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(The Academy #3)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  4,844 ratings  ·  259 reviews
On a routine survey mission studying a neutron star, an Academy starship receives a transmission in an unknown language. Before leaving the area, the starship launches a series of satellites to find the signal and perhaps discover its origins.
Five years later, a satellite finally encounters the signal which is believed to be of extraterrestrial origin by the Contact Soci
Mass Market Paperback, 511 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Ace (first published July 2002)
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Nichelle The earlier alien objects were from a race that had died out, I think. But they also mention a non-technological tribal race called the Nok--except ap…moreThe earlier alien objects were from a race that had died out, I think. But they also mention a non-technological tribal race called the Nok--except apparently they are not worthy because they aren't on the same level as humans.(less)

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Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
As always, McDevitt writes SOLID space opera without the military bent. I still think the whole archeology and privateer stuff works SO much better than the whole space-battle stuff, but it only works when most of the alien civs have risen and fallen over vast time periods and we just happen to sit smack dab in the middle of a time of silence.

With a few minor exceptions, of course. Ancient fallen descendants or lightspeed lagged spaceships notwithstanding. :)

Or other alien archeologists?

Fun. :)
Garret Reece
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another Library of Babel recommendation; I'd never heard of Jack McDevitt before. The one line review is "Indiana Jones, in space, no Nazis."

This is not the first book in this series; it appears that Deepsix chronologically precedes this one. That said, as only passing reference to the first book is made (and if I hadn't noticed it on the shelf at the library when I got this book, I could believe that no book existed), this book stands on its own just fine.

The plot follows a small exploration sh
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
A lot of people seem to like this book, but I found it pretty annoying for the most part. In the not-too-distant future, a large part of the galaxy has been explored by humanity but few other intelligent species have been found. A group of rich people who are determined to make first contact commission a new starship and hire Captain Priscilla Hutchins (called Hutch for most of the time) to investigate a mysterious signal found in orbit around a neutron star. From there, they make the discovery ...more
Feb 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
My first book by McDevitt. Started slow but gets going soon enough. The story and science work nicely together. He has no problem with main characters meeting their demise as the story unfolds. The story should be have a subtitle "Chindi: or how many rescue missions can Hutch pull off?" I like her and the final rescue is a great thrill. The ending is a very unsubtle opening for a follow-on story. Guess I'm going to be collecting some more of his books. Strong recommendation for an enjoyable read ...more
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
If you enjoyed the other 3 books, you're gonna enjoy this one. Each book is pretty much a stand alone, but the chronology of discoveries makes more sense in order, obviously. This one was a lot more spectacular than book 2 and 3. Wonderful ancient alien discoveries and stuff. Another hair brained rescue attempt and survival against the odds and stuff. In other words, exactly what it says on the box.

I am sad to say (view spoiler)
Exhausting. An endless cycle of bravery and idiocy and desperate rescue missions in which someone must die. Interesting and inventive but still with a minimum of believable character development. But the ideas and concepts are mostly worthwhile. But too long and with too much repetition. So not soft enough for space opera and not hard enough for hard science. And not gripping enough to really recommend. 3.5 of 5.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent adventure story, packed with tech, exploration and humanity.
Melissa McShane
This is definitely my favorite of the Priscilla Hutchins/Academy novels. Obviously it's because it has one of my favorite things, Archaeology In Space!, but also because it's so intense that I'm on the edge of whatever seat I'm using every time I read it. It's a lot like a horror novel in that respect; everyone is just so dumb about the risks they're taking, and they never get any smarter. It's always push, push, push, just a little farther, explore just one more room in the dark, deserted, alie ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-space
You can get a synopsis of the plot on the Amazon pages. So I am going to give my impression of the overall series.

Some of the action is a bit over the top, but this is a thought provoking book. I recommend it.

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 though, it is good "hard sc
Garry Geer
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Fun read, but seemed a little repetitive after the last book. Nonetheless there were some great exploration of various concepts. Some of the character's choices seemed a little hard to swallow but it was understandable in the context of the narrative itself.

