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Omega (The Academy, #4)
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(The Academy #4)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,943 ratings  ·  147 reviews
A civilization-destroying omega cloud has switched direction, heading straight for a previously unexplored planetary system--and its alien society. And suddenly, a handful of brave humans must try to save an entire world--without revealing their existence.
Mass Market Paperback, 493 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Ace (first published November 2003)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,943 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm of two minds on this book.

It's pretty damn awesome when it comes to characters and the gentle push toward an alternate Star Trek kind of universe with almost no posturing and no overpowered gunships. The dearth of alien species is a nice touch, making it more of an archeological mystery. These future humans happen to be peaceful, too, for once, and most of their principled actions reflect those of the Federation but there's also a more realistic bending of the rules, too.

Enter this book. T
Dirk Grobbelaar
I enjoy McDevitt's books. This one was no exception. However, if you are the impatient sort you should perhaps take note that this novel has a bit of a long build-up before, well, you know. Omega is a good book, and the preceding Academy novels are awesome. It doesn't have quite the same spark as, for example, Chindi. It's a more serious book, and perhaps not quite what I was expecting from a Priscilla Hutchins novel. I was tremendously eager to learn more about the origins of the Omega clouds, ...more
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans who agree with McDevitt's politics who've read everything else by better authors.
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this book a few months back.

One of the problems with alot of science fiction is that it can revel to0 much in didacticism. Some authors that I like are particularly prone to this. For example, half of the dialogue in a Heinlein novel is a thinly disguised lecture. Sometimes, the disguise isn't even that thin, as for example his tendency to set characters in classrooms and let the lecturer lecture. Neil Stephenson is prone to do this in entirely different ways, launching into chapter lengt
Brent Soderstrum
Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
The fourth of six Priscilla Hutchins novels. Hutch has retired from being an active pilot for the Academy and is now second in command. She is married to Tor from the book Chindi and has a little girl.

The Omega Clouds (from the first book Engine of the Gods) is 900 years from destroying the earth so interest in finding a way to stop them is low. Until it is dicovered that there are Omega Clouds heading to destroying a world that contains the recently discoverd Goompahs. The Goompahs are unaware
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
The series is heating up. In this episode, we Earthlings take on the Omega clouds and learn more about their scope and that of the hedgehog shapes that seem to accompany them - and the nova-like explosions that we figure out are connected. At the same time, there's an alien culture, not as advanced as ours but similar to us, and likable, whose planet is about to be attacked by an omega cloud. We try to intervene in the least visible way possible, with all kinds of complications. All good space a ...more
Lars Dradrach
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book
3.5 Stars

Another solid installment in the series, which keeps getting better.

McDevitt masters the subtle art of writing a series with the right amount of recognition to keep the line between the books but still make every novel its own.

Returning to the Omega clouds from the first volume, we follows the race to save a newly discovered race without interfering with them in the process, classic sci-fi right out of an early star-trek episode.

Scott Holstad
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I was somewhat disappointed in this book, especially when compared to its predecessor in the series, Chindi, which was an amazing book. The series features an Academy pilot, Hutch, who everyone loves. She constantly saves the day through smarts and bravery. In this book, however, she's no longer a pilot. She's now an administrator for the Academy and when we do see her, she's taking flak from everybody for not being able to grant inane wishes or she's sending messages off to her star ship pilots ...more
David Wells
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Courtney
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great sci-fi read. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Roddy Williams
McDevitt is a tad frustrating. He’s a highly competent writer and one can’t fault his science or his characterisation. The ‘Academy’ novels (of which this is the fourth) have been highly enjoyable and I’m sure there are legions of readers out there who want more of Priscilla ‘Hutch’ Hutchins, Academy pilot and now, somewhat older, in an executive role within the Academy itself.
The Omega Clouds – agents of destruction which seem to be able to recognise right angles and other signs of intelligent
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Prosegue la saga dell'Academy.
Questa volta una di queste misteriose nubi spaziali (chiamate Omega) sta per colpire un pianeta fino ad oggi sconosciuto in cui si scopre esserci una civiltà di simpatici pupazzotti pre-tecnologici, diciamo a livello dei greci, dediti al dibattito, al teatro, al sesso libero.

Questa civiltà ignara sta per essere spazzata via (le nubi Omega scorrazzano per l'universo e sono attratte da tutto ciò che presenta linee squadrate. Da dove si originino e come funzionino è an
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anthropology takes over from archaeology as the main focus in this fourth Academy novel. Priscilla Hutchins is stuck on Earth as an administrator this time, which I thought was a little disappointing. She was one of the best fast-thinking action heroes in years and shouldn't be stuck behind a desk. The story concerns a civilization that's being threatened by one of the Omega-clouds that have figured in all of the previous volumes. McDevitt does an excellent job of creating a fascinating alien cu ...more
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi, xcharity-2016
2 Stars...a real surprise how boring this one is. A planet is discovered with intelligent life, similar to humans at a 5th Century technology level. It takes forever to get to the action at the planet about to be attacked by an Omega cloud. It is once again a menagerie of calm, heroic, intelligent, patient, thoughtful, inventive women carrying out the rescue while having to put up with stupid, vain, emotional, weak, thoughtless men getting in the way. Even the alien women are better than most of ...more
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good book, really enjoyed it. Only quibble would be that the the omega clouds would seem to have been improbably astonishingly poorly designed but perhaps that is addressed in the later books in the series.

