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on September 26, 2012
!!! --- WARNING - HERE BE SPOILERS!!! --- !!!

OK, so I prepurchased this book and it was waiting for me yesterday morning. I started reading last night and finished it up this evening. (When I began, my first thought was "Cool 600+ pages, things must be wrapped up in the sequel." More on that in a moment.)

While I enjoyed reading this book, it seemed to be missing something from the first book. To me, it seemed the first book had an underlying sense of urgency and desperation in the battle scenes that the sequel doesn't have. Or maybe it was the lack of "new" horrors the crew were exposed to in the sequel.

I was glad to see the author had the colonials come up with some gee-whiz weaponry of their own, namely the diamond firing rifles, instead of having the colonials seem like naive children and letting the Terrans come up with something entirely new to use on the Drasin.

There was a head scratcher or two, such as "Why didn't they fire up the transition drive and return to Ranquil as soon as they figured out they were about to be pulled into the Dyson construct?". But there was nothing that seriously interfered with the story, and I enjoyed this book enough to finish reading it rather quickly. One thing about the book I don't like is that even at 600+ pages, this book is a continuation of the story, and now I have to wait months and months for the third installment to be published!
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VINE VOICEon September 6, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have bad luck when it comes to picking vine books at times because I seem to pick a book that is the second or the third in a series. This problem causes me to be at a lost with the lack of a background story. Several reviewers have stated to read the first one, or you will be lost. I must be lucky then, while there are references to the first book, I had no trouble following the story. So go figure!

This is not a small book. It is a solid 627 pages. The chapters are short and crisp. The story flows and I had no problem with keeping the characters straight. There is action and the action prose is swift and to the point with no extra adjectives.

The description of equiment is quite clear to my mind. I found the idea of Central, while not clear as to what it is, to be one of my favorite things. The author uses Central to put forth ideas about bravery and humanity. These small snipettes of moral issues didn't bother me.

I also like the concept of how close the two worlds were but just a hair off to make things interesting. The villians have this thing for red that is cool. All In all I enjoyed this book and look forward to more.

P.s. The author has created a very nasty surprise with his Drasin. There is a spot toward the end of the book where a Navy Seal presents a very interesting idea that when thought about will provide a very interesting next novel.
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on September 26, 2012
I enjoyed this book, as I enjoyed the last book, and yes it did leave me wanting more. I guess my biggest reason for not giving it 5 stars was simple that it didn't really answer any questions, and left you with a lot more. It felt like watching Lost, enjoyable but you never get any of the questions you had answered. Adding one chapter at the end with the Captains discussion with central could have left it with many questions, wanting more, but actually answered some of them. Instead we were left with the same questions from the old book, plus a few more. Character development wasn't as much as I'd hoped for the sequel, and some of the main characters from the first book that were my favorite recieved almost no place at all. Those are my only gripes. All in all a very good book, strongly recommended, along with the first one.
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on October 22, 2012
The author has done a very good job of mixing human interactions, relatively easy to understand physics and space battles. It is one of those books you keep returning to in order to find out what happens next. It is evident, however, that the publisher and author want to spread out the full story over several books so that all questions raised in this first book hopefully can be answered eventually.
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on September 28, 2012
Odyssey , The Heart of Matter. I am not so certain we got to the heart of the matter. Rather it felt like there were more questions than answers prompted by the second Odyssey volume. While interesting , it's focus wasn't as clear and crisp as Into The Black. Expectations were high for this sequel, Into the Black was very good. It was clear Into the Black wasn't meant as a stand alone story but it did feel complete. While Heart of Matter is not really a stand alone book either it did not feel as self contained as complete and it would suffer a bit with out the momentum of the first book. It was good, but was it as good as Into the Black? Possibly not but it is a sequel and it was interesting.
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on June 9, 2014
I really really liked "Into the Black" I thought it was really well written, had a great story with a lot of fast paced action. I wish I could say the same for "The Heart of Matter"

I was expecting the same fast paced action packed story but that is not what I got. There was some action but it was constantly interrupted by long winded boring techno speak describing in too much detail how weapons. drives, computers, shuttles, fighters etc worked. Evan, dude, have you ever heard of a footnote? Put a footnote number by these things then put a glossary in the back of the book and right techno babble all you want so the rest of us who are more interested in the story than how the gadgets work can get on with reading the story.

