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Odd Girl Out (Quadrail #3)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  843 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
In this noir thriller set on the interstellar Quadrail, former government agent Frank Compton can't catch a break. After a successful mission against the Modhri, the coral polyp-based group mind that is attempting to take over the galaxy, Frank arrives at his New York apartment. A young woman is waiting for him, pointing a gun at his face. She tells him that someone on New ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Tor Books
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William Bentrim
Aug 28, 2012 William Bentrim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Odd Girl Out by Timothy Zahn

Frank Compton, a government whistle blower is back with faithful side kick and engineered schizophrenic Bayta. The Modhri, group mind omnipotent evil opponent, is willing to compromise to destroy an abomination. Much of the action once again takes place on the Quadrail.

The concept of the Quadrail and it’s interconnection of galactic empires is the thread that ties the plots of the books in this series, Night Train To Rigel and The Third Lynx being the first two.

This is actually the third in a series, which I didn't realize when I picked it up. Fortunately, Zahn does a pretty good job of dropping enough hints that you can tell what's going on (without the dreaded, "So, Bob, as you well know [info dump]").

He's trying to do something between Sam Spade and James Bond, which I think mostly works. Frank Compton, the narrator, is appropriately cynical but chivalrous. He's quite competent but still manages to misjudge things on a regular basis. Given that the
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 John Loyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Odd Girl Out (2008) 379 pages by Timothy Zahn.


This is the third book in the Quadrail series. Telling you any of the plot is a spoiler for the first book, Night Train to Rigel, so I'll keep that to a minimum. Frank Compton is sort of the 1950s witty private eye, thrown into an SF universe. I think all three books start off with a murder that and he becomes the prime suspect.

Compton is quick to recognize a change in tactic and infer what is happening. He uses that skill along with the ha
Jesse Whitehead
This is the third book in Zahn’s Quadrail series and I liked it much better than the last two, though it still feels like a whole lot of lost potential.

Zahn posits a system of interstellar travel that is based off of trains. In fact it is almost exactly that. The Quadrail is a train that can travel across lightyears in just a few days. The hitch is that there is also some sentient coral that wants to take over the galaxy. The coral can implant itself in people’s minds if they touch it and it can
Jan 21, 2011 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I brought this book home all excited to read a good ol' science fiction, opened it up and discovered it was third in a series. Third. I was tempted to drive the 14 miles back to the library in wintery conditions just to take it back and start with book #1 but I controlled myself. After reading it, I'm sure I could have used a bit of the background on characters from the first two books, but the plot and story of this book was separate enough that I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Frank Compton is embr
An Odd1
Nov 12, 2012 An Odd1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
"Odd Girl Out" is Rebekah 10, helped to escape from evil Modhri hive by human Frank, symbiote host Bayta. Shoot-em-up galactic mystery with many dead and disabled, symbiotes, hive minds, Glocks, Berettas, and one kwi. Clear fast action, with odd spellings interfering.

After Lorelai Beach asks him to rescue her sister Rebekah and ends up head half blown off, same brain area parasitical Modhri hive alien mind inhabits, narrator Frank Compton heads to twenty-year old planetary settlement New Tigris,
I love Zahn's style in this series. It's traditional detective style set in the far future with aliens and inventive technology. It had been 2 years since I read the last book in the series, but Zahn did a great job of reminding me of the setting and pertinent facts without doing a boring recap. The idea of a parasitic group mind coral establishing colonies in people's brains and trying to take over the world/universe isn't exactly original (except the coral part) but the method and setting are ...more
Jim Shannon
I liked this book but because I was so preoccupied doing other things this summer, it really didn't get the attention it deserved. It took me 12 weeks to complete this book.

There were some nice gems in this book that really showcase Zahn's writing style in this series. With so many stops and starts I had with this novel, I'm lucky I managed to finish this in the time I did.

I liked the way the protagonist and his side kick were handled. What didn't work for me was how lame I felt the villain wa
Dec 31, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The weakest episode in the series (so far) introduces ANOTHER (third!) telepathic collective mind to the interstellar stew into which ex-intelligence agent Frank Compton has stepped. Otherwise the plot is much of the same-old same-old intrigue, battles, chases and tricks aboard star traveling trains as Frank's efforts to save a (supposed) young girl and her "people" from the Modhri end pretty much in a draw. The premise shows signs of getting stale, so I'm thinking of skipping DOMINO PATTERN and ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Tracy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: donated, sci-fi, 2011
I expected more from Timothy Zahn than was delivered in this flat, boring book. Since I have not read the first two Quadrail books, my impressions might be skewed, but I felt that this was a book set in a rich and interesting universe but with an uninteresting and unoriginal story told in a drivingly monotonous way. There was no character development, no demonstration of relationships or plot progression - simply the characters' headlong rush from situation to situation with all motivation, reas ...more
Moses Operandi
Mar 08, 2009 Moses Operandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readandenjoyed
This third volume in Timothy Zahn's science-fiction Hitchcock series, Odd Girl Out is fast-paced and satisfying. Frank Compton, the protagonist, is impossibly resourceful and devious, but an interesting character nonetheless. His accomplice Bayta, a symbiont being made of a human and an alien species known as the Chahwyn (didn't see that in The Birds, did you?) was disappointingly less developed in this book than in the Third Lynx. All in all, don't expect a deeply philosophical story like some ...more
Brian Henderson
Jun 29, 2010 Brian Henderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without doing a recap of the book, which everyone does and can be easily gotten for anyone curious, I'm really liking this series of books, even though it strikes me as generally a bit silly to have a railroad of sorts in space. Frank Compton is a throwback, fitting somewhat into the Mike Hammer mold, the hard-boiled detective with the heart of gold who sets out to save the world, just one man (or in this case, one man and one woman) against the universe. It's not exactly original but it certain ...more
I've always enjoyed this science fiction author because of the action and new ideas he invents about alien beings cultures. The Dragonback series is also fantastic.

