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Odyssey One

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by Evan Currie

 

I am torn on this book.  On one hand, this was great military scifi.  I am a retired colonel in the Marines, and from my viewpoint, the military aspects of it were very good.   The jargon, mentality, methodology—all rang true.  The last several military scifi books I have read were so bad from a military standpoint that is was a refreshing alternative to have the military aspect support the novel instead of being a liability.

The story was good, the plot moved crisply, and the events mostly believable.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story-telling.

The book revolves around the maiden voyage of the NAC Odyssey, a new faster-than-light ship.  The captain was the former commander of a top flight squadron, and that squadron is on board as part of the ship’s contingent.

On what seems to be merely a shakedown cruise, the Odyssey encounters a situation where the captain must decide whether to get involved in an interstellar war between heretofore unknown humans and a marauding group of hive-like aliens.   In the best of space opera traditions, the captain decides on fighting, even against seemingly insurmountable odds.

As I wrote above, the military aspect of the writing is pretty much spot on.  The science seems reasonable, too.  I am not an expert in physics, but I didn’t catch many glaring errors. 

I was put off slightly by a few minor things.  The friendly casualties seemd way too light for the situation given.  And I was put off by the ease in which soldiers can “dodge” energy weapons and lasers.  But generally speaking, events were believable.

On the other hand, the almost fatal flaw in this book is the editing.  I honestly have never read such a horrendously poor piece of the written word from a editing viewpoint.  Initially, the poor editing was annoying, but not that bad.  But beginning with Chapter 8 and on through about Chapter 13 or so, the errors got to the point that it was almost impossible to read.  Spelling, improper word choice, punctuation, inner thoughts of two different people being given in the same place,  subject verb agreement—all made reading the book painful.  Some sentences had three errors alone.  It got so bad that I almost had to put the book down.  For a lesser story, I would have left the rest unread.

Things got a little better after Chapter 13, but only in comparison. It was still pretty bad.

This book highlights the need for good editing.  Self-published or not, a simple read-through by the author would have cut out most of these errors.  And paying an independent editor a few hundred dollars to do a copy edit would have reaped great rewards.  

The basic book is very good, as good as that put out by any established military scifi author.   But the editing drags this book down.  If you can gloss over the editing, then I can highly recommend this book. 



 

For more reviews or to buy Odyssey One from Amazon.com, click here.

 

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