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Cauldron (The Academy #6)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,413 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Chosen as One of the Five Best SF Novels of the Year by "Library Journal."
When a young physicist unveils an efficient star drive capable of reaching the core of the galaxy, veteran star pilot Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins finds herself back in the deepest reaches of space, and on the verge of discovering the origins of the deadly omega clouds that continue to haunt her.
ebook, 368 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Ace Books (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,203)
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Tommy Carlson
Cauldron is the latest in McDevitt's Acadamy series. It involves a new hyperspace sort of engine, allowing the characters to travel to the Galactic core and solve three different mysteries, two from previous books.

On the plus side, it has plenty of Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins in it. Hutch is a great character who has been minimized in some of the more recent books in the series. This one drops her right in the middle of the action.

But, overall, I didn't like the book much. First off, the blurb on
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Craig
This is a very enjoyable book, though I didn't think it was as good as the early books in the series. Many of the older characters have cameos, or are at least mentioned so that their destinies are made clear. This one seems sharply divided into two parts; in the first half the public is losing interest in space exploration and an aging Priscilla Hutchins seems somewhat lost with her Academy job gone and her family no longer around. It's a depressing scenario that stretches on for too long. Then ...more
Steven Cole
I picked this one up because it was nominated for the 2008 Nebula Award for best novel. (It didn't win.) I was impressed. This is the first novel of McDevitt's that I've read, and now I've got another author whose works are going to wind up getting added to my "should read" list...

This was a novel of spaceflight in a post-spaceflight world, which is an interesting environment to explore, especially as it correlates strongly to the current (early 21st century) public disinterest in advancing spac
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Mark
Cauldron
The Academy (Priscilla Hutchins) Novels #6
By Jack McDevitt

Publisher: Ace Books, The Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin Group
Published In: New York, USA
Date: 2007
Pgs: 373

Summary:
In 2255, the Academy that trained pilots and sent missions into space is gone. The efforts in space have changed. For profit missions…very little pure science. The privately funded Prometheus Foundation is one of the only entities still devoted to deep space exploration. The Hazeltine Drive has been getting humanit
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Jonathan
Mar 29, 2008 Jonathan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: space opera lovers, trekkies, mcdevitt fans
Shelves: scifi
Jack McDevitt finally reveals the origins of the mysterious Omega Clouds, first introduced in "The Engines of God," and explored further in "Omega." "Omega" promised answers, but all it really told the reader was what the Omega Clouds did, a little about their technology, and some further exploration of past races wiped out by encounters with the right-angle hating storms.

McDevitt fulfills the promise of explanations in "Cauldron," although like most of the great mysteries that McDevitt likes to
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Space
This was by far the best book of the Academy series. It's also one of the best books I've ever read. I think it's necessary to read the other five books in the series before this one, naturally, to get the full scale of everything the characters have been through and accomplished. That's the only way you can truly appreciate the full magnitude of what this book has to offer.

First of all, Cauldron takes us out further than we've ever been from home. Well, I guess there are other books by other au
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Hotspur
Jul 15, 2008 Hotspur rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "hard" SF, exploration and archelogical mystery fiction
Recommended to Hotspur by: FCPL
Shelves: science-fiction
I love JM's space archeology style of science fiction. Long ago I realized that even a bad Jack Mcdevitt book blows a lot of current SF out of the water, so I'm enthusiastic! Having finished Cauldron, I'll say that it's better than quite a few of them, to the point where I really liked it. McDevitt's plots usually raise a lot of questions, and this one is very different in that it answers one of the bigger ones, and the answer may come as a letdown to some readers.

This is a hard SF work set in t
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Manuel Nesbet
McDevitt vuelve a retomar la narrativa que hacen tan buenos a "The Engines of God" y "Chindi". El temor ante lo alienígena e incomprensible que es el espacio para los seres humanos. Lo inimaginable de las distancias, los fenómenos estelares que escapan a nuestra pobre concepción del mundo. Un libro recomendadísimo para quienes gustan del Sci-Fi y de la astronomía en general.

