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(The Academy #7)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,492 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Priscilla Hutchins has been through many experiences.
This is the story of her first unforgettable adventure…
Priscilla “Hutch” Hutchins has finally realized her lifelong dream: She’s completed a nerve-bending qualification flight for a pilot’s license.
Her timing is far from optimal, however. Faster-than-light travel has only recently become a reality, and the World Sp
Hardcover, 407 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Ace
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James Mourgos The other books first. I feel understanding the universe of the Academy series and the main character in particular, will make the novel more enjoyabl…moreThe other books first. I feel understanding the universe of the Academy series and the main character in particular, will make the novel more enjoyable. (less)

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Jack McDevitt has been writing books for a long time, but it wasn't until Starhawk that I finally got a taste of his work. I was initially uncertain about jumping on board with this one, seeing how the book's main character as well as the setting have been established for a while in McDevitt's The Academy series. However, after discovering that Starhawk is actually a prequel of sorts, I took the opportunity to use it as a
Patrick Gibson
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Dear Diary:
Why do authors use a characters’ diary to reiterate plot points that have already happened? And why do they sometimes use ‘news headlines’ at the end of a chapter to summarize the geo-political situations they were too lazy to work into the story? And why, if you don’t have any sort of interesting iseas do some authors force a boring book on readers who are big fans?

Dear Mr. McDevitt:
I am not your biggest fan, but have read all of your books and look forward to news ones. But, ‘Starh
Oct 30, 2013 rated it liked it
I have never read a Jack McDevitt novel before, much less the Academy series where I would have met Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins, the main character of said series. This is a prequel to that series and thereby a good jumping point to get into the series. Unfortunately, it's not a particularly compelling one, though there are many things that the book does right.

First off, it should be noted that Priscilla shares the spotlight in this book, with her mentor, Jake Loomis, getting point of view chapte
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great READ!
I have a soft spot in my heart, some might say head, for early FTL novels.
The major failing of the biggest franchise in this regard was that we saw the technology working and pretty far along.
Jack McDevitt's books have at times worked backward to those days to come and shown a light on some of the troubles that could occur when humanity is new at leaving the local system.
STARHAWK is the most direct version of this that we have seen.
His quite good female character, Priscilla Hutchins i
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, ya
This is one of those books that looks like it has everything: an independent young female heroine, a somewhat tortured older male, alien contact, space flight, etc. But it all seemed kind of by the numbers. I found it hard to care about any of the characters, and I found some of their actions unlikely. They find evidence of alien contact, their company tells them to shut up about it, and they do?!? That didn't make sense to me. I also thought the writing seemed kind of flat. It definitely wasn't ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have read some of Jack McDevitt's standalone novels, the entire Academy series and the Alex Benedict novels as well. I love the way that McDevitt writes science fiction. He makes the science believable, but he doesn't sacrifice story or character in doing so. I would count him as one of my favourite authors.

