King of Thieves (Odyssey One: Star Rogue) by Evan Currie
King of Thieves: The world of the bestselling Odyssey One series grows in this new stand-alone adventure, as Earth’s survivors face devastating new challenges in the wake of an alien conflict. Battered and mourning tremendous losses, the once fractious peoples of enemy nations must work together to rebuild their shattered world—and prevent the possibility of their attackers’ return. What they don’t know is that a new, deadlier enemy unlike anything they’ve ever faced will usher in the dawn of another war.
Captain Morgan Passer commands the Rogue Class destroyerAutolycus, charged with an interstellar recon mission to detect traces of the repelled enemy while gathering information for the fortification of Earth’s defenses. What the expedition finds instead is a deeply disturbing mystery: a discovery that redefines everything they thought they knew about Earth’s place in the galaxy…and reveals deadly new horrors. Former enemies unite for their own survival, and Passer and his intrepid crew seek answers to help them save their people. Instead, they find that the invasion may be over, but the danger is just beginning.
About the Author
Evan Currie is the bestselling author of the Odyssey One series, the Warrior’s Wings series, and more. Although his post-secondary education was in computer sciences, and although he has worked in the local lobster industry steadily over the last decade, writing has always been his true passion. Currie himself says it best: “It’s what I do for fun and to relax. There’s not much I can imagine that’s better than being a storyteller.”
By Talvi TOP 100 REVIEWER
I’ve really enjoyed Currie’s Odyssey One stories and King of Thieves is in that same vein: plenty of action, a wide cast of unique and relatable characters, and plenty of space opera. It’s a winning combination that keeps readers invested in the story as each book reveals more and more about the Drasin menace. King of Thieves has a new cast of characters and can be treated as a stand alone or introduction to the series without comprehension or spoiler issues. Of course, I’m going to recommend starting with the first in the series because I have enjoyed it so much.
Story: The Autolycus is one of the last Earth built ships – a stealth model that doesn’t have all the new, world-shattering energy sources of the Priminae. But that ‘old school’ tech is stealthier and more mobile as a result. While Eric Weston has a new command (on a Priminae-earth hybrid set of ships called Heroics) and a new mission, Captain Morgan Passer is assigned to take the Autolycus out to examine an anomaly and determine that it isn’t a Dyson Construct. What the Auto finds, however, could very well tip the balance of war – if the crew survives long enough to bring their information back home to a Drasin-ravaged Earth. For if there is one thing upon which both Weston and Passer agree – it’s that the Drasin isn’t the problem – it’s the people who unleashed them that need to be taken out.
Although most of the cast is new, the quirky linguist, Dr. Palin, was brought back to create more mayhem among the crew. As well, tension is introduced through the inclusion of individuals from The Block – Weston’s former enemy. They have gravity technology integrated into the Autolycus that make the ship especially useful for escaping detection. But a Block second in command and several engineers mean that old hostilities and grudges are going to be problematic.
I did have a minor quiblle: as much as I enjoyed the book, I did feel let down a bit by the plot. For me, there was too much an homage to Aliens and Star Trek; that ended up pulling me out of the story or made the plot feel recycled. A lot of the Aliens plot is used wholesale – and several dialogues were nearly verbatim out of the Aliens movie (I think Currie must have really liked Paxton’s pvt. Hudson since several of his lines were in there). As well, references to “red shirts” is an ok joke but then to name the Autolycus’ Engineer ‘Doohan’ (I can only assume as an homage to James Doohan who played the Star Trek Original Series Engineer Scotty) and another Engineer ‘Scott’ seemed a bit much. I don’t want to feel like I am fed little winks or fanboy reduxes – I am looking to enjoy original stories. Every time I read Doohan, I got distracted and wanted to go watch an old Star Trek rerun.
The above aside, I greatly enjoyed King of Thieves. Currie has such a great way of creating likeable and engaging characters that the multiple POVs never get annoying as they do in other books. I still prefer to not get alien POVs (it makes them sound too human or anthropomorphic) but there are maybe 1-2 quick alien POVs this time around. Once I started this story, I really didn’t want to put it down.
There is a great mystery and plenty of exploration – the things that Currie writes best. He also takes a lot of time to explain the science, most of which deals with what gravity can do (or not do). I can’t vouch for the validity of the science but it added legitimacy without overwhelming the human side of the story.
For those who want a taste of the Odyssey One series but without the huge commitment of the large first volume, this is a fairly safe way to get a feel for the story without the problem of major spoilers or getting lost. It’s about a separate crew on a separate mission but it ties in with the main plot due to what they find and what it means for the next stage of the war with the Drasin.
In all, I greatly enjoyed King of Thieves and highly recommend it. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.