Buen cierre de la saga "Academy", se atan todos los lazos que estaban sueltos y se resuelve gran parte de los misterios que
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Darrenbob
Not the best of the Hutch books and kind of goes off the rails near the end, but still enjoyable for what it is. Pulp sci-fi. I found any of the Hutch/Academy books better than Rendezvous with Rama, even if the scientific principals in Clarke are a bit more realistic.
Roger Ladd
This book suffers a little from being relatively late in a series, in the sense that McDevitt is trying to wrap up some ongoing issues in the series. The main plot point is the development of a new FTL drive after space travel has gone into decline, and the material on the process of getting a new prototype into space allows McDevitt to continue the social satire that has come to dominate this series. Unfortunately, the blurb on the book makes it clear that the prototype will be successful, so t ...more
Patrick Gibson
It begins with an artifact found in space, created by an alien race, so old life on Earth would have consisted of single cells. And typical of this writers style, the story never returns to this item after it is revealed in the first chapter. Jack McDevitt is the only author in the Sci-fi genre that does this so blatantly and gets away with it. His writing is so fluid, his ideas so pragmatic, you forget where you have been in the story and continue reading as if this is the way it should be.
‘Cau
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Lisa
I enjoyed this book. It was one of the better in the Hutch series but of course all the fun mystery and build up is great except until the end. As always the ending is weak. I'm not sure I could think of a more lame cause of the fearsome Omega clouds.



He has a great description of characters and they are very believable and he definitely understands politics and the stupidity of it. I found it very interesting that through this whole series of books corporations are not to be trusted and those w
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John

I'm a fan of McDevitt's to the extent that I've always enjoyed reading his books, and keep telling myself I should read more of them, so I was licking my chops as I settled down to this one. I've got to confess I was pretty spectacularly disappointed. Earth's interstellar enterprise looks to be falling into abeyance because of the apathy of shortsighted politoicians, so the discovery by a physicist called Jon Silvestri of a new principle of faster-than-light travel that makes the far extremes of
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TJ Anderson
I do not recommend reading this book.
The plot honestly didn't start until over 2/3 of the way into the book.
The author has an honest command of language, but nothing to do with it. He spent 3/4 of the book on character development, and had some honestly interesting ideas, as well as life threatening circumstances but somehow despite all of that failed to make the book more than mildly enjoyable at best. I only finished the book because I had gotten far enough through it waiting for the plot to
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Mike
Perhaps I was in the wrong mood for this book. It sets out, fairly transparently, to promote space exploration in the 21st century under colour of space exploration in the 23rd century, but keeps coming to the gloomy conclusion that being a technological civilization is really hard and hardly anyone can keep it up for long. The occasional newspaper headlines that feature between chapters give the impression that after 200 years very little has changed in the world other than the technology.

One i
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Ruth
It all began on a quiet December day in 2185, when SETI actually got an answer from a sentient alien race. Unfortunately, it was from a system that was thousands of light years out; the senders were probably dead by now...And how could we check, anyway, with no way to get there?

By 2255, the space program was almost dead. It was too expensive, took too long for ships to get anywhere, the detractors said. Yes, there was life out there, but all the explorers found was either ruins, or primitive lif
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Dawson
You can get a synopsis of the plot on the Amazon pages. So I am going to give my impression of the overall series.

This maybe the last book in the series as it brings the main character to a good closing place. Overall a satisfying read.

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
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Rusty
Okay. Where do I begin? I mean, I'm not sure I can even begin to describe how large a disappointment this novel was for me. I feel bad for writing a negative review of anything, but this novel wasn't just dry, or uninspired, it brought out a rage in me that I didn't know was there. I was not pleasant to be around during this, I was, honestly, shouting as I made my way thought this book. This might be the most disappointed I have ever been in a novel that I managed to finish.

First off, I must say
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Guillaume Jay
En 2255, l'humanité s'est totalement détournée des étoiles, trop de choses à faire sur la terre, pas assez de retour de l'espace. Seule une fondation privée tente de conserver une poignée de vaisseaux d'exploration, notamment en utilisant certaines figures "historiques"(et c'est la qu'on retrouve Hutch) pour organiser des gala - levée de fonds.
Mais un scientifique affirme avoir trouver un moyen d'augmenter par 10 la vitesse des voyages spatiaux, ce qui permettrait notamment d'aller explorer le C
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James
Cauldron – ** SPOILERS **

I have found McDevitt’s stories strangely compelling, despite the many throwaway characters and the only stable person, Hutch, at times making incredible decisions in her life, you just have to slap your forehead and ask why. Why? Because I like space adventure and a great female lead.

