The Blackgaard Chronicles book series was quite a surprise when it was announced in 2016. I first saw the news about a book series based on the Blackgaard Saga on the website AIO Update and was very excited about it. This is something that I thought would be pretty cool. The Blackgaard Saga is one of my favorite Odyssey sagas. When the first draft of book 1, Opening Moves, appeared on the Adventures in Odyssey Club in November 2016, I was very pleased with it. The many extra scenes added that were not heard in the episodes and the additional lines were all very fun to read. The books series expounds on the things going on in the saga is not shown in the episodes that the listeners did not know about. The newest one, book 5, Knight’s Scheme, was released in October 2020. It covered the events of “Waylaid in the Windy City”, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I am looking forward to the next one. Phil Lollar, the author, stated in a 2020 Q & A video session that book 6 will involve the “A Name, Not A Number” episodes. ASmouseInTheHouse wrote about the series in a guest post on The AIO Insider a while ago, so be sure to check that out. I’ll just say that I agree entirely with her thoughts.
The books have been solid so far. I have very high hopes for them. On the latest Q and A podcast on the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast, Phil Lollar said that all the Blackgaard Chronicles books will be out next year. So, sometime in mid to late 2023. In this post, I will be going through a few of the things that I am hoping will be done with the series in the future.
All Episodes + More Additional Information/Material
The first thing I hope for the rest of the series is something that is already being done: Additional details about the overall story being added across all the Odyssey episodes that each book covers. The Blackgaard Saga has a lot of episodes that connect. Each and every one of them is important and are connected. I hope all of them get covered in the books and that more additional information about Dr. Blackgaard’s plans is added to each one. So far, we have been getting this. Right with the first book, Opening Moves, we have new material with Phillip Glossman and Blackgaard giving instruction to him, which was great. I really enjoyed Cross Check since it showed Blackgaard’s plan and scheming to obtain the building for Blackgaard’s Castle. Lots of great additional material here. Phil Lollar has been doing an excellent job on this wish of mine, and I hope it continues as the series progresses.
However, this wish of mine might be in danger. I’ll explain as I go on.
Length and Number of Books
The question that people have asked is, how many books will there be in the series? This has been answered. On an episode of the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast in September 2017 Phil Lollar said they are shooting for a total of eight books to do everything in the series that needs to be done. During a Q & A session in the Adventures in Odyssey Club in March 2020, Dave Arnold said that there will be somewhere between eight and nine books in the series. And in the latest Q&A Podcast Phil Lollar stated that book 6 is complete and he’s working on book seven and eight and possibly a ninth book.
I was surprised to see this answer. Between eight and ten books? Only? And possibly a ninth book? I will be very disappointed if there will only be eight books. I’m really hoping there will be at least ten books. With all the extra scenes and information that is being added, it’s a unique opportunity to expound on storylines covered in the Blackgaard saga. I am really hoping that Phil Lollar is not restricting the material of each book to meet the estimated amount of books that they have said will be in the series. If that is the case, I’m afraid that it will all be too rushed. We are already at book 5 and are only at the “Waylaid in the Windy City” episodes. It has taken five books to cover nine out of thirty episodes in the saga. And I’m happy about that. This series needs a large number of books to vividly cover the events and the additional information of each and every one of the Blackgaard Saga episodes. But if Lollar is serious that there will be only eight books, I can only hope that things will not be cut from the books to accommodate this.
Unfortunately, it looks like this already may be the case and it may be too late to hope for an extensive series. In the 2020 Q & A video session, Phil Lollar spoke about writing book 6 of the series, covering “A Name, Not A Number”. He said that he said that he would have to “cram it all in” to the limited amount of pages that he has in the book. Phil Lollar went on to say that he wrote stuff about Blackgaard’s background, specifically the things Regis did in his younger years that tie into what he is doing now, that he “didn’t have room” to put in. He added that he had to make sacrifices because of “limited amount of space to write the story”. It could be, of course, that he is referring to the individual book that is really short. But even so, if the events of an episode are too short for one book, I think there should just be another book.
In addition to these comments, more recently, in the Q&A Podcast released on December 15, 2021, Phil Lollar stated that he has completed book 6 and that, “I’m working on book seven and book eight which deals primarily with the Darkness Before Dawn story arc, and that should close out the Blackgaard Chronicle books.” Once again, it seems as though it has been decided that only 8-9 books will be in the series.
If this is the case and that the books will merely be just the episodes themselves in book form with minimal additional material added, then I am going to be disappointed. It may come off as seeming too rushed. Please, AIO Team. Don’t limit yourself to a certain number of books. Why do that? If there is not enough space, then just make the book series longer. We want the full Blackgaard story, so just expand the series. I wouldn’t be opposed to more books. The Odyssey fans are more than happy to purchase all the books that will be in the series. Or at least I’m more than happy to.