Still enjoying my run through the series, and looking forward to the next volume.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great sci-fi adventure from McDevitt. Really good characters and imaginative situations. The technology has advance a little from the previous book in the series. The knowledge gained in the previous book has been incorporated and enables the situations presented in this book.

How many crises can be averted (or not) at the last minute in one book?
Roddy Williams
‘The universe has been explored – and humanity has all but given up on finding other intelligent life. Then an alien satellite orbiting a distant star sends out an unreadable signal. is it the final programmed gasp of an ancient, long-dead race? Or the first greeting of an undiscovered life form? Academy starship captain Priscilla Hutchins and the once-maligned Contact Society are about to learn the answers… to more questions than they could possibly conceive of asking.’

Blurb from the 2003 Ace p
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
"Chindi" is the third novel in the Priscilla Hutchins series. The archaeological mysteries continue.

"Hutch", as her friends call her, is fed up with her career as pilot. She gets all of the blame when things go wrong and none of the credit when things go right. She's been asked by her employer, the Science Academy, to pilot one last mission before landing a desk job: ferry the well heeled members of the "Contact Society", an E.T.-phile crowd, around in a ship they commissioned for the Academy on
Christopher McKitterick
This is a novel about the kinds of people who explore the unknown, who push the boundaries of the human world. The true believers and fanatics fund and design their missions, and other brave souls go along for various reasons: It's a job, one of their best friends or loved ones is going, or they just think it'll be an adventure. George and Nick are the fanatics, and without them, humanity never would have discovered the interestellar, alien communications network, the various rising and fallen c ...more
James Mourgos
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
In “Chindi” we got to learn a lot more about Priscilla Hutchins’ love lives. She gets talked into taking a ship out to where signals were heard, which are artificial in nature. The crew she takes with her are from a group many at the time think are a little nutty. And they certainly seem to be. They want to hunt for UFOs and aliens, regardless that at this time there have been many faster than light ships out there and not much was found.

After a long, long intro and some flashback, where she fl
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This one's been sat on the shelf for a while.

McDevitt has a reputation for solid old-fashioned SF, with an emphasis on plot rather than characterisation. His work reminds me of the SF being published (and I was reading!) back in the 1980's.

This is pretty much that.

Where McDevitt scores is in developing that 'sensawunder' for the reader, so reminiscent to me of the Analogs and Astoundings of years gone by. Here we have long dead aliens and their cultural remains uncovered, underneath a sky with n
Alex Shrugged
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
I've read two other of McDevitt's books and they were both good reads.... "The Engines of God" and "Omega". In Omega the characters reference events that occurred during Chindi so I read it to find out what had happened. I found the book to be a very exciting and enjoyed it immensely.

It has a strong woman main character (Hutch) but what I like about it is that the characters are not too smart and not too brave. They are only smart enough and brave enough. That makes them more real to me. The cir
Clark Hallman
Chindi by Jack McDevitt – This is the third book in the Priscilla Hutchins (Academy/Engines of God) series by McDevitt. After a mysterious transmission of unknown origin is received by a deep-space interstellar ship. Hutch is hired to take a group of wealthy alien-hunter/enthusiasts into space in search of the aliens that sent the transmission. They encounter more transmissions and they appear to be the real thing. Hutch and her naïve, arrogant and totally unprepared alien hunters undertake a di ...more
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
McDevitt is always good and it was great to visit with Hutch and Bill for a while, as expected. Beyong that, though, this book struck me as exceptional. McDevitt raised a lot of hard issues about space exploration, the search for "the Other," and the great potential for "othering" those found/met. He also had Hutch do some things that would appear, from the calm of one's livingroom, to be the usual sort of "stupid mistakes" authors often have women leads make. She also seemed to passively accept ...more
Sep 21, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: First-time hard-SF readers
Shelves: sci-fi
Formulaic, predictable, bland and unambitious. (** Some spoilers ahead **)

If this was the first "hard" science fiction book I'd read, the thought of a massive self-directing artifact whose job is to collect a pan-galactic zoo and was built by a long-vanished uber-race whose mere detritus exceeds man's tiny grasp might indeed make for "an ambitious, exciting, big-idea hard-SF novel".