The Academy series ended quite weakly, and I was looking forward to some redemption. Hutch is back, and, as always, McDevitt does an excellent job with her characterization. His writing als
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of hard sci-fi
Shelves: sci-fi-space
Though this is the 7th book in the series numerically, it is really the "prequel" that gives you background on Priscilla Hutchins and her first few missions. Good character development and setting of the timeframe (2195. As usual with McDevitt's books great action scenes. The ending action had me excited and nervous up to the end. Great book if you have read the series. And if you have not read any of the Priscilla Hutchins books this is the perfect starting point.
Okay read. A prequel has its own set of difficulties. I avoided looking up characters to see where they ended up, though I'm pretty sure there were a number of characters that appear later. Mostly this was a typical Hutch book but with a younger Hutch. Pretty good relatively good near-future sf but with a touch of space archaeology. 3.5 of 5.
Shannon Luchies
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this very 'meh' actually. It's not BADLY written and the plot is interesting, but it seems very dry. I found it VERY hard to really give a fig about the characters. Interesting world building, but that's about all.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Starhawk is the seventh installment of Jack McDevitt's Academy Series.
The fifth volume was a big purge, the sixth condensed all the defects of the author.
This one is not perfect, but compared to the two previous works of the series, it is a masterpiece.
While it is still missing a real backbone to this novel, it has many assets: it is not too long, it is centered on Priscilla Hutchins pilot's debut (which is one of the flagship characters of the series), and he is often interesting.
So yes, as usu
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd missed 'Starhawk' being published, not sure why given that I've enjoyed the Academy series a lot. This carried in that sequence, as the seventh in the series, albeit structured as a prequel detailing some of the early career of Priscilla 'Hutch' Hutchins, the main protagonist of the novels.
Naturally it has the problems that prequels always have – significant events that aren't referred to later on being chief among them, but it is still a very decent read. I think McDevitt nails charcterisat
Kerry Nietz
Apr 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Being a fan of the McDevitt’s Hutch series, I was surprised when I found out there was another book being released. The last one I read, Cauldron, came out seven years ago, and seemed to bring the story of pilot Priscilla Hutchins to a satisfying conclusion. (After having been featured in six novels.) Then when I learned it was a prequel I wondered if it wasn’t a case of milking the character. There was no doubt I would read it, mind you. I just wondered if this book would hold up to the others. ...more
Tommy Carlson
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
McDevitt has a problem. He has this nice series of books about a Space Academy, featuring Priscilla Hutch Hutchins. The books are, generally, really fun reads. The problem? Hutch was getting old. In the fifth book, he moved her into a desk job, to the book's detriment. Turns out, this really isn't the Academy series. This is the Hutch series. Hutch needs to be the star player. Book six put her back into space, which was great to read, but the book suffered in other ways. Plus, now Hutch is, in t ...more
Jacqueline J
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was pretty disappointed with this one. I am a big fan of both the Priscilla Hutchins and the Alex Benedict series. This one was a yawner. I'm used to McDevitt books where the story starts slow then builds in tension until you can't turn the pages fast enough. That was totally lacking here. It started out slow alright but it never picked up the pace. It just seemed like a series of vignettes that didn't connect together well. The ending seemed a bit forced. (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of the Academy/Hutch series and after waiting a few years for Jack's latest, I couldn't wait to read this one. This is his classic space-opera that he has made his name off of. Priscilla is the main character in one, instead of a background player. Unfortunately, this is not as strong as the others. The book is mainly written as a group of short paragraphs and only occasionally does the plot fall into your typical chapter based book. The detail isn't quite as in-depth as the other ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this latest adventure of Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins. Mr McDevitt has went back to Hutch's early career as an Interstellar Pilot. This story has plenty of action as well as several very interesting characters. I recommend it to all Jack McDevitt fans as well as all spaceflight adventures.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Politics, the dangers of space faring, environmental terrorism and amazing characters with some thought-provoking philosophies casually tossed in.

If you like the social politics of Star Trek, this is worth a look.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is pretty okay. It's par for the consistently readable if somewhat unexceptional Academy series. Except for just one thing.

You see, at the end of the previous novel, Cauldron, one character mentions how he's been researching the existence of other universes and whether perhaps it might be possible to travel to them. And so, when I started this novel and came across the first instance of this anomaly, I thought, "Now wait one second. Is this a continuity error? Or is it a hint to observ
Bedrooped Bookworms
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Priscilla just passed her certification flight to be an interstellar pilot, but on the journey home from certification, they get called out to help another flight that's gone wrong.  Their ship isn't actually big enough to save them and the next group coming to help is too far out.  When they finally arrive home, Priscilla starts working for one company but decides she can't support their mission.  She's been blacklisted from flying.  Will she ever get back to flying?  With all the political pre ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is my first time reading a Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchinson novel -- and also my first read from Jack McDevitt. I enjoyed this on a number of levels: the aliens are so cool and so uniquely *alien*; the setting and plot really captures the vast and wild and weird and unsettling hugeness of space; the book is set a century or two in the future but is reflective of today's issues. I liked our main characters. And it's one of the most compulsively readable sci-fis I've picked up in awhile; even whe ...more
Ian Massey
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Review written some time after finishing the book, from memory, so a little vague.)

