I found the war sequences to be entertaining and the stuff in between to be cumbersome. However, I quickly got through the audiobook and promptly ordered the next book in the series. So if you like military science fiction and can overlook some weaknesses, pick it up.
I love that Jack captured the essence of a soldier's view of the world, and how that can go wrong when officers become politicians that treat them like numbers -- losing the battlesense that you can only get with real time on the ground -- not micro-managing from afar.
Stark himself is what soldiers aspire to be.
Understand, that I like Jack Campell's writing a lot but the Stark series is not to my taste. The writing is well executed but the subject matter itself is the sort of thing one would expect from a person working out a psychological problem rather than spinning a good yarn. Basically, this is a story about how management is full of people who are not very smart, not very nice and only interested in furthering their own interests. This is a theme that gets hammered over and over. And over. While there are certainly a lot of things that can be said about micro management after a while it gets a bit boring.
Well written. The theme itself was simply not interesting.
I'm an instructor in the business college at a university in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy hard scifi and books about how the brain works.
Other reviewers have mentioned that there's a lot of whining, and oh boy, there is. That's the drawback. It's also sort of one-dimensional on the characters. At one point, Stark says he's a "have a beer, then have another beer" kind of guy when talking about the kind of women he would date, but that's not really how his character comes across, maybe because of how the narrator voices him (very bass and commanding). Stuff I enjoyed: some good humor, interesting take on how the future could play out if technology allows officers to ride shotgun and interact with any soldier during a battle.
Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
Love the Lost Fleet series but I just cannot get into Stark's War. It just seems to lack any real dramatic force. I won't be getting the other's int his series but will be waiting for the final installment of the "Lost Fleet" Sorry Mr Hemry.
Potter in NC. Intense books allow for creative freedom. Busy hands+distracted brain=free forms.
I spent my military service without ever meeting the brainless leaders inferred to by Mr. Campbell. His forward nailed the problem with this book--He was venting his feelings about his superiors rather than focusing on his story. Sorry, I couldn't bring myself to finish the book after the first hour. I have too much respect for our Military.
This review is about the entire series:
I am a big fan of John G. Hemry, and I realize that this is his first series. My major objection to this entire series is that the language is too clean. John is censoring the language and it takes away from the realism of the combat. Why does he do this? I do not know. I find it frustrating that language is more offensive than describing people getting their limbs torn off.
Let’s face facts. Combat is a dirty, ugly business. Combat soldiers swear, and call their enemies some of the most racist, ugly names you can imagine. This series lacked the grit that would have made it exciting and believable.
The only redeemable thing about this entire story is the underlying messages. But it is simply not worth putting up with the oatmeal blandness. I want gumbo!
I picked up this book looking for some old-timey sci-fi silliness but instead it was more like a man with a grudge against inflamed military oversight ranting through the whole book about how it will be the end of justice. Ultimately it was slow, predictable, ostentatious, and quite disappointing. Perhaps for people who have been under the thumb of military micro-management this will be a welcome story from a kindred soul but otherwise I'd steer clear.