If you like wordy science fiction in the vein of the masters Asimov and Clarke then this will be a delight to read. Humanity watches as another world is in engulfed by an Omega cloud. They are determined to help but must do so with out beind discovered.
author is always interesting.....
good old-fashioned hard science fiction, with a problem to be solved, a mystery to unravel, and likable characters
"'Omega' may be one of the best Jack McDevitts I've read so far. He stopped relying on tense-jam-everyone-must-get-out-of after tense-jam-everyone-must-get-out-of and started delving into ideas with more focus than he's shown in this series since the first novel, "The Engines of God". He raises some interesting questions about religion and human nature without beating you over the head with a message, and wraps it up in a pretty good yarn with some fine moments. Some aspects of the alien society he creates are a little difficult to swallow in that they're way too human - but in some ways, that's kind of the point. The civilization presented here are an innocent, almost idealized version of what we could be if we abandoned war and the like."
- Eric San Juan
A fascinating book of the series. The Omega Clouds were a fascinating construct when introduced, and I was glad to see them revisited in this adventure. In the future of space exploration, we discover these clouds that seem programmed to wipe out anything in their path that shows geometric regularity, endangering Earth and other planets that previously or currently host intelligent life.
When a cloud breaks formation and heads to a planetary system, a society is discovered that has much in common with humanity, but is unaware of the danger they are in. How do we intervene in an ancient Greek/Roman level society to save the lives of the citizens with limited time?
Hutch takes on the Omega clouds again, but this time as an bureaucrat. Her role is now pretty limited, which is too bad as I think she is a more interesting character than the others in this story. Stuck on Earth she doesn't get to do much except answer the phone in the middle of the night. The plot unfolds pretty much the same as the others in this series - a major discovery, limited resources with which to explore it, a few characters make decisions that get them killed. It's kind of fun to look at the cast in the beginning and bet which of them won't make it. I would have liked the Goompahs to be a bit more alien, but that might be a different story. The very end of the book has a great sentence: "I wonder what we would have done if they were barbarians. Or looked like insects." Also a solution to the Omega clouds! That was interesting, and the reason for them was as good as any.
Like the other McDevitt books I've read this was a love hate relationship. I enjoyed the story A LOT, but he drifts off into silly side stories that add nothing to the plot and just annoy the reader. I think he does it to heighten suspense, but after reading a few of his book I've learned to skim about 50% of the text and get to the interesting parts.
Omega had an above average ending for a McDevitt book. I give him 3 stars due to his outstanding imagination and his ability to keep me interested even while slogging through his literary mud.
For a quarter of a century, humanity has watched as the malignant omega clouds have destroyed every civilization they have come across. Now, it's Earth's turn--but not for another nine hundred years. A cloud switched direction, heading straight for a previously pre-technical alien society. Suddenly, the need to find a method for the omega's destruction becomes urgent, as a handful of brave humans, scientists, and military alike, try to save an entire world-without revealing their existence...