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Odyssey (The Academy #5)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,450 Ratings  ·  131 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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Community Reviews

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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 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 as a result of 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 critic ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il più politico fin'ora della saga (me ne manca solo uno - ma due li ho letti in italiano e ho iniziato con il 6sto). A tratti un po' barboso, discorsivo, "stanco", ma che si conclude con una potente narrazione pura.

Story time: mi trovavo nella simpatica biblioteca di Malcesine (andate a visitarla, merita; magari non per i libri ma di sicuro per la location clamorosa). Uscendo c'era un banchetto con dei libri: "prendete pure".
Al che decidiamo di frugare e di raccogliere un volumetto da leggere
Clay Kallam
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
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 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).
I sometimes feel like I preferred the books where Hutch got to do more than sit behind a desk. But there is definitely something to be said for following the career of a hero after their heroics. It's not realistic for someone to be in that position indefinitely, and McDevitt does a fantastic job of telling the after. Following Hutch through the politics of being someone of note, but not always having a say.

And she does get to be the hero in this book, indirectly. :)
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, xcharity-2016
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
Hutch is still Director, but the character we read most about is the misogynistic MacAllister, a rather caustic journalist. There have been an increasing number of sightings of something called moonriders, orbs apparently run by an unknown alien. A ship is sent to place monitors in key spots to watch out for these to see what is out there. Its captain is Greek pilot Valentina Kouros (aka Valya), and her passengers are MacAllister, Academy publicist Eric and then a Amy, who aspires to be a pilot, ...more
Mike Briggs
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
Nov 25, 2012 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
May 14, 2013 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
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
Mar 29, 2013 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
It's nice to see in a long series that the books are not all the same. In a lot of ways this one was smaller, mostly on a human scale. And MacAllister came across as a real person in this one. Hutch too actually. And I wonder if this wasn't just me falling for the use of the 15 year old Amy as a foil. In the end this book was more caper book than alien technologies. But a good quick read that left me more interested in the next book then some of the previous ones did.
Myke Edwards
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, Odyssey gives you that cramped feeling of interstellar travel combined with the wide-eyed feeling of discovery. Even when things look bleak and at their worst, the feeling of uncovering a new frontier is still prescient, and remains a hallmark of McDevitt's Academy series.
May 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
See my review of the other edition.
Patrick Scheele
May 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping this series would pick back up after the lackluster "Omega". Nope. This one was even worse. I had already given up on being a fan of this series, now it's not even a guilty pleasure anymore. This book was just a waste of time.

The bad (tread carefully, I'm not going to bother with spoiler tags, the book isn't worth it):

* Nitpick: the first half of the book had a whole class of spaceship taken out of commission because there was a tiny chance of a problems developing with the engine.
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.
Joe A
Aug 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am normally a big fan of McDevitt and am almost finished with another of his books, "Thunderbird", but this one feels like the author is starting up a campaign to run for office and is explaining his platform in and around a very popular character.

Not the kind of stuff one should expect from a Science Fiction story that is meant to lift us out of our normal every-day reality.

Sad, really, because the Priscilla Hutchins books are some of my favorite of his. And there is a lot of great moments wi
I was really enjoying this series, but I think Odyssey might just have ended it for me. Oh boy, this book is painful. McDevitt really needed an editor. You can basically skip the first half of the book. The second half has a story, but it's slow. You could trim two thirds of it and not miss a thing. Start with excising the banal MacCallister aphorisms in between chapters.

Of all the characters McDevitt could have chosen to foreground, why pick MacCallister?

Unfortunately I've already bought book
Brendan Price
McDevitt has fantastic ideas, thoroughly thought out. However this is the weakest book in the series, not because of the story, but because it spends far too much time bogged down in inconsequential politics. The back-room dealings and funding discussions just annoy the reader. The core of the story is ignored for several chapters while the author chases after tiring, inconsequential bickering.

This book is the one in the series you should just skip. Which is a shame since the rest of the series
Florin Constantinescu
By this 5th book in the Academy series I have learned the rule of thumb: half of the books deal with the original Omega mystery, half deal with independent side plots. "Odyssey" falls into the latter category.
Featuring a new alien breed and their society that the main characters are sent to investigate, and not much exciting happening, this cannot go beyond the 2* mark.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book of the Academy series is a bit slower to develop, but the eventual tense action and plot twisting grabs and holds the reader. The addition of political realities adds a new and interesting angle to the series.
Petronio Portella  N Filho
Slow moving, but excellent

This is a book to read with patience. It is slow moving, but it reads like a National Geographics story. The story and the characters are believable. Jack McDevitt is Jules Verne reborn.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
published 2006. Once again a great McDeviit adventure story,
4 star book, but minus a star because of suggesting that Canada would join the US in the future. bleh. I feel dirty.
Mark Easter
Jul 06, 2013 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

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 magi
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Niemand
'n Groot teleurstelling. Alhoewel McDevitt ouer vrouens (in hierdie geval Priscilla Hutchins) beter skryf as jonger vrouens (byvoorbeeld Chase van die Alex Benedict-boeke), is hy tóg geneig om te verlief op sy eie skeppings te wees. Almal in die boek kan nie anders as om op te merk hoe aantreklik Priscilla is nie; alhoewel dit 'n sekere sin maak - meeste van die mans in die boek is seksisties en oppervlakkig.

Ook probeer McDevitt in Odyssey 'n romanse aandurf, wat nie baie geloofwaardig oorkom n
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Play Book Tag: Odyssey by jack McDevitt 3 stars 1 7 Oct 16, 2016 06:14PM  
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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 (8 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)
  • The Long Sunset (The Academy, #8)

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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.” 8 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
More quotes…