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Title: Odysseus Ascendant
Series: Odyssey One #7
Author: Evan Currie
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
The Empire is done with playing around with the Priminae and their unknown allies (ie, the humans). They send an entire sector fleet to take the territory of the Priminae and to find the lone homeworld of humanity. It is up to Weston and his small group of ships to stall for time by playing tricks and being ingenious with the resources they do have.
Odysseus, the sentience on the starship of the same name, is learning what it means to be part of a group, as it must work with the humans occupying the ship. At the same time Gaia is in contact with another cosmic entity she simply calls Saul, an entity that seems apathetic (at best) or even inimical to humanity. Saul introduces himself to Odysseus at the very end of the book and pretty much just mocks the kid.
Weston and his allies hold off the Empire for a month but finally the Empire makes it to the Priminae homeworld where the remaining ships helmed by Weston prepare for a do or die last stand. Only to have the Empire’s commander pull a fast one and head to Earth. Where the Earth pulls a rabbit out of a hat with Project Prometheus and is able to wipe out any object in known space with the power of a sun. They give the Empire Commander a stand down ultimatum and he wisely takes it.
The book ends with the Commander vowing to find and destroy this super-weapon and Earth and the Priminae taking a breath and gearing up for the long haul of a fight.
Overall, I was pleased with my read. It was typical Currie and the action was pretty good. He dips his toes into the subject of transgender and shows what a woke author he is by including a whole conversation of 2-3 paragraphs. Token-warriors, Unite! I am opposed to the whole transgender movement and even I found it insulting.
However, while I enjoyed the action, it is become evident that Currie is just going to keep writing these as ideas strike him. With a name like Odysseus Ascendant I kept waiting for the named Sentience to do something “Ascendant”. I think my idea of Ascendant has been ruined by how it was used in the Malazan Books of the Fallen, ie, ordinary ascending into the super. Oddyseus never ascends in that sense. I kept waiting for the ship to develop super powers or do something fantastic in the battles but nope, he just “learns” stuff. Throw in the deus ex machina of Project Prometheus and I just kind of rolled my eyes.
I won’t be reading any more by Currie. What pushed me over the edge was the introduction of “Saul”. We met Central, then Gaia and the Odysseus, but to introduce another being, and to leave neon bright signs of “mystery, mystery, mystery” that even Scooby and the Gang could pick up on was a direction that I just didn’t care for. I also changed the genre designation from SF to Fantasy. Currie goes from a science setting to a deeply fantastic setting where the only explanation, an honest one, is “magic”. Sure, he covers it up with quantum this and that and science blather, but the real meaning is “magic”.
“A Decent Read” about covers this book and series. It is no where near ending but I simply don’t have the patience or reading availability for just decent reads. If you like open ended military SFF, then give this a whirl. I think book 8 just came out recently?