Jack Geary is dropped into a military fleet command in which he must transform the contemporary leadership practices and tactics in order to get the fleet home. I enjoyed his thoughtful analysis of the people and situation. He learns from his commanders as they learn from him. Well, some learn from him, others don't have an open mind. There are some parallels in the story to my work, so in a way I learned too. Maybe that's why I liked it so much.
The first book in a series set up to allow the author to keep churning out more books as long as they sell, the premise is a "long retreat" as Captain Geary leads his Alliance fleet away from a devastating defeat in the Syndic homeworlds.
The ingredients are all standard military SF, with an untested commander having to deal with discipline problems, subordinates who don't trust him, and an implacable, two-dimensional enemy.
The battles are described in great detail, and you can almost picture pieces moving across the screen as the narrator describes ship components, weapons options, and strategy and tactics.
Worldbuilding and characterization is sparse, but for fans of space combat stories, this is a decent listen.
I have a B.S. in physics and love sci-fi and fantasy, but the world mechanics had better be self-consistent!
The main character is two-dimensional. The other characters have even less depth.
After reading rave reviews of the realism of the battles, I was disappointed by the space physics encountered. For example, the ships underwent turbulence when "decelerating." In space, all motion is relative. With no medium to move through, a spaceship should behave the same way when accelerating in any direction. It makes no sense to assign consequences to opposing the direction of acceleration to the direction of motion.
It's a good, simple military adventure story.
This book explores the stupidity of human beings both individually and in groups. The main character struggles to keep his charges from dying due to pure stupidity and stubborness in the face of politicians who oppose him.
I don't think anything could have done that. The novel is simplistic - the bad guys clearly represent Communists - dry and boring. The author uses the fact that the hero is 100 years out of date to deliver lectures on how all the technology works "now". For heaven's sake, show, don't tell! And the narrator's choice to make the bad guys sound like Stewie from Family Guy does not help at all!
If Campbell wants to focus on space battles rather than character development, fine. But then those space battles have to be well written and exciting, not dull and repetitive. The characters are one-dimensional foils for the hero - we don't even know what they look like. It would have been so much more enjoyable if Campbell had spent a little bit of time letting us get to know the characters and understand them so that we could care about their fates.
Rummel: Nasal, clenched-teeth, Stewie.
Anger at the author - disappointment that I wasted a credit on this.
You want space battles? Read Star Ship Troopers.
a voracious reader transformed into an obsessive listener through the magic of MP3's. A boring accountant and federal public servant by day, I fly the winds of fantasy though my audible library
I return to this audiobook frequently, enjoying the pleasure of vicariously learning leadership lessons and the art of diplomacy through a novel. It has to be in the top 10 series that I have read and now... listened to.
Although sci-fi at its finest, the depth of character development, the leadership lessons and the feeling of "i want to be there with black jack" keeps you wanting to be a greater part of the story.
I have not had the opportunity to follow Christian Rummel's work but I am now on the lookout for more.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
Yes, I did listen to most of it in one night. I had less than two hours left and I was so caught up in it that I went ahead and got the next three books in the series so I could start right into them.
I really liked Dauntless. I've never read any of the Star Trek books but I loved the television show and Dauntless was like a mix of that and Battlestar Galactica. There is a lot of military strategy in the story, but that's one of the things I liked about it.
Where this story really shines is in the main character's struggle to lead a star fleet against his own subordinates who are either incompetent or openly opposing him or both.
The reader does a great job. He embodies the main character and gives unique voices and accents to all the supporting characters. He's a top notch narrator.
My only complaint (or maybe it's a question) is the cover picture. This isn't much of a concern. It's just that the cover was the first thing that caught my attention. Then I saw the good reviews and decided to take a chance on it. I'm glad I did. This book was awesome, but the cover (besides being really cool) has absolutely nothing to do with the story. I know that the saying is "don't judge a book by the cover" but I never saw the sense in that saying. I mean, if the publisher can't be bothered with making a cool cover for a book why should I bother reading it?
Anyway... there you have it. Get this audio book. It's good.
This book was OK. I am going to read the next book, and probably the other four too, because I do want to know what happens next! The pace was good and both the premise and the ongoing story were enough to suck me in and keep me going to find out what was going to happen next.
Dauntless was pretty obviously written as the launching point for a series, which explains the somewhat abrupt ending - a convenient point in the story for a pause, but without resolving anything and having only barely laid out who's who, what's going on and why.
I liked the general idea of the story but there are several significant elements of the plot that really didn't make sense, although Mr Campbell performs some plausible justification. The most difficult to swallow for me was the level of ability that the Alliance fleet members displayed, it just didn't make sense to me that a fleet that's been fighting for 100+ years could possibly be as inept as they were painted prior to Jack's thawing. The belabouring of (what I assume is) an emergent plot point in the closing chapters of the book was also somewhat heavy-handed.
The character definition left something to be desired, I think all of the characters are pretty one-dimensional (although I'm holding out hopes for at least one of them) and even the universe itself is sparsely painted, although there are welcome detours into detail when something needs to be explained, usually in order for the fleet to interact with it plausibly.
I enjoyed the descriptions of the fleet battle tactics and general considerations of high speed battles over very large distances but for the most part this appears to be an exercise in translating current/historical ocean-going tactics into three dimensional space but with bigger guns and (technologically unexplained) energy weapons and shielding.
Mr Rummel did a pretty good job, managing distinct, plausible and recognisable characters (although the Scottish? accent for one of the captains probably wasn't a good idea). This version also has music bookending it and it's stuck in between two of the latter chapters as well for some reason (possibly this is where two CD's were joined together) but it's low enough that it doesn't prevent the story from being heard.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
This book is better than the sum of its parts. The story isn't stellar, but it's solid, same goes with the performance. However, it can be seen that Campbell has big plans for how the series can play out. There's a lot of deeper things going on than just the Syndics vs. the Alliance. However, we just were teased about it in this book. One of the things that detracts most from this story is that it doesn't stand alone. It just sort of ends, and we're meant to pick up book 2. I like it when books in a series have a clear stopping point, so that if I don't start the next one right away, I don't feel like stopped in the middle. It's just disappointing because the action is written well, and the dialogue is sharp. I enjoyed this book will pick up the next one in the series, but I wasn't compelled to jump right in to book 2.
I am on book 4 now, and I continue to be pleasantly surprised at the high quality of each and every book so far! I look forward to my drives to and from work, just so I can listen to the next chapters - often wishing that my commute was longer. The narrator does a fantastic job also!
Audible is the balm for an itch I can't scratch that sits right between my ears.
The story has promise, a never ending war and a warrior from the past brought back to lead an armies last ditch effort. However I can only describe it as hard to listen to. The main characters reluctance is driven home again and again and not a lot actually occurs as far as driving the storyline for the length of the book, I felt every minute of it. The space combat is also passable, neither action packed and nail biting or detailed and interesting.
I will come back to the series if there is nothing else available. However I would recommend the Honor Harrington series, Early Vorkosigan series, The Expanse amongst many others over the Lost Fleet at this point.