On her epic maiden voyage, the NAC spacecraft Odyssey introduced Earth to the wonders of an untouched universe - and the unimagined horrors lurking in the black. Now the Odyssey’s second voyage will carry Captain Eric Weston and his crew back to a familiar battlefield, to face an enemy unlike any they have ever known. For on war-torn Ranquil, homeworld of Earth’s newest ally, the Priminae, the invading Drasin are but foot soldiers for a powerful unseen force. Unmasking the mysterious puppet masters means defying orders and venturing into deep space, a voyage only the Odyssey’s crew would dare undertake. But soon they will learn that some secrets are better left hidden....
Part old-school space opera, part modern military epic, The Heart of Matter is an exhilarating new sci-fi adventure, a pulse-pounding sequel to Into the Black: Odyssey One that will echo long after its thrilling conclusion.
©2012 Evan Currie (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
My husband and I both listened to this. While I enjoyed it for what it is, he really didn't like it at all. We both had read the first book. I enjoyed the action; he felt it was poorly written.
If you're read the first book (and I recommend you do), you can expect the same in the second. A mix of action, philosophizing about war, and a lot of perspectives on the same situation.
As with the first novel, the writing isn't as strong as you typically find in the genre. It's not terrible (read a few YA dystopian and you'll know what I mean) but does come off as a bit weak in the military sci fi/sci fi genre.
There is a LOT of philosophizing on the necessity of war and soldiers, told in a way that is a little too obvious (obvious comparisons to big issues in certain wars like Viet Nam and Iraq are rather glaringly obvious and takes away from the plot). But when the action kicks in, it's a fun roller coaster of a read.
The narrator is the same from the first book. I enjoyed him on the first and was glad he's on the second. However, as with the author, there are some issues in quality of the performance: odd pauses where there shouldn't be and especially in this book, an affectation that has him swallowing the words at the end of every sentence. Unlike the first book, this reading feels a bit too mannered and that is really distracting. That said, I like the way he reads and he brings an easy humanity and grace to the characters that suits the book.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
Book 2 in the series is even better than book 1, and you get to the action much quicker; Currie is obviously getting better at his craft as he goes! Despite a few minor things, I enjoyed this book a lot!
I don't know if its the writing, or the Narration (I suspect it's the narrator), but every member of the Bridge Crew on every ship in the story sounds terrified every time they speak to someone with a higher rank... the stuttering and stammering that goes on in response to EVERY question put to them, and in EVERY report they give, is getting old, fast. Seems to me if you had a crew in vital positions that are this terrified of even speaking, you'd replace them with people who could actually get a report out in a timely, coherent, manner, without every sentence having to be dragged out of them.
There are places in the narration where sentence structure is broken up so badly, or paused in such an odd spot, that you have to back up to try to figure out what the author actually meant... But it's not too often, and you can work through it.
Those few things aside, the story moves along much faster than in the first book, the technical details are much improved and believable, and the "Tech-Talk" doesn't bog the story down at all... it's just enough to be interesting, and to enhance the story, without me feeling like the author is trying to tediously teach me how build the thing being described. A Lot of authors get WAY too caught up in trying to show how detailed their knowledge of some piece of physics or 'Tech' is... Currie deftly avoids that common mistake...
I hope there is a Book 3, and I hope it's soon!
Book 2. This one continues right from where book 1 left off. Most of the book is space battles and ground combat. Must reed book 1, into the black, before this one and if you liked it you will like this one.
Currie's 2nd installment, The Heart of Matter, is a solid follow-on to Into the Black. With Earth having developed a faster than light drive, Captain Eric Weston has taken his Odyssey crew out for cruise of their neighborhood only to learn that not only are there intelligent alien life forms, but that they appear to be human and have other unknown enemies as well. The sequel begins back on Earth with the Odyssey preparing to return to Rankeel with diplomatic and training teams.
This time out, we get a glimpse of the AI-like intelligence the Priminae refer to as "Central" that has some general oversight properties. There are more space battles (and planet-side) with the Drasin along with the discovery of a Dyson swarm that appears to be a giant Drasin shipbuilding operation around another star. Finally there are some mysterious and sinister clues revealed that hint at the Drasin origin. The original cast is back along with a few new characters. Currie has crafted a delicious space opera that is very "Star Trek-like" in its general theme, although uniquely original.
The narration is superb with an excellent range of voices along with good pacing and tone that makes for non-stop listening.
Just as good as the first book. Good action, good sci-fi, alien worlds all the things you need to take you away from your life for a while listening. Its starting to get more interesting the more we learn about the Drasin and their allies.....
What an amazing thing a book… to step out of our lives, if just for a moment, to a different world of fantastic new ideas and possibilities.
Evan Currie has really done a lot of great work here. The plot is advancing and moving significantly forward. I really love the way he takes such different technologies and plays them out against each other and the descriptions of the way each technology works is fascinating. I must say I am really enjoying this series and recommend it.
Great job Evan, keep them coming!
Audible, great job of finding this series and getting on audio book!
Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
With practically non stop space battles or land battles with Aliens against overwhelming odds. Can't wait for the third book in the series "Homeworld" due in Sept 2013
A good way to get through the work day.
Great twist to a space war story. The second book in the series much improves the story as a whole. Normally I have a hard time keeping up with a story that is told by multiple characters, but this story does a great job making it work. The nonstop action kept my attention from start to finish and I can't wait for the next book. This book has a great plot and is well written. Though this book is already very good the narrator could take this book to another level but fails to do so. The narration doesn't hurt the book, but also doesn't do much help it either. I would think if Christian Rummel or Mark Boyett was the narrator it would be amazing across the board. All in all a great second installment to the series.
I have to agree with a previous reviewer about the apparent quality of the subordinates. Getting reports from them is like getting blood out of stone. It does get very annoying by the end of this book. Surely the crew is aware of the requirements of the captain? Now, even the Priminae leadership seems to be having the same problems with their subordinates. Why would an admiral or ship's captain have to repeat and explain orders to a junior officer, or the enlisted - the response should be "yes sir". However, I guess the reader needs to know the reasoning behind actions.
Otherwise - very entertaining series so far. Looking forward to book three, and hoping the bridge officers get more training!
Space Opera sequel
like the first, but its the sequel... I liked it .. should be a third i would guess
This is SLOW at the beginning, But once you make it to about the middle, hold on to your seat.
Argh, it's hud, not H-U-D!
Other than that, this was as awesome as I remember as a book.
"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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