Saying that McDevitt is the logical heir to Clarke and Asimov may be overstating his importance ever so slightly. The further I got along the Academy series the more I realised how formulaic the novels were - perilous situations, heroic (and not-so-heroic) deaths, perhaps slightly dodgy science and a growing feeling that these are more akin to young adult novels than those of Clarke. (I can only remember reading
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Having read most of the Alex Benedict series of books by McDevitt, I was curious to read a book from his main other series. Without doing any research, I chose this book as it sounded like the beginning of the series not realizing this was a prequel.
The story while clearly about Hutchins seemed oddly off centered. This is presumably more understandable as the average reader already knows so much about her and is looking for the causes of her development. The story has the usual rolling gait of
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
I love Jack McDevitt's books because they are always entertaining and there's always characters I root for. However, this book was a disappointment. Nothing happened. I like the beginning, but the middle was a straight up soap opera that feature character that aren't part of the series. Whenever we got to go to an interesting planet, the plot line would get abandoned after a few chapters. The climax was nothing special. I don't mind political discussions and if the book would have been focused e ...more
Myke Edwards
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A much more lighthearted affair from Jack McDevitt regarding our favorite heroine, Hutch. Not as in depth and full of new mysteries with every twist and turn, it was still an interesting read with some tense moments. It was nice to see how society and life on Earth continues in this world, something we don't really see too much of in the previous books. Also, it's neat to notice that twenty or so years before the main series takes place, there aren't as many deep space stations, outposts, and mi ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
If possible I'd give this 3.5 stars. I've read and enjoyed all of McDevitt's Alex Benedict novels but this is the first book in the Academy series for me. It was fun to read but I found the pacing somewhat on the slow side and the characters flat. I would like to know if this is typical of this series. Additionally there were a couple of plot line events introduced that were left dangling to my great annoyance. They left me wondering if McDevitt had already resolved these in the previously writt ...more
Yrag Notsew
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
What happened? I read this book. I think I can honestly say "I enjoyed this book." but .... in the end, I'm left with the feeling like: "What was that all about?" and "Why did Jack McD craft this tale?" That's an overstatement. I'm not disappointed. The book has good characters, realism, unexpected twists, adventure, struggles with guilt, a bit of romance even! It's got a lot of good things and it's told in an interesting way.
Was it just me?
Quick! Someone else read this and tell me if you feel
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
McDevitt, Jack. Starhawk. Academy No. 7. Ace, 2013.
The seventh novel in the Academy series takes us back to the beginning of Hutch’s career as an Interstellar pilot. If you like to read series in order of their internal timeline, this would be the first. Hutch is working in private industry and not finding it a good fit. It is not a good sign that he old utility freighter she is assigned to is nicknamed “Bomb.” It is certainly not well-suited to the high-speed rescue missions Hutch wants to use
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, science-fiction
Not particularly exciting, and it lacks a strong, central plot, but it is a nice little origin story. Pretty much everything that happens explains how Hutch was shaped into the person we meet in the rest of the series. I wouldn't recommend a newbie to the series start here, despite its chronological placement as the first in the series. It's definitely a prequel that is more meaningful when the rest of the series has been read already.
Sebastian Mordziol
It was interesting to see the beginning of Hutch's career, even if there was a little less actual exploration being done. The bit of exploration they did was pretty interesting, though. An enjoyable read for anyone who followed the series.

Of course someone had to (view spoiler), which is a constant in the series - I thought that could have been avoided for a change.
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May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A good prequel for the Hutch series. Nice tie ins with some future characters. A good quick read.
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Science Fiction A...: * Academy #7 - Starhawk 1 10 Jun 01, 2019 02:37PM  

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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

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)
  • Odyssey (The Academy, #5)
  • Cauldron (The Academy #6)
  • The Long Sunset (The Academy, #8)

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