Bit unfortunate that it was up for the 2005 Nebula in competition with Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls, which is probably one of the best fantasy novels ever written.
M Hamed
Feb 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016, hard-sci-fi
what is the point anymore ?
these are bad books with a bad writer
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nls-audio
Interested in some science fiction that features a killer cloud, a race against time, an almost-human alien race, and a romance that is both sweet and memorable? This fourth book in McDevitt’s Academy series may be exactly what you’re hoping for. It’s pretty important that you read the first three books in the series though.

An Omega cloud appears to be inexorably headed for earth. Granted, it won’t arrive for a thousand years, and the politicians are eager to kick the can down the road. But Pris
Patrick Scheele
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's hard to focus on reading for me at the moment, so I ended up reading this book a couple of pages at a time, sometimes with weeks of not reading anything. It's possible that that influenced my rating, but I don't really think so. This book simply does not have what the first and third books in the series had ("The Engines of God" and "Chindi"). There are no ancient archeological mysteries to solve and whether the ultimate quest of saving the cuddly aliens succeeds or not isn't going to influ ...more
Nicholas Smeaton
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jack McDevitt is becoming one of my favourite authors. While his work might not push the bounderies as much as other writers, it still shows enough originality to keep me entertained. His series work well both as series and importantly, stand alone works. I encountered the Alex Benedict novels with Coming Home and despite it been the last book in the series I enjoyed it a lot. As is typical for McDevitt's work Omega is a Space Opera Puzzle box. Humanity is face with a threat, an advanced civilis ...more
Ian Massey
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe it's because I'm all "McDevitted" out after reading the first four Academy books one after the other, but I definitely didn't enjoy this one as much as the other three, despite it being the first of the series to win an award.

Yes, the universe is still the same. Yes, the big set pieces, with the associated thrills, are still there. Yes, characters still do stupid things (with their associated consequences) which, in fact, probably makes them more human than character sin some other books..
Daniel Bratell
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
In this book McDevitt combines an interesting story with some interesting philosophical questions and it's infinitely better than its predecessor, which unfortunately doesn't say much. There are still some gaping flaws in the story and world description, including missing out on technology that wasn't even sci fi when the book was written. The extreme stupidity of the characters have improved though so now they are more plausible.

What really saves the books from a really low grade is the questio
Florin Constantinescu
Finally, after two books in which the author simply refused to deal with the 'Omega entities' and instead turned the series into 'object exploration' (which is not bad in itself, only misleading), we are back to deal with the mystery which actually originated the series.
The characters haven't evolved much since book #1, but I can't say this is an author who's bad at characters either. The plot flows along nicely to a somewhat predictable and not very complete conclusion. Nevertheless, this was e
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Another great story by Jack McDevitt. Can highly recommend this series to sci-fi fans as well as pretty much anything by him. Like any good science fiction, it presents points that can really make you think and that certainly figure into current times as much as they do in the future. To entertain as well as give one pause for thought, mark of a good book.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it


I can say honestly I had no idea that this was part of a series until I read that it was (The Academy #4) above.

I really like McDevitt, and his style, yet it is with difficulty that I recall the book I read 14 years ago, and that is a shame.

Exciting while reading.

Now it is gone.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another good story of the Academy series. Some years after the last with some better technology in place and exploring farther away from home. This book returns to the main theme of book #1 and apparently nicely resolves it. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Mihai Parparita

The series appears to be trending downward. The bigger scope and varied locations of previous books were replaced by a stationary set on a too-good-to-true semi-primitive planet. At least the characters were not as implausibly reckless as in Chindi.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
It took me a couple chapters before I got into it. Usually stuff like this I'm really into but I wasn't a huge fan of the book, but there were some parts I liked.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
I didn't care for the direction of the series. It was too realistic in its depiction of institutional decay. I read Sci Fi to be uplifted not presented with a downer.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Published 2003. Not quite as stirring as the previous in the series that introduced the Omega clouds but a good follow-up.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Digger was a detestable character for me.
Yrag Notsew
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like sci fi. This was a good one. Full of interesting situations and characters. A bit of fun. I enjoyed all 594 pages. I must get hold of other Jack McDevitt books.
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Play Book Tag: Omega by Jack McDevitt 1 8 Sep 26, 2016 09:38AM  
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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)
  • Odyssey (The Academy, #5)
  • Cauldron (The Academy, #6)
  • Starhawk (The Academy, #7)
  • The Long Sunset (The Academy, #8)
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