When we finally do encounter the mother-lode of alien treasure, it turns out to be a summer-home for some rich guy
May 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of hard SF
Shelves: sf_fantasy
I liked this book in that it made me ponder the cosmological mysteries that never get boring - how stars are born and die, long-term events in space...But otherwise it's a straight 3-star book - not bad, not life-changing, but enough that I would most certainly read the author again. The main characters were all drawn very well, particularly the protagonist, Hutch (and I would also add that I was particularly happy to see a woman in the role she was in). But something about the sequence of event ...more
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Former Naval officer Jack McDevitt has become a space opera wunderkind over the past decade or so. Chindi is one of several novels about Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins, a female spacefaring captain who goes on many an intergalactic adventure. I've been a fan of Mr. McDevitt's works for years, so, I thought this novel was great. Was it his best? No...but it definitely was not his worst, and those who are new to Mr. McDevitt's works, or the "Hutch" series, would do well to start with this one.

Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is a part of a 5 book series, but I believe it works much better as a standalone book. We follow the life of Precilla Hutchins, who has retired from her job as a pilot, but is convinced to take one more journey.

+ The alien races described in this book are creative and non-humanoid.
+ Hutchins is a strong female lead, but not a "femme fatale" or a needy slut.
+ A possitive view of the future.
+ A nice mystery that is left ambiguous by the book's end

- Characters are often fleshed out and
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of the great tropes of classic sense-of-wonder science fiction is the space museum, which McDevitt uses with great success in this one. It's the third book in the Priscilla Hutchins series. We don't actually meet the aliens, but the archaeological investigations are presented with such deft grandeur that the results are Ozymandian. There are also some terrific hard-sf puzzles that are solved in a very clever manner. I didn't enjoy the characters quite as much as in the earlier books of the s ...more
Mark Austin
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Academy books take scifi a direction I never thought I would enjoy, focused on exploration, science, and politics. From discovering new worlds to rescue missions, discovering primitive alien races, ancient worlds with hyper-evolved predators, to alien artifacts and strange stellar events, the stories manage to stay pretty fresh and varied with a semi-consistent cast between books thanks to increased life-spans.

While I lean more towards war and conflict-focused scifi (or any fiction, really),
Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Meh. McDevitt's readable; he maintains just enough interest to keep me turning the pages, but not very enthusiastically. I guess "workmanlike" would be the way to put it. Chindi, as with many of his science fiction works, has little character development (his protagonist, Priscilla Hutchins, a starship pilot, feels very cardboard-cutout-like), has characters doing poorly-thought-out and irrational things, and treats starship travel almost as if Hutchins is a glorified bus driver. Doesn't exactly ...more
Aug 14, 2009 rated it liked it
I almost feel like a third of this book consisted of stressful rescue missions.....after the second or third rescue attempt, I found myself almost wanting to skip 5-10 pages at once just to get to the resolution of it and begin the next scene. I found a lot of scenes in this book to be pretty irrelevant to plot development or character development, and I was extremely unsatisfied with the ending and its lack of resolution of many plotpoints....

That said, there were some intriguing ideas, I only
M Hamed
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hard-sci-fi, 2016
the same sterile formula of the previous two books :blend beginning followed by a an interesting revelation and 200 pages of nothingness and ended with a heroic\desperate rescue

-i still call for the castration for those that think they can wright a female inner psyche
-maybe I'm getting it wrong,but the anti-grav only dampen 15% of inertia how the ship can travel at the speed of .26 c with out them turning to jelly
and how could they go outside the ship and Manoeuvre at that speed
Karl Schmiedeskamp
Aug 02, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: No one I like
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Fun concept, but the characters are unbelievably stupid time after time. UFO nuts have spaceship, will travel.

Laura Croft is a cautious, careful, reverent, painstaking archeologist in comparison.

Not to mention the really far fetched forced problems used to push the story. Compare 30 km/r to 1/3C....

Skip this one.
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Science Fiction A...: * Academy #3-Chindi 10 17 Apr 02, 2019 02:23PM  

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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)
  • Omega (The Academy, #4)
  • Odyssey (The Academy, #5)
  • Cauldron (The Academy #6)
  • Starhawk (The Academy, #7)
  • The Long Sunset (The Academy, #8)

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