Et Cetera

The Words & Writings of Sean Richmond

Into the Black: Odyssey One Review

And we're back. Things have been slow, but we forge ahead with another review (and one in the pipeline). For now, let's talk about Into the Black: Odyssey One by Evan C. Currie, shall we?


The book takes place roughly a hundred years in the future (or so, it's never precisely stated). We follow our hero, Captain Eric Weston of the NAC Odyssey on its maiden voyage, a mission that sends humanity outside of our own solar system for the first time. Exploration is the goal, but because of the recent end to the war, they go armed with some of the latest weapons and defenses, and crewed by hardened warriors who had no place in the uneasy peace on Earth.

I must say, I really wasn't expecting much from this. It starts off slow, and almost too cheesily for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I love cheese. Love it. But if it's not entertaining cheese, then I won't give it the time to grow into something more entertaining.

Fortunately for me, Into the Black became extremely entertaining cheese. I don't want to spoil too much, but I will say that the story continues with the Odyssey discovering an alien race under attack by something that just about every military SF book encounters: bugs. There is a lot of homage going on here, so much that there are a few characters that even point out how it seems like they're in an old SF novel.

Currie completely won me over when the phrase for marines on the move is "on the bounce!", something that none of them know where it orginates, only that it has something to do with the fact that they're wearing powered armor, and supposedly there was a book about powered armor way back when where the soldiers would say that. The Heinlein-homages are plentiful, and welcome.

The book also revels in the "humans are born killers" trope common in military-SF, most notable in the Man-Kzinn Wars books. In Into the Black, humans are less advanced technologically in most aspects. Our laser weapons barely rate above a comm-system compared to the aliens, but in the crucible of several World Wars, we've learned how to use what we have, and use that ability to great effect.

Honestly, I liked this book way, way more than I thought I would. Will it make any top 10 lists for me? Probably not, but I will highly recommend it for some light, fun reading that you can sit back and just soak in.

Rating: 8/10

Audible Edition Rating: 8/10