Aftermath Episodes Covered
Another thing I’d like to see is the aftermath being covered. Phil Lollar has said that the series will go all the way up to the episode “The Final Conflict”. So far five books have been released, with the latest one covering the events of “Waylaid in the Windy City”. But I don’t think the end of “The Final Conflict” is a good way for the series to end. In the Official Guide, the Odyssey Team wanted to end Odyssey with album 25, but decided that there were too many unanswered questions. This led to episodes which dealt with the aftermath of the Blackgaard Saga. The same goes to the book series. The aftermath is very important at the end of a saga. AIO Update wrote an excellent editorial article in 2018 called A Time for Aftermath. I suggest you check it out.
“We need a breather between these action-heavy episodes. We need time to process everything that’s happened.”David Hilder, AIO Update editorial #31
As he said in the article, we need time to process everything and to see how the characters were impacted. The same goes to the books. I would like to see additional scenes with the thought processes of each person involved. It would be a time to tie up all loose ends and to show how each character has grown. If aftermath episodes outside the main episodes of the Blaackgaard Saga (such as “Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard”, or “Home, Sweet Home”) were covered, I would be very happy.
Unanswered Questions Answered
Despite several whole truckloads of information we have obtained from the Blackgaard Saga, there are still questions that haven’t been answered. Who was Blackgaard talking to on the phone in “The Battle, Part 2” before Maxwell comes in with the password? What happened to Gregory? What happened to Richard Maxwell? What happened to Sasha? I’m sure that these questions will be answered.
Ties into Young Whit Books
I’ll keep this one short, since I know we’re already getting this. The Young Whit Book series has been heavily tying into the Blackgaard Chronicles book series. I’m pretty sure this “Professor M” who Regis keeps referencing is Professor Mangle from the Yong Whit book series. Also, the journal from Whit’s grandfather which has “John Avery Whittaker” written on a page it is definitely the same one that Blackgaard keeps handling, except enclosed in plastic. There are tons of connections and I have a ton of theories as to how these connections from the Young Whit series will become more prominent in the Blackgaard Chronicles book series, but that’s another post for another time. Overall, the ties between the two series’ have been excellent and I look forward to seeing more of it in the next books.
Outline: How I’d like It
I will now give an outline of the episodes I would hope each book covers. I typed this up a long time ago, before it was announced that book 6 covers “A Name, Not A Number”, so some parts may be inaccurate.
Book 6 (Title will have something to do with Bishops): Covers the events of “The Homecoming” and then followed by “A Rathbone of Contention”. More importantly, “Double Trouble”, which introduces Regis’ twin, Edwin Blackgaard. It can continue to cover the events leading up to Whit leaving Odyssey. While it doesn’t need to cover the entirely of Eugene and Bernard’s road trip, it can show what the process of Whit leaving was like in Odyssey and the people’s reactions to that.
Book 7 (Title will have something to do with horses): This one should begin with concluding the events of Whit leaving and have the introduction of Jack Allen. Some of the events of “…But Not Forgotten” should be covered or at least mentioned here to establish Whit’s departure and Jack’s appearance. The episodes “Tom for Mayor” should also take a good chunk of this; Although I’m not sure how, I believe that Bart Rathbone’s election to be mayor was a pivotal part of Blackgaard’s plans but were ruined thanks to Eugene Meltsner and Sam Johnson. I’d like to see the details of how much of a devastating move this was to Regis and the results of it. Finally, “A Name, Not a Number” could be covered and carried on to the next book.
Book 8 (Title will have something to do with the King): This one can conclude “A Name, Not A Number” and then cover the events of “A Code of Honor” and the Darkness Before Dawn episodes.
Book 9 (Title will have something to do with Checkmate or Queen): Darkness Before Dawn episodes continue to be covered. It can end with Phillip Glossman declaring Whit’s End to be closed.
Book 10 (Title has something to do with final moves. Or name it “Zugzwang”, since that seems to fit.): Concludes the Darkness Before Dawn episodes. Covers the aftermath episodes such as, “Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard”. Maybe it can end with “Home, Sweet Home”.
That’s how I’d like it, anyway. I’m sure that the AIO Team has already planned the outlines for each book. I hope I’m not coming off as being very picky and complaining about the series. I am genuinely excited for whatever each of these books will hold. The AIO Team has been doing an excellent job with this content and I trust whatever plans they have in store for it are for the best. I look forward to what the future of this book series holds.
Whew, I certainly have a lot of Great Expectations for the Blackgaard Chronicles Book Series. What do you think of this series? Do you like it? Dislike it? Anything you’d like to see done in the books? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment!