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Odd Girl Out

(Quadrail #3)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,251 ratings  ·  64 reviews
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 and has to turn away another request. Young Lorelai Beach points his gun at his face, and asks his help to rescue her sister Rebekah 10 from New Tigris ...more
Hardcover, Tor, 381 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Tom Doherty
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,251 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Frank Compton, the best trouble-shooter/private eye in the known universe, is at it again. Again, that is, for those of you who are already on the Quadrail train. As for me, Im a trouble-creator since I acted by impulse in pulling Odd Girl Out off the shelf at the local library and couldnt put it down. And, consequently, I had no idea what transpired in books #1 and #2.

Zahn is moving up fast on my favorite authors list. Here, he doesnt disappoint. In the opening few pages: someone introduces
William Bentrim
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 its 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.

May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, adventure
I'm finding that I really like Timothy Zahn books. He has a great sense of humor as well as a good imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a bit complex as the twist and turns are plentiful and quick. I think I'll look into others in the series (I didn't realize it was a series when I started it).
Oct 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Benjamin Espen
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up in the library earlier this year, read the first chapter, and realized that a lot of things were being discussed instead of revealed. Then I looked at the inside cover and realized I had selected book three of a series. Weirdly, lots of reviews of Odd Girl Out have the same story as mine. I don't know what you did Tim, but this one stands out on a shelf for some reason.

As is now the pattern, Frank starts out the book being associated with a murder. Unfortunately for him,
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I feel like these books are getting better as I go along. Frank seems to channel a bit more of his inner "Harry Dresden" and I'm enjoying it. This book is the half way point in the Quadrail series. Unfortunately I do not have books 4 and 5. If the right deal comes along I will pick them up but my list of books is so long right now that I should be reading what I already own.

Unlike the previous book, this one does end with a mild cliffhanger. A Chahwyn secret that leaves me extremely curious. In
Barbara Sheppard
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book I have from this author. As with the previous ones I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The characters are very likeable and Frank Compton is smart and savvy. He can get himself out of just about any situation you could think of. The stories are somewhat involved but the author presents it in a way that is completely understandable. I plan to read another by this author soon.
Anthony Faber
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I haven't read much Zahn since the first 2 Cobra books. This one is the third in a series and, while okay as a political/espionage thriller, didn't really make sense in some ways. Maybe if I'd read the first two, it would have made more sense. I'd say read the first 2 first, although I'm still deciding whether I want to.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
One of an endless parade of science fiction books by men where everything is plot plot plot and none of the characters have any depth or development. I'm willing to tolerate all of that if the world is interesting enough, but the Modhri is such a bog-standard Borg that none of it could hold my interest. Did not finish.
David Leppo

Love the author but this isn't his finest work, the exposition is cliche and the climax was predictable. Lacks the character development of the earlier books, both main characters feel stagnant. It reads like a Bond movie.. there's a place for that, but Zahn has much better books.
The only problem with these delightful science fiction novels is that they are too short, and someday I'll run out! Part suspense thriller, part human (and alien) interest story, they are fast-paced and funny. Recommended for a light read.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Series has gone down with each part. I liked the first part, light reading, like a James Bond in galactic setup. Second was a slight disappointment and this is slightly worse than the previous. I hope that the fight against Modhri turns again better in the next book.
Elizabeth S
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This series gets better with each book. The first one introduced such an interesting universe, yet it was slow reading for me. The second hooked me in faster. And this one was hard to put down after the first five pages.
Margaret Boling
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1format-adult
4/28/2018 ~~ The plot seemed to drag in the middle, though there was one intense battle scene near the end. I've read books 1-3, but I'm not feeling the need to read the remaining two books in the series at this point. I really wish there was more of an internal story with strong characterization.
Bill Bowne
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like the way Zahn thinks! Lots of twists, turns, feints, and counter-feints. Looking forwards to seeing what the Abomination becomes...will it be good, or evil?

Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Better than Book 2. Continues to be fun if not particularly sophisticated, but I knew what I was getting into when I started the series. Main character's favorite phrase is still "I'll figure it out" or some variation of it.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fun read, mixing classic mystery ala Hitchcock with sci-fi.
Scott Wozniak
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid adventure

This one has more action (fight scenes) than the earlier books in the series, but still plenty of secrets and conspiracies. Fun read.
Tessa in North Florida
Not sure why, but this series is always right on the edge of boring me to the point of more.
Noel Roach
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
100 pages of story and 200 pages of empty filler.
Craig Russo
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I picked this one up at the Dollar Store and must admit that I would have been upset if had paid the full price for it. I enjoyed it for what it was, and for the amount I paid for it. But I would not recommend it to anyone but die-hard sci-fi fans that like even the most ordinary stories.

I'll admit that I picked up this book out of order, so maybe I missed something. But the main character was too unbelievable. He had the answer to everything and could get out of every situation with ease. I
Jesse Whitehead
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the third book in Zahns 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 peoples minds if they touch it and it can
An Odd1
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
Dec 23, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
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, ...more
Moses Operandi
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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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 ...more

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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