After reading the Hutchins’ series of novels, I had to read Cauldron. The Cauldron is a place at the center of our galaxy that the omega clouds come from – strange machines, light-years w
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Karl
Tremendously disappointing book. I guess Jack needed the money. SPOILER ALERT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
We are given this mystery and a threat of sorts in the form of the Omega clouds. The Omegas are either in the background or very much in the foreground in most if not all the Hutchins stories. The resolution as far as what is calling them might have been interesting but the response of the crew (pretty much no response) was about as anti-cli
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Chris Aylott
One of McDevitt's more down to earth books -- literally, since he's writing about a time when humanity is in full retreat from interstellar spaceflight. The weird thing is that in some ways, this novel is more satisfying than earlier volumes in the series, which are more focused on big mysteries out in space.

There is also an element of wish fulfillment to this story, one that goes back at least as far as The Skylark of Space. In McDevitt's future, the big problem with space travel is that it's
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Chris
Based a few hundred years in the future, I find this a fun read about exploring space and what we might find. This books is the 6th in the Academy series that follows the pilot Priscilla Hutchins. The first half of the book explains how space travel is expensive and despite finding evidence of intelligence in the galaxy, both research and commercial travel are coming to an end. There is hope of a new space ship engine causes some interest to peak and wane after a costly test failure.

After spend
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Dennis Matheson
The sixth and most recent of the Pricilla Hutchins novels. I didn't like this one nearly as much as the others in the series; it almost felt as if McDevitt was simply trying to finish the series by answering the last few questions.

A new space drive has been developed and Pricilla Hutchins leads an expedition to near the core of the galaxy in order to determine the source of the Omega clouds once and for all. Unfortunately the final revelation is less interesting than some of the theories that ha
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Jer
Another great straight sci-fi story from Jack McDevitt in his Priscilla Hutchins storyline. The Academy is gone and only a few superluminals still roam the local neighborhood of the galaxy; but a new starship drive can potentially change that with the promise of making 3000 light year trips in a matter of weeks rather than years, and former superluminal pilot Priscilla 'Hutch' Hutchins helps to spearhead it's development.

McDevitt continues to impress with his ability to make the scientifically i
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Michael
One of the better books of the series. Ties up loose ends. Questions the fate of civilizations. Has multiple characters and explores their motivations. I did not care about the last point.

The story is told from shifting points of view of the various characters. I could have done without that aspect also, but I guess it breaks things up and lends variety to the telling while at the same time gives insight to the characters. It also allows the author to shift the point of view in some situations t
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Pzikmanis
his is the fifth book in the Academy series. This story appears to be winding down the storyline for the main character. It was just as consistently good as all the others. Though there was a bit more repetition than he usually writes into the plot. Still a really fun read!
Robert
I enjoyed this book but not as much as some of Jack's other books. I found the reading a bit slow going in the chapters that covered the development of the propulsion system but then it picked up once the two ships headed out for the Cauldron. Having spent my career though working for NASA in the space shuttle program I always find these stories very simplistically develop advanced spaceship drive systems when the reality is that advanced propulsion systems are very difficult and very costly to ...more
Steve
This is the last in a series of books in Jack McDevitt's "Academy" series. They all share a certain formula, but are all well written and engaging to classic SF buffs.

The is the "we find mysterious things in space, get in over our heads, disaster happens, but we survive (oh, and politicians suck)" kind of story.

Since I've been a sucker for this genre since seeing 2001 A Space Odyssey, I really enjoy McDevitt. He's the author currently carrying the flag for the classic "hard sf" genre, and he doe
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Jackie
This was a book of two halves. the first part dealt with the development of a new star drive, and the financial and political machinations that went on together with the testing of the drive.
The second half was a detail of encounters with three worlds, interactions with aliens and the death of one of the travellers.
The be perfectly honest the first half was quite tedious, and I almost discarded the book several times.
However I'm glad I persevered because the second half was much more interesting
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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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“We range the day And mount the sun. We soar past the rim of the world, And know not caution nor fear. But too soon the night comes. –Sigma Hotel” 1 likes
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