- Exciting ground and space combat against the Drasin
- Some revelations regarding entities like Gaia
- Pacing is great with plot keeping readers turning pages
- Still frustratingly little information about the Drasin, their (former) keepers, or the background of the Priminae
Out of the Black Review
Out of the Black by Evan Currie continues the thrilling story that is Odyssey One. Book 4 of the series so far delivers the most action-packed scenes from the series—Captain Weston is back on the ground fighting the Drasin on Earth. And just as in space, he’s proving himself just as deadly.
One of the interesting consequences of an alien invasion is the sudden cooperation among all the nations on Earth. While Reagan may not be a popular president today, he did make an interesting statement to the United Nations in 1987. He said:
Perhaps we need some outside universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”Ronald Reagan to the United Nations 1987
It took just this threat of extinction from the Drasin to eliminate perhaps one of the weaknesses in the series: the bipolar system that governed the majority of Earth’s countries. The alliances would not be too surprising to long-time science fiction readers today since they’re primarily based on geography. For instance, China and India somehow manage to overcome their differences and partner up against the West.
In fact, what the stories show is that the differences among humans seem a bit insignificant and shallow. Differences in ideology, culture, beliefs, and practices may seem overwhelmingly large and insurmountable, but in the face of great disaster, both in fiction and in real life, people tend to drop those concerns.
What the story delivers more of is the action that readers have come to love. Whereas ground combat was lacking in the third book, this book makes up for its absence and more. Weston pilots what is essentially a giant robot, and he’s equipped with a Priminae weapon that essentially shoots nukes. Yet even that’s not enough to overcome the Drasin.
The Terrans who have escaped from Earth during the initial invasion return in this story equipped with more powerful weapons, combining Priminae technology with deadly Earth concepts and weapons. And the result is a turnaround that is satisfying to read.
More is revealed about Gaia, or Mother Earth, or whatever that entity is, and the mystery deepens, especially when Gaia explores the new Priminae-Human ship Odysseus. Still, frustratingly little is known about what she is and what role she plays in the story.
Regardless, this unification of Earth toward a single goal and the elimination of all differences toward a common cause makes the story a little easier to follow—it’s difficult to know who to root for when there are two factions on Earth fighting separately against a common threat.
Out of the Black by Evan Currie is an exciting continuation of Odyssey One that delivers loads more of the action and suspense readers have come to expect and love. Whether or not humanity, at least on Earth, can survive still remains to be seen, but there’s still hope and an eager anticipation for the next book in the series.
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