Odysseus Awakening (Odyssey One Book 6)
by Evan Currie
Review by Ernest Lilley
47North Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: B072X9Q6VM
Date: 12 December 2017
Odysseus Awakening is book six in Evan Currie's highly successful Odyssey One series, which started off with a classic formula; Earth's first starship venturing out into the cosmos and bringing home allies and enemies. After helping the peace-loving Priminaerans get their war mojo back to defend their systems against the Drasin, a ravening robotic swarm that leaves planets stripped clean to build more Drasin, we engaged in the last book with the Empire behind the Drasin, a humanoid race that the Priminae appear to have split from over their ideological differences. The Empire comes down on the totalitarian and conquest side and the Prims on the idyllic Greek culture side. Over the books, the energies loosed in conflicts have grown exponentially, and now both sides are tossing around what are essentially planet-buster-level munitions.
The central figure in all these books is Eric Weston--former Marine, former cybernetically enhanced fighter pilot in Earth conflicts, now the lead in humanities defense of the Solar System, and as we all know, the only good defense is a good offense. Knowing we're outmatched by the size of the Empire, Eric is determined to show them that we're not the soft target they were looking for, no matter the cost. Now a commodore (for his sins, don't you know) and about to take his fleet, a mix of slugfest ready battleships and stealthy destroyers out on patrol, when a Priminae system goes dark, a pretty good indication of Imperial incursion. So, off we go into the wild black yonder once again.
He's pitted against Navarch Misrem, his opposite number in the Empire, whom he soundly defeated in their first full-on encounter with the human/Priminae fleet, she's back with more ships and looking for a fight, sure, but more than that she wants solid intel on the technologies that the anomaly race (that's us, folks) have brought to the table, and she's not leaving the field of battle without it.
Too bad they're on opposite sides because together they'd be a match made in both heaven and hell.
During all that, things are getting downright weird on Weston's flagship. Controls that fight their operators, specters in corridors, reactors running beyond their limits. As if they didn't have their hands full taking on a superior force.
The buildup to battle is a tad slow, but once it's joined readers are in for an epic slugfest between warships, as well as some very intense boarding action as a rescue mission turns into a firefight on board a crippled Priminae ship. Speaking of which, I think the author scores a first with his concern for thermal bloom as a limiting factor in shipboard fighting. Space is cold, but that doesn't mean it's easy to get rid of waste heat, and it's easy to see how energy weapons and good old ballistics can make for a hot time.
Odysseus Awakening marks the second clash between Weston and the Navarch. We'll have to see whether the Imperials insights into Terran tech or Eric's insight into his ship tip the balance in what's sure to come.