This was another debut military sci-fi novel, this time by Evan C. Currie. However, unlike the "Man of War" series I recently started as well, this one is not only quite clearly a "first novel", it is also clear that it was self-published first. Although it gets better near the end, the first part of the book is amateurish and difficult to continue listening to. It shows why good editors are so important in fiction writing. The author makes a number of choices in the story that simply are too much to possibly believe. Feeling like a kind of cheap Star Trek copy, the novel starts with humanity's first faster-than-light ship's maiden voyage, that then quickly turns into a Jack Campbell-style military sci-fi romp. But the jump is way too sudden, and the situation utterly unbelievable. Almost immediately upon arriving at Alpha Centauri, the ship responds to a distress signal in yet another system, which they blindly follow, after which continues one unlikely decision after another until this fleet is involved in full-scale battles with alien forces. It is simply not believable that such a captain would make decisions like this, not based on our current knowledge of military procedures and extensive and careful prototype testing.
While the book does get better later on (at least the space battle are well done), it can't make up for the strange and out of place decisions that are made by both the author and characters in the first half. Another seriously unbelievable element is in the type of "aliens" they run into, although I won't spoil that particular point. Ultimately if he wanted to write an exploration novel, then exploration should have dominated the theme of the book and the conflict kept small and realistic. If he wanted to write military space battles, then he should have introduced us to a world in which this was already feasible, not tacking it on to what was essentially an exploration mission. Some people might disagree with me and say that it worked for them. If so, then please continue reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of the series. I'll be stopping here, thanks.
Maybe. I liked his first book, "into the black". The trick to battle books is to not let the battles get repetitive. He pulled it off mostly in the first book; however, book 2 was a broken record for battles.
Yes, I bought the second book in the series. Won't buy the 3rd book though.
This book is great. His fault was in the second book. If you consider moving from one battle to the next plot, then read the second book.
I had a colleague recommend this one to me. I tried it out and am having a hard time giving it even two stars.
1. Characters are paper thin, secondary to the story.
2. Plot. WTF?
3. Out of water Military story. I've read much better. Whats up with so many authors taking a group of military persons and putting them into a weird scifi environment where they are fish out of water, but manage to win the day anyhow. Seems like every single one of them has the same plot structure and characters.
I'd recommend the Lost Legion series over this one.
INTO THE BLACK: ODYSSEY ONE by Evan C. Currie is a wonderful mix of hard sci-fi and storytelling. Not once in listening to the audible story did I find the technical details, often associated with hard sci-fi, cluttering the novel progression unnecessarily. I easily found myself caught up in the story wondering what was going to happen next. I, also, found myself moved by the characters in a way that only comes from masterful writing. This is a science fiction story that I would heartily recommend to anyone that reads the genre.
Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.
Battlestar Galactica without the passion.
Basically wrote a story about a US Navy aircraft carrier, and put it in space.
This book kept the action moving and kept me wondering.
Great original storyline
I cant wait for the second installment, i have unanswered questions!
Sci Fi Reader
I really enjoyed this. It was smart, believable, exciting military science fiction. The narrator is great, I sure hope the sequel in September is on Audible as well.
End of the world and Sci Fi are my favorites with a lot of historical fiction added in
Focus more on the human interactions, motivations and emotions and far less on the machinery that surrounds them.
Probably not unless he makes the move to building characters involved in challenging situations. A walking tour of the technology and layout of the equipment in play is just not as interesting as how humans grapple with the problems at hand.
Yes, the story was the problem not the voice.
As a old naval aviator and current airline captain, I have enjoyed this series more than any other. Strap in for one hell of a story. -GC
This novel is a fantastic example of a scifi that is well-researched and thought-out to make you think about the fascinating potentials of future technology all while providing an engaging and action-packed storyline. Admittedly, this first book is rather limited in it's scope as it mostly boils down to a single prolonged engagement but considering the battle will decide the ultimate fate of a planet of billions of people it retains its intensity.
For me, the battle tech imagined in this book was the most interesting part. I won't speak to too many details since they are linked to some of the story's suspense but suffice it to say that there is some pretty cool armor going on that stems from currently emerging camo/invisibility tech and it sees some fun multi-purpose use in this series, as well as a truly bizarre FTL drive. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a physics major so I am probably more intrigued by some of this than others would be and certainly accounts for my love of the way that the ship's captain and crew are able to discuss matters of rather complex physics off-hand throughout the book. That being said, don't be driven off if your knowledge in physics is basic. The story never gets bogged down in theoretical speculations so quixotic that it would be gobbledygook to the layperson. It is always directly connected to frying the bad guys and gives indirect explanation of the technology involved while maintaining the "cool" factor that draws people to scifi.
The only really issue I had with this book was (VERY SLIGHT SPOILER) the idea that the aliens could have a good enough grasp of the nature of light and the practical applications of it to make extremely powerful and precise lasers, defensive force fields, and FTL engines/communications but not understand multi-frequency lasers. That doesn't seem like something that could have not occurred to them. Granted, it seems like they gave up on innovation ever since the overmind started taking care of them. Perhaps that tech just wasn't carried over to the computer for some reason? Maybe there will be an explanation for it later.
I have listened to the other two books of the series so far and they have not disappointed me. Each of them stand as gripping space-warfare scifi with more mysteries and players being introduced as the plot unfolds. The end of book 3 is a particularly huge cliffhanger that I really hope I'll be able to resolve soon. The narrator is the same for all three books and I found him to be quite skilled. He's not quite the best I've heard but he is capable of differentiating characters and flavoring with multiple accents that were not unpleasant to listen to for me. He never got in my way of enjoying the story with jarring tones or volumes and he often enriched it.
I highly recommend both this book and series to SciFi lovers.