I love my kindal, because I can flick through all those boring pages to get back to the story. It's like watching an action movie on TV that's riddled with commercials only these commercials come much more frequently and last way too long.

I really like the story and wanted to find out what was going to happen. I almost deleted it a couple times because it got bogged down by scientific explanations. The first book had some explanations, enough to make me understand what he was talking about but not so much that it annoyed me. This was incredibly ANNOYING! I really want to read the third book in the series but I'm afraid it's going to be filled with even more of the back story being repeated and more techno babble. Seriously Evan are you writing a story or a tech manual? I wouldn't have been surprised if he would have included schematics.

When you get to the juicy bits there is a lot of action but just when the action builds it's time for a techno babble commercial so all the tension falls off. It's almost like he wrote this book to convert it into a TV show because he sets up us over and over with a lot of action then switches to another place and different situation. I know he's doing this to convey that everything is happening at the same time but it's annoying.

This could be a great book in the hands of an editor who isn't afraid to use the red pen and do some serious slashing. This book could easily lose 100 pages and be a much more satisfying read. It makes em wonder if he rushed to press because the first book was so popular? Next time take the time you need to get it right before you publish, it will work out for the best, in the end.
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on July 23, 2014
I think that authors without direct military experience should probably avoid writing military fiction. Especially military sci/fi. For minimal gain this author has pushed into a genre he clearly doesn't have the background for when he could have just as easily lightened up on the military aspect and gone more 'space opera' with this series.

The most aggravating is the lack of attention to detail. One of the characters started the book as a Staff Sergeant and somehow shows back up as a Master Sergeant. That's an impressive career tract. However, the most impressive is the complete vocational transition of a character from book 1. Dr. Palin is the linguistic specialist in book one who somehow in book two has become the Chief Medical Officer. I'm not sure how this happened, and I'm kind of worried about the original CMO, Dr. Rame. I hope he's okay.

Other than that and the author sometimes forgetting the names of his own characters (there's one part where he uses both the first and last name of one character over the actual two different names of the people there), it's an interesting if somewhat predictable story arc.

Mr. Currie, if you're going to continue to write military sci/fi, contact me. I'll proof it for you, clean up your rank structure, make recommendations for officer/enlisted interactions and edit the various mistakes that just generally populate the story.
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I love reading Science Fiction and I can't get enough of good science fiction books. I would rather read a book than watch TV or play a computer game.

This book by Evan Currie is very good. It is full of action and adventure and the scenarios of the battles taking place on a planet and in space are expertly done. It is interesting as the main characters use strategic decisions and tactical ones to position themselves to win in some serious combat scenarios.

This book for me is a good balance between someone crafting an imaginative look into the future and the science that has been developed to allow them to travel and how humans may find their first adventures into interstellar space. Mankind is making friends with an advanced alien civilization while becoming involved in an interstellar war that could affect the future for all intelligent life in the galaxy.

After reading three of Evan Currie's books and enjoying them I am now hooked and waiting for the fourth release in this saga. If you are going to start reading this series you should read them in order as they will make more sense to you. Here is the order of the books:

1. Into The Black
2. The Heart of the Matter
3. Homeworld
4. Out of the Black (Due to be released July 8, 2014)

I rated this book as a 5 star story and I liked it!
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on October 22, 2012
This, the second novel in the Odyssey series, continues on from the first. The plot is as well conceived as the first novel and the action moves things along too. This story has the feel of a Star Trek episode as did the first. If you liked the previous book, you may also enjoy this next adventure with characters that are now familiar in a slightly different story arc. The writing style flows easily enough and the technical details are as understated as in the previous story. An enjoyable read.
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I finally got around to reviewing book one from this series "Into the Black" yesterday, then finished this second book in the series last night. Book-2 picked up right where the first left off without skipping a beat. Pretty much the same characters, action, plot and dialog. Problem is this book really does NOT delve very much further into "The Heart of the Matter" as titled. We find a little more information on the Primanae's "god force?" ... but not enough to get a clear picture of what it entails. Same with the Drasin. Really good scifi (like the "Dune and Star Wars" series) include an interesting philosophical background to give their series a more interesting potential for its readers. So far Currie has been kind of weak in these first two books on substance. I'm hoping books three and four will be more enlightening and introspective. New reviews on both to soon follow.
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