The Engines of God (Priscilla

The Engines of God (Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins Series #1)

by Jack McDevitt

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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The first Priscilla Hutchins novel from Jack McDevitt, hailed by Stephen King as “the logical heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.”

Humans call them the Monument-Makers. An unknown race, they left stunning alien statues on distant planets in the galaxy. Each relic is different. Each inscription defies translation. Yet all are heartbreakingly beautiful.

And for planet Earth, on the brink of disaster, they may hold the only key to survival for the entire human race.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441002849
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/1995
Series: Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 300,320
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jack McDevitt is a former naval officer, taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. He is a multiple Nebula Award finalist who lives in Georgia with his wife Maureen.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The logical heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.”—Stephen King

Praise for The Engines of God

“Splendid. Not since Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama has the discovery of artifacts of alien intelligence been treated so skillfully.”—Baltimore Sun

“McDevitt gives us interstellar archeology rendered with mystery, deftly turned ideas, echoing atmosphere, and steady tension. He delivers a compelling tale with a steady hand.”—Gregory Benford

“McDevitt is at his best award-winning style in this intelligent and wide-ranging novel.”—Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Engines of God 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Hymae More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of believable SF novels. I came across this book a few years back and was instantly addicted. The entire series is wonderfully written, always introducing something new and interesting and I highly recommend it to SF fans!
Jo_Kuh More than 1 year ago
My first McDevitt, had heard hints somewhere that he's a fun writer of hardcore space opera. Has interesting broad sweeping plot ideas, and a satisfying notion of space exploration in the not too distant future when humans have recently figured out faster-then-light travel. Hutch Hutchins is a superb main character, a feisty, sharp, funny, highly skilled ship's captain. Engines of God is the first in the series starring her, betcha I'll read the whole set. This is Jamie Dillon, spouse of Jo Kuh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book opens up to the world of Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins who is a pilot that ferry scientists from Earth to other planets. There are times when things do not go as they plan and she does her best to help out the situation when needed. Especially when they visit the planet of Quraqua where scientists are trying to recover as much information from the descendents of the planet. With little time, they do what they can but sometimes the best made plans does not come together and Hutch is there trying to do the best she can in what she has.
The_Wolfie More than 1 year ago
The beginning of an engrossing series. McDevitt spins a great yarn, and the hype is right - his writing is as engrossing as the Clark "Rama" series, but more approachable in some ways. You'll find his books hard to put down, and you'll be glad that there are more in the series...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up by accident in a second hand store and was immediately engaged...While I think some of the premises regarding the attractant of the 'Dark Cloud' was specious at best...The book was well written and kept me reading...which is all that I can ask for from a hard SF choice...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This guy is a good writer but not in this book. I love SF specially hard SF and even more when archeology, antrhopolgy, history, mistery is involved that is why i bought this book, But this story fell short from what i expected. Simple things make a big difference. To start, why pick cities and right angles as the atractors in the story, is this what dertemines an advance civilization? Well if that was the case then i guess beings living in Spherical cities would avoid destruction. IF he would have picked the amount of energy the civilization uses or its electromagnetic output as the atractor for the dragon i would have given it a 5 stars. But.... Maybe this is not his best.. The story as a whole was not that bad, i mean the characters and all... I will try one more book from this author I already picked the ones i will read, it is about an alternative history something i like too..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read about a quarter way in and just not much happeming to keep me interested. Plot development is glacial..
DFY More than 1 year ago
SciFi with plot twists like a mystery. The outcome can't be predicted when you start. Seems like the start of a series, I'll try some more of the books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great read. Will interrupt your life. If you require concrete endings with everything tidied up and explained, well, you will have to come to the conclusion yourself. That was something I really liked about this one. I've bought it three times, lent it out each time and had to buy it again. Decided I would marry the man who already had it on his shelf, and found him last summer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! I couldn't put it down and wished it wouldn't end. It had everything: science, mystery, good character development, and carefully detailed thoughts and actions. Very well balanced. I highly recommend it!
