Odyssey

odyssey

Odyssey (The Academy #5)

This grabbed me and made me lose sleep over the past few days because I did not want to put it down. Jack McDevitt is a master of creating a world with people you cannot help but admire and situations that are tense and filled with anticipation.

I love this series along with all it’s permutations because each is a little different but essentially the same. In space you cannot know what to expect and this brings the idea home in a solid manner. The science is sometimes accurate and sometimes theorizing but always interesting. I had wanted to be an astronaut and when I read these books I can at least feel like I made it out there.

Read these books for the sheer joy of flying off into the black and being entertained.

 

 

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

 

“Truth, beaten down, may well rise again. But there’s a reason it gets beaten down. Usually we don’t like it very much.”
Jack McDevitt, Odyssey

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Starhawk

starhawk

Starhawk (The Academy #7)

While I have loved riding with the Academy for years now, this was not my favorite adventure to date. This is a prequel which is about Priscilla ‘Hutch’ Hutchins and her first adventure after getting her pilots license and a job. It also is about the development of the Academy as an institution and the Wheel as the space port it needed to become in the future. These were the events that made her who she would later become, but it was not an easy read. The writing is fantastic as always and the characters are well developed and feel like friends more than just words on a page. The galaxy is vivid and I can see the relics left behind in my minds eye with no problem. It just did not have the same feel to it that I am used to having.

Priscilla’s training flight is not as uneventful as most usually are and she and Jake find themselves in the middle of a rescue. The rescue has to occur because of a radical who has placed a bomb on another ship which has blown up. There is a movement that feels the death of every life form on a planet in order to terraform is not acceptable and this is their way of protesting.

The theme throughout is about these individuals who are willing to do anything, including kill in order to save life on a far away planet while sacrificing human life. Priscilla makes a few flights but nothing very note worthy happens. I;m glad I read it because it is part of the story, but I just cannot totally recommend it except to those who have read the previous books.

 

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

When finally they got through, the first thing Priscilla saw was Josh, floating a foot or two above the deck, his wrist tied to a frame. They tried to revive him, although Priscilla thought it was probably a cruel thing to do. If they succeeded, he would only feel that he had to go through it again.

 

 

 

 

The Time Machine

The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells, Bernard Mayes (Narrator)

I have seen all of the movie versions of this book and this is the first time I have read/listened to it. I enjoyed it as a kid watching it and I totally enjoyed this original reading. The story is totally a product of its time with phrasing that would not be used today to describe members of other ethnic groups and the way they viewed the world was so different. But the thought that in 1895 anyone could imagine not only a time machine but be looking to the future.

We meet the Eloi and Morlocks in the year 8271. The more human looking of the two have become nothing more than cattle to those who reside under the surface.

If you have only seen versions of this in cinematic form you will appreciate getting a feel of what was intended.

The Andromeda Strain

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The Andromeda Strain

I have found a book I liked less than the movie adaptation. The book was good but I found it to be bogged down with things that did not seem important to the story really, though the added detail was good. This was a purely male story with women present in support roles like nurse or secretary. It was definitely written during a time when women and people of color would not have been represented as being intelligent and able to contribute. The characters were well defined for the most part, though they could have been fleshed out a bit more. I saw both movie versions, but I preferred the 70’s version better without all the fancy special effects. The fact that they made one of the scientist a woman and the nurse was a black woman, it made it more in keeping with the times really. This book worked better visually than it does on the page for me.

A space probe falls back to earth and lands near a small town. The inhabitants find it and instead of calling the government decide it is a good idea to open it up. What they get for their lack of intelligence is death for them all, all except two souls who are far apart in age and lifestyle survive. Four scientist have been assigned to Wildfire to track and find a cure for something that has never been seen on this planet. It kills fast and silently in most cases not giving them time to even say goodbye.

I did like the book and think that it should be read because it does give you some more background if you have seen the movies.  

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Mall

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The Mall

There is a lot going on in this novel and it made for a hard read because of it. Its like everything was being thrown in to make it more interesting but what it did was keep me confused. There is science fiction with an automated Mall with robots and a central intelligence running things. Then we have a revisionist history which has figures alive and kicking who died in the original timeline, a paranormal leaning with psychic individuals and ghosts running around. With all of this I was still actually kind of bored while reading it. I never really felt anything much for any of the characters, though I did want them to survive if only because they were children. The mother was kind of unsympathetic and annoying for the most part. It felt like it was to long and could have been concluded sooner.

