Beyond the confines of our small world, far from the glow of our star, lie a galaxy and universe much larger and more varied than anyone on Earth can possibly imagine. For the new NAC spacecraft Odyssey and her crew, the unimaginable facets of this untouched world are about to become reality.The Odyssey's maiden voyage is an epic adventure destined to make history.
Captain Eric Weston and his crew encounter horrors, wonders, monsters, and people; all of which will test their resolve, challenge their abilities, and put in sharp relief what is necessary to be a hero.
A first-rate military-science-fiction epic that combines old-school space opera and modern storytelling, Into the Black: Odyssey One is a riveting, exhilarating adventure with vivid details, rich mythology, and relentless pacing.
©2012 Evan Currie (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
While one book does not a great, sweeping space opera (usually) make -- this book is a solid foundation for what could be a great series. . .in the tradition of Campbell's "Lost Fleet," or other similar series (Ian Douglas, John Ringo, William Dietz, David Weber, David Drake, John Scalzi). There are really good ideas here, and excellent battles in space. The seeds are also planted for what is coming next -- along with a number of really good "concepts" about technology.
I did not read earlier iterations of this book, just listened to the 'final' Audible version -- which I thoiught was EXCELLENT. The writing is not tight -- but tight is not what I think of as the 'be all and end all' in this type of "writ large"" type of opening salvo. And it seems clear that as this rolls out it will provide an opportunity for greater control of language and syntax. But this is no amateur venture by a mile. This is a fine story well written and well performed.
If you liked the Lost Fleet you will love this. If you enjoyed the Dietz takeoff on the Foreign Legion, you will also appreciate the sinilarities here.
I cannot wait for the next book -- and what more can you say about a new writer and series ????
Evan Currie represents a growing new species of author, one who transitions into a "traditional" publishing model after self-publishing several titles in eBook format. "Into The Black" is Currie's first novel to be recorded as an audio book and it leaves me itching for more.
Currie presents two "alien" races, one that is reminiscent of the bugs found in novels such as Starship Troopers and Ender's Game (though, as one of Currie's characters humorously points out in the book: all exo-armor ultimately comes across as bug-like because, "God just got it right with those guys"), and another that appears to be human. This gives the reader no room to wonder who the "good guys" are and who the "bad guys" are and comes across as just shy of contrived. However, the characters acknowledge this stretch of believability, at one point even joking about how much their situation compares to stereotypical science fiction plots.
The two major Earth-human advancements presented to the user are "CM" technology, allowing for the manipulation of apparent mass or inertia of objects big and small, and a faster than light drive called a "Transition Drive," a form of intersteller quasi-teleportation achieved by temporarily converting matter to super-luminous Tachyons. The Odyssey is Earth's first faster-than-light starship, while CM technology has been in use for some time. This is pretty obvious even without being told. The characters are distrustful and even disturbed by the effects of the Transition Drive, but demonstrate many ingenious uses for the CM technology that would be expected from decades of military use.
However, one thing that bothered me while reading this novel is that most characters display only token cultural resistance to each other before falling right into place as allies. Having just finished Stephen King's "11-22-63," which displays the vast cultural distance between 21st century New England and the 1950's American deep south, I found myself struggling to accept that two groups of humans separated by thousands of years of cultural divergence and a computer-translated language barrier would find each other's subtle jokes to be funny. But if Star Trek's William T. Kirk's good looks and charm transcend the lightyears, I think we can give Currie similar artistic license.
Currie is obviously a developing author, and with widespread availability of his works and the associated feedback, I have no doubt he will develop quickly. He does many things right. The technology he presents the reader with is believable and intriguing. There is room for improvement when it comes to character conflict, but Currie seems to acknowledge this fact, especially towards the end of the book. Here's to hoping the next book provides us with a bit more internal conflict among allies.
This book is available in many formats at a reasonable price and is a very quick read. I finished it in a single weekend without difficulty. Overall, despite it's few shortcomings, I found the book to be very intriguing and hard to put down. It's crammed with exciting space and futuristic ground battles and a few interesting characters. Like the first couple seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, it's obvious the characters need to grow into their own a bit. But the book is far from a waste of time. It plants the seeds for a long and exciting series and I'm certainly looking forward to the next book in the series ("Hear of Matter"), due out in late 2012.
Pace was frantic...Felt like one huge battle scene. Quite enjoyable ear candy. Science was not ridiculous, military protocols felt well researched. Not going to win a Pulitzer, but I look forward to the next in the series....Is it out yet? damn...how 'bout now?
I really do like sci-fi, and I was intrigued by the premise of the novel, but it read more like a non-sci-fi military action thriller to me.
I found the long and very detailed passages of space combat were far more 'Top Gun' than I'm interested in.
For people who like novels with a lot of military space action, I think this book may really hit the spot.
It just wasn't for me. That being said, the narration is very good and engaging.
