The Odyssey A5 (ish) exercise book is a slim, fairly simple notebook. There's very little branding on it (a 'label' style box on the front and the name and website of the company on the back). The cover is cream card, there are 48 pages of 68 gsm Tomoe River paper, the pages are numbered, and line spacing is 7mm. The size is almost A5 at 148 x 202mm (true A5 is 148 x 210mm). The paper is sourced from Japan, the cover from China, and the final product is assembled in Maryland, USA.
It feels like not that long ago, everyone was talking about Tomoe River disappearing, never to be written on again...
According to The Gentleman Stationer:
After a lot of back-and-forth over whether the paper was truly gone forever, it was announced that Japanese paper company Sanzen had purchased the formula and naming rights from Tomoegawa, and Tomoe River Paper would go back into production.
The paper in the Odyssey notebook is the original 68 gsm Tomoe River paper by Tomoegawa. Sanzen is only making the 52 gsm 'new' Tomoe River.
The 68gsm Tomoe River was always the slightly more user-friendly version as far as I was concerned, since it's possible to use both sides of the paper (though that was a little nib-dependent. Huge, very wet nibs could still be a bit of a challenge).
Page numbering style. There are 48 pages in the A5 exercise book
I did a pen and pencil test on the back page. Even my fairly wet nibs had little show-through to the other side, and what there was, was perfectly acceptable (to me, and I can be a bit fussy over this!).
I found there to be a little 'tooth' to the paper. If I'm being totally honest, I didn't especially like writing in it in pencil (Scrib may well disagree with me on this!), but writing in fountain pen was lovely. Pencil seemed a bit too much like hard work and the pencil lines didn't seem as dark as with other paper (but as I write largely on Clairefontaine or Rhodia paper, I may just be used to the smoothness of that paper).
Nero is stocking a range of Odyssey products, but stock levels are all fairly low, so if you fancy one of the books, order soon. I've just ordered myself one of the 496 page A5 books.