Lara is the mother of two children, Cora and Owen, the widow of Ben and not a great planner at all. She has been evicted from her home and finds herself homeless with her children and no backup plan. Lara is going to the one person she hoped not to have to ask for help, her mother-in-law who blames her for the death of her son. She lives in the residential section of the Mall, Lara hopes that she will allow the children to stay with her until she can make arrangements for a new place to live. But she wants to take the children and to brand Lara an unfit mother, so she leaves and decides to stay in the Mall.

Owen is ten years old and blames his mother for everything and anything. When she falls asleep in the movie he decides to sneak off and do something he wants, even though he is leaving his sister as well. Not surprisingly there is a power outage and he is cut off from his family, a killer is roaming the Mall, the robots are all offline, and Lara is panicking. There is an evil presence in the Mall and reuniting is more difficult than anyone could have expected.

When I read the blurb I was really excited about reading this book because it sounded good. I am not quite so enthusiastic about it now. It took me 8 days to read a book that should have only taken me three at the outside. This did not work for me but maybe it will for someone else. Just to much going on and not enough action or scares to keep me engaged. I finished it because I do not like to quit and find that I missed something.

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Obsession by Treaty

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Obsession By Treaty (Qui Treaty Collection #5)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a standalone novel. It does however advance the overall story in glimpses of what had happened prior to this point. This story seems even darker than those that came before it, maybe because both the main characters involved are human. The pacing is perfect to allow you to savor every dark moment or contemplate what is happening to them. The characters are very well drawn and pull you in because they have personalities that make them accessible.

Major Darby McCabe has been in love with her CO (commanding officer for a very long time but has never said anything to him. While on a salvage mission to Petra to go through the wreckage of a suspected K’lahn ship an accident causes her to come in contact with a strange pebble that has an effect on her. Her feelings are intensified and she starts to make plans that could hurt everyone involved.

Colonel Ethan Saracen has feelings for Major McCabe but wants to wait to the war is over before he lets her know. After the mission on Petra she hardly speaks to him, only follows orders and nothing more. So when she comes and invites him out he believes they are about to get to the root of their problems. What happens instead is his abduction and subjugation by a woman he loves and learns to hate. Can obsession bring love or only loss?

I find that I like the fact that these alpha males are brought to their knees by the women in their lives. But they are a weepy bunch of soldiers. The fact that there is a wider story buried within the tales of these couples is really good. This has an element of mystery as well as the romance, sex, and great aliens. I am totally invested in these stories and cannot wait for the next one. Whether you start here or at the beginning, you should start.

There are themes of non-consensual sex, torture, and abduction. If you find any of this not to your liking, then you should pass.

Angel 6.0: Emissary

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Angel 6.0: Emissary (Angel 6.0 #5)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This has been a fun ride with a girl who turns out to be more human than those around her. Even with the last book ending on an exciting note, this one starts a little less dramatically. Things were a little slow for me to start-up with but picked up quickly and moved us into the action I had been anticipating. The characters were even more vivid here as things started to come to a head for both humans and cats. The language was what I expected from this group of characters including the cats who seemed to have a very human temperament at times. The world they inhabited could be now or a hundred years from now because the human way of thinking does not seem to have changed from the beginning of time.

Angel has had a hard time since she was taken by the Gran and used as a concubine from Nugene Station. But things had started to get better with the Emperor’s son taking such a liking to her that he wished to keep her as his mate, and having Cesar actually come for her and try to free her. What more could a girl ask for? But for Angel life is never fair or simple. The DC decide that this is the time they wish to launch an attack on the Gran and break the treaty that has kept Earth safe for decades. Not very smart, but who said human politicians were smart.

Because of her status as Princess of the Gran Empire Angel is chosen by the Emperor to be Emissary to Earth and help avert a war that could wipe out both races. What’s a clone to do when she becomes the only hope for humanity and the Cats.

This one had me sitting on the edge of my seat hoping for the best but totally afraid that the worse would happen. Angel started out as a bit whiny, and naive but thirsty for true love. She ends by being an extremely strong and loyal woman who fights for those she loves with every ounce of passion in her heart, this is a girl I can get behind. I liked that she had this journey that opened her to the world. I did get teary quite a few times, cheered her on, and in general was glad things worked out the way they did. If you like Angel, you will love her by the end of this. Highly recommend!