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.
Into the Black, Currie's first installment in the Odyssy one series is a gem of listen. While the story is placed far in the future and involves the testing of the first faster than light drive. the crew of the Odyssey begin their journey as mere test pilots / guinea pigs. After their "jump" they find themselves encountering what appears to be human beings who refer to the Earth people as potentially the mythical "others" that are the stuff of their legends. At the same time, the Earth crew bump into another alien species intent on human destruction, without regard to home world origin.
The sci-fi elements are pretty standard at about the level of a typical Star Trek movie. The compelling storyline is a combination of excellent space warfare that is skillfully executed by the Earth crew with an exceptional ensemble crew (no one character does it all). Currie also does two other things right: 1) the aliens are uniquely different, intelligent, and inscrutable, and 2) the "alien" human counterparts are not so much advanced relative to Earth, but rather they have progressed in some, but not all areas of science. While this first salvo in a longer story arc bodes well for a good run, this first installment is also pure listening pleasure with good pacing and plenty of surprises.
The narration is first rate and does a respectable job of capturing the mood of the various characters (of which there are many).
Probably for the space ships. This book worried me at first. I have an extremely short attention span. But even though it started a little slow (for me) I shouldn't have worried. Very soon there were mysteries i wanted answers to, characters I wanted to root for, and impossible situations for me to cheer for when they were overcome.
If you like space opera, or military Sci Fi this is simply one of the best of the genre I have come across. Satisfying fun, and I immediatly purchased the second in the series. And since I can't force myself to finish even the first half of most books I buy that is the biggest complemeint I can pay to a new series.
I'm off to read the second installment now. Fingers Crossed!
The author obviously drew heavy inspiration from Heinlein's Starship Troopers (one of my all time favs) and there's even a few tongue-in-cheek references to the book. The writing is well thought out and mixes in just the right amount of science. I would like to see just a little more character development or relationships between the characters, but perhaps that's coming in the future. I can only nitpick at the narrator in this review... Quite a few of the characters sounded the same and I had a hard time following the dialogue sometimes, and he really needs to work on his pacing and emphasis during the non-dialogue scenes! He read some amazing battle scenes with the same enthusiasm of someone reading the news on NPR. But even a boring narrator can't detract from me giving a 5 star rating!! Can't wait for the next in the series!
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.
I've read pretty much everything in the MSCI-FI genre. This has to be the best one I've ever read. I just couldn't turn the book off. Buy it now, you won't regret it!
Good choice of narrator. Fantastic futuristic descriptions of technologies that are theoretically possible. Exploratory and militaristic. Unfortunately for me the, the dialogue can be very 'boys toys.'
"Unable to finish this (minor *spoiler*)"
My biggest problem with this is possibly the genre. I love science fiction. I don't mind a bit of war. I do like some real story. However this feels like an endless advert for the US Marine Corps - devoid of real feeling and story, full of gungho action types who spend all their time being soldiers and not much time doing anything else. Having listened to titles which really paint alternative cultures in interesting ways - this doesn't. And *spoiler* the crew's reaction to meeting aliens (lots of them) seems like vague interest and rampant paranoia rather than fascinated intrigue (in one case, with some justification).
I listened to about 30% of the whole thing, and I really tried to stick it. But for me (and I'm at odds with some others who possibly knew better than I what they were expecting) I had a "life is too short" moment, and decided to move onto something I would find more rewarding.
"What a great story!"
I read a few mixed reviews on this story but I thought I'd give it a go not having read or listened to any of Mr Currie's work, I am so glad I did. The story to me felt like a mix between Black Hawk Down, Hunt for Red October and Battlestar Galactica [the new series].
This is one of those visual audio books, you really get in there with the characters and feel the story unfolding. I thought Benjamin L. Darcie's voice nailed the feel of the story, so big credits to him as well.
It's a great story that will leave you itching for more. It did for me, so after tapping this out ... I'm of to get part 2 to see how this universe unfolds.
"Disappointing and formulaic"
I wanted to like this more than I did. There is nothing wrong with the narration but the story is weak. It feels more like an old "Battlestar Galactica" episodes. The main human characters have faster-than-light technology but all the tactics are from a marine WW2 movie. Even the ranks used are taken directly from the US Marines. None of the challenging ideas you get from other authors. Seemed more like a 50s sci-fi movie script.
Real edge of you seat stuff! If you like sci fi you will like this. Listened to it again over the last few days and felt compelled to leave my first review!
"Excellent Space Opera"
This is for both volumes of the Odyssey - a real saga. It is pretty much Star Trek Enterprise with a bit of Battlestar Galactica mixed in and a very good plot. Fast paced, great characters it has the depth of detail and clout of the earlier Tom Clancy techno-thrillers and then some. Whilst it is not great literature it is a very good value sci-fi book. Looking forward to more from Mr Currie.
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