelligent signal is detected in space and a group of humans travels out in an effort to make contact. Passengers continue to make blunders and "Hutch" continues (usually) to save them. This Chindi adventure takes them closer to lightspeed than they have ever ...more
Keeps getting better with each book in the series.
Roddy Williams
‘The universe has been explored – and humanity has all but given up on finding other intelligent life. Then an alien satellite orbiting a distant star sends out an unreadable signal. is it the final programmed gasp of an ancient, long-dead race? Or the first greeting of an undiscovered life form? Academy starship captain Priscilla Hutchins and the once-maligned Contact Society are about to learn the answers… to more questions than they could possibly conceive of asking.’

Blurb from the 2003 Ace p
This has been the best of McDevitt's Priscilla Hutchins novels that I've read so far. Though the author is still relying on the same basic premise--starship pilot "Hutch" is put in serious jam by the negligence/arrogance/ignorance of her superiors and must figure out a way to save everyone's butts--the mystery of the chindi was laid out in a cat-and-mouse interstellar chase giving this book a much more taut and suspenseful line of action. Also, this novel contained far less "future philosophy" t ...more
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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
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