This one is about a search to find "an abomination". The main character is sent to rescue a little girl that has something "special" about her. He is part of a network to get rid or Modrhi, a thing that implants coral into people and aliens to be under its power. They can have group think and communicate through the implanted coral.

They are SO bad at war. At least there small step to fixing that mostly works, but still only mostly...
Mar 08, 2014 Aerine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Abomination! A rescue of a young girl adds more depth to the conspiracy. Lots of fun!
Bryan Schmidt
Jun 16, 2010 Bryan Schmidt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable entry in the action space opera series by Zahn. No one writes action and intrigue quite like Zahn, with strong world building, including well developed alien species, strong, complicated plotting and good character development. The main character at this point is starting to get a bit static, but Zahn keeps it interesting by showing him devising inventive ideas and conclusions which keep us on our toes. Highly recommended.
CJ -Doctor can you help me, 'cause somethin' don't feel right
The best one yet. There's more action and the plot kept me reading as opposed to just sort of thumbing through.

Frank and Bayta have progressed enough where it seems that they are actually friends now. Hmm...wonder if that'll go anywhere?

Additionally, I enjoyed Rebekah's addition and how that impacted Bayta.

McMicking is still pretty awesome and I am left with wondering how in the world Frank and Co. can stop the Modhri.
Michael Rutkowski
Jun 30, 2014 Michael Rutkowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a fine continuation in this 3rd book of the Quadrail series ! can't wait to read books 4 and 5 in the series ! not a book in my normal military scifi genre but an entertaining mystery techno thriller !
Jeff Crosby
Aug 19, 2011 Jeff Crosby rated it really liked it
This is a very solid third novel in the Quadrail series, and superior to The Third Lynx. While this novel features the same double dealing and hidden agendas that characterized the first two books, the novel flows as smoothly as Night Train to Rigel. I just wish Zahn would quit accusing Frank Compton of murder at every stop on his journey, as a plot device it is growing old.
Snarktastic Sonja
Apr 06, 2013 Snarktastic Sonja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, reviewed
This was a re-read in preparation for reading the 5th and final book in the series.

After reading the 2nd book in this series, and being a tad bit disappointed, I happily devoured this one. I really felt as though this one returned to the feel of the first novel in the series.r The twists and turns all felt natural and necessary along with the usual non-stop action.
Jul 19, 2010 Donald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An okay sci-fi novel about an interstellar rail system. This one is number 3 in the series, so it's more about other action than just the system. Here, the hero, who is rather fun to read, goes off to find the sister of a woman who turned up dead by his gun after appearing at his apartment. Nifty aliens and some interesting ideas about humanity.
Nov 27, 2008 Skedatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: timothy-zahn
He has a way of writing action that just leaves you on the edge of your seat. It is the third of a futuristic PI series with believable science and intelligent characters. Unfortunately, this is not the final volume...I get to wait for who knows how long for the series to complete. Luckily he is a fairly fast-writing author.
Oct 22, 2010 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tempted to give this one two stars. The story did not engage me at all. It seemed his normal "take charge" attitude was militant, as if there could be no question but to do what he said. Just not a fun read.

I'll read the next in the series only because the previous one showed it can have good entries as well.
Michelleapril Bragg
Although this book is the third in a series, and I hadn't read the first two, I was able to understand the background and carry on. Could be read as a stand alone. I love how he weaves this story and most of his others without swearing or sex. A good clean fun read!
Jan 24, 2010 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess there is nothing like a tough guy (of either gender) with a heart to make me like a book or series. Frank Compton isn't my favorite ever but the series centers on him completely and the tales and universe are both interesting.
Junius Johnson
Jul 04, 2012 Junius Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third book in this series is so far every bit as delightful as the first two. The moment I picked it up, I had that excellent experience of slipping back into a world I known and love with no dip in quality for the passage of time.
Feb 15, 2009 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This third noir mystery/railroad/interstellar adventure in Zahn's series is another good one. The plot and pacing are very well executed, the characters are well drawn, and it's simply a very good old-fashioned science fiction story.
Nov 29, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is just better and better. To an extent you can see the plot working in many ways in entirely different setting like a regular train, but the sci-fi adds a lot of twists that wouldn't work anywhere else. Great!
Jun 11, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, scifi-fantasy
2013 grade B+.

Series book Q3.

Mostly an action book moving from incident to incident with slow periods between much like a modern action movie. Not a lot of long or short story arc development but fun anyway.
Oct 27, 2014 Clyde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story continues to be exciting. I like the different twists that the story takes. It is always something unexpected. I know...the mark of a good book! Anyway great story!
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Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he bec ...more
More about Timothy Zahn...

Other Books in the Series

Quadrail (5 books)
  • Night Train to Rigel (Quadrail, #1)
  • The Third Lynx (Quadrail, #2)
  • The Domino Pattern (Quadrail, #4)
  • Judgment at Proteus (Quadrail, #5)

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