mbg0312 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the big ideas of Jack McDevitt, and I enjoy that, unlike so much fantasy and sci-fi, he doesn't often depend on violence or the threat of violence to advance the plot and to create tension. This book, moving in several stages, begins to explore the mysteries surrounding dead civilizations that humans have discovered in their travels. Characters are a little less developed than I prefer, but I'm hooked and ready to read the next books in the series.
closedmouth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Reviewed October 8, 2008)McDevitt's sense of mystery and discovery is...amazing. It really is. There is so much pleasure to be gained from uncovering all the puzzles contained within this book.His character development needs some SERIOUS work, though. I lost count of the amount of times I rolled my eyes. But that's a pretty common shortcoming of SF, so it's not a huge issue.Good stuff.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a required read for a RL book group. I was dreading it because a previous encounter with the author was very frustrating. Another outing with alien archeology, but he took the whole book to set it up, rushed through the subject, never explored it, and seemed to leave it all for a follow up book. I was expecting the same with this book (uneven pacing, and writing about everything but the subject). I was wrong and pleasantly surprised.This book does deal with alien archeology. There are archeologists at a dig on a planet far away from earth. It was interesting, if a bit contrived - they have a deadline because a private company with government approval is going to terraform the planet and destroy the artifacts, and all lifeforms. Earth is crowded, hot and desperate. The characters were rather superficial and seemed to be stock. It tried to be SF, a thriller and a disaster book all in one. In fact it seemed to be very TV-ish. The writing is a bit wordy, but it does flow, and it kept my interest. The book also seems to be split into two different stories, the dig and then a group of characters follow a cosmic event that impacts the civilizations it passes by. They end up in place that has been more recently destroyed and go exploring. Bad things happen. I guess I rated it as high as I did because it was so much better than I expected. Others may be less generous. It is supposed to be the first in the series, and I am still ambivalent about reading further.Damning with faint praise I guess.
yale_kid_izzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable read. Very much enjoyed the political ramifications, the ethical and sociological discussion that permeated throughout the book. This is not a space opera, "look we're in space" science fiction book. It is about humanity and how we relate to space and the dangers that come from it in the upcoming centuries. More importantly, at least for me, it leaves to the reader to ponder about the uniqueness of man. Can man stop its destruction?You won't find out, but it will leave you thinking for sure.
harahel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hard science fiction at it's best. The title may be a turn off to some, but the mystery embedded within has little to do with an almighty power and everything to do with an ominous alien force.
BrowncoatLibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first step of McDevitt's "Hutch" series of books, "The Engines of God" is an outstanding achievement in the rapidly-dwindling pantheon of hard science fiction. However, it is perhaps most startling that the great achievement is due not to flashy technology or awesome starships, but rather the transplantation of the very terrestrial occupation of archeology to the stars. Following Priscilla Hutchins, pilot of superluminal (faster than light) spacecraft, the story is told in, effectively, three acts; as are many of McDevitt's books. Although McDevitt is famous - or, perhaps, infamous - for slow introductions, the revelation of the details in an archeological dig on the distant planet of Quraqua immediately hooks the reader in. McDevitt is careful in his revelations, never giving the reader quite enough to believe that they understand everything - a very real simulation of true archeology. However, when the essential villain steps in to disrupt peaceful academia, the introduction is not done with a sledgehammer. Rather than a clear-cut evil entity, the antagonist in the story instead becomes time itself - a deadline rather than an entity. While it is easy to lay blame on the corporation imposing the deadline, the justifications given are enough to plant the seed of doubt in the reader's mind.McDevitt sets the tone for the rest of his works in the structure of the plot for this book. Just when the story seems concluded, it is revealed that the "concluding" events are actually just a segue into what could very well be the thrust of the story. Best of all, McDevitt does not achieve this effect through sudden introduction of plot or person, but rather by tying up loose ends introduced much earlier in the story. The evidence is always visible to the reader, and McDevitt masterfully ties the loose ends together into a hook for the second half of the book.Filled with very real human moments and breathtaking descriptions of alien worlds, "The Engines of God" is a book for any hard science fiction fan. McDevitt does not "cheat" on his science fiction, and explains with open hands exactly how his universe works - a trait that has been vanishing from the genre in recent years. Science fiction fans will not be disappointed.-BrowncoatLibrarian
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
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