I knew going into this that this was the first book of a series and about a quarter of the way into it, I realized I would only get a snippet from this book. There are first books that can stand on their own and ones that just set up the next installment in the series. I was hoping for the former but I got the later. The author might as well slap a "be continued..." at the end of this one since it would have been better to have rolled multiple Lost Fleet segments in a longer book instead of having to reread the "for those tuning in I am talking about..." moments of the next installments.
I do like the premise of the series, a man from a bygone era revived in the war he saw begin a century later. Battles are undertaken in fractions of light speed where a commander has to predict the movements of where ships may be across millions of mile battle fields hours if not days ahead of the actual event, then wait for the light to catch up to the action. Be prepared for a heavy peppering of fleet politicking amid the story.
I would put it in my top 10 and I have hundreds of audiobooks . I work third shift and I listen to them while I work and have been doing so for years. I hope the other 5 books in the series are as good as this one. I think this is my first book from this writer and this book makes me really look forward to reading and listening to other books he has written .
My favorite character would have to be the main character ( Black Jack ) because he reminds me of Patton , Clint Eastwood , and Harrison Ford all rolled up into one . At the same time he is his own man and he is determined to get the job done and done right.
If you like syfi then you will enjoy this book and find it hard to stop listening to. When you reach the end you will want to hurry up and start the 2nd book ASAP.
Good concept and story line
Near the end of the book it got little tiresome to hear the great Black Jack get all petulant and whine about the unfairness of the situation he was in where folks regarded him with awe and expectation. Even after he convinced himself that he needed to take command, instead of expecting peoples deference he continued to complain and grumble about he was averse to the being looked at as an hero. All the while he rallied his fleet and acted just like one. I would have continued on to the series but this underlying theme is very off putting to me.
I first found this series listed on one of Audible's BOGO sales - the cover art and the brief synopsis was enough for me to impulsively purchase the first three books. I was expecting a sweeping space opera with a military setting, standard scifi action and distinctive characters. I didn't get all that I wanted, but I'm not exactly disappointed.
- Christian Rummel does a fantastic reading. I don't think I'd like Captain Geary half as much as I do if he was presented with a different voice. Many different (Earth) accents are used when different characters are speaking, and I think it makes dialogue that would otherwise be tedious easier to follow and differentiate between characters.
- The "complicated" military maneuvers are written in such a way that they're easy to understand and follow. Rarely do I find myself without a clear mental vision of the battle formations and layouts, and I know nothing about warfare tactics outside of video games.
- The various ship names are incredible.
The Not-So-Good but Maybe Won't Bother You:
- Judging by the covers, I thought that there would be some up close and personal battles. So far, the entire book could be told in 3 rooms: the bridge, the captain's quarters, and a conference room. I love life on a space ship type stories, but Captain Geary doesn't get out much, and we're stuck within his POV.
- I have no idea what any of these people look like, what the ships look like, or what any of the external systems and planets look like. There is something to be said about leaving space for the reader to fill in their own details, but I feel that the author should have left a few more bullet points for my imagination to branch from. I have no idea if the interior of Dauntless is a shiny, clinical ship or a rust bucket. I don't know if Captain Geary is marching around in his dress blues, Starfleet-looking uniforms or body armor like all the covers suggest. I can kind of imagine what people look like and how old they are based on Rummel's accents and inflections, but that's completely all to his credit as a reader and not in the book itself.
- Many reviews point out the fact that none of the supporting characters seem very bright. They are not exaggerating or being nitpicky, anyone who isn't John Geary is kind of a derp. Part of why I love space operas and sagas is the huge cast of characters that I'll gradually get to know, and no one other than Captain Geary seems to have any kind of depth or room for growth.
- John Geary doesn't think he should be Fleet Commander. Did you get that? If not, don't worry, because you'll be reminded in the next two minutes. And again in another five. Never have I ever been so beat near-to-death by a concept. I understand that his doubts are a large part of his character, but I found myself rolling my eyes every time Geary had an introspective moment about how he wasn't the hero everyone thought he was. My eye rollin' muscles are jacked now.
To sum up, I liked the story, but not the characters. I'm going to continue on with the series in hopes that it's a slow burn. Even if I never bond with the cast, I'm now invested in the plot enough to remain both interested and entertained.
I'm the most boring person on the planet.
Sophomoric writing, coupled with a mediocre narrator makes for a slow and painful listen. I won't be going forward in this series.
I wish I could say yes. I really wanted to like this as there were parts of the premise that attracted me to this series. While the space battles were wonderfully written, there was little character development, particularly in the supporting characters. They had zero intelligence, which is hard to believe if in command of a space ship. The main character, at times, came off as whiny, however, there was enough there to feel his frustration.
Because of the excellent space battles yes.
The performances throughout, were very solid. Thoroughly enjoyed the performances.
no, and that's the sad part. You want it to be there....but no.
Seemed that too many of the important details(supporting characters) were rushed over and made to be "just there". If there were any more details to get invested in them, this would be really fun.
The characters in the book are slightly cliche. The author admits that he loved the idea of a sci-fi novel, because you can construct plausible reasons for someone coming back from the dead, and the characters seem to have that flat, "standard" feel about them. Here is the hero, back from the dead... and here is the bureaucrat who gets in the way, and here is the diplomat who knows just a little too much... probably a spy of some kind... and here is this one... and that one... etc... etc...etc... So don't expect any deep emotional connections. This just isn't a character driven story. But that's not to say its not a good story!
What builds the tension and the excitement is the technical way that these space battles are fought. The author says he pulled from his naval experience, and he translates it for the reader (listener?) very well.
Unlike the star-ship battles in most movies, where everything is very fast, with high action, and white-knuckle piloting, with fighter pilots zipping here and there, The Lost Fleet introduces the concept that there is a whole lot of SPACE in outer space. Much more like the submarine battles in Hunt for Red October, it takes time to get into range. Even lasers traveling a light speed take time to reach a target that is tens of thousands of miles away. Will the target still be there by the time the laser beam reaches it? Seeing the enemy isn't enough... You have to know how to predict where he is going to be! And if you are wrong, you can't just turn around. Gigantic starships are not known for being nimble. They have to slow down first. The technical nature of these battles are very engaging. Its easy to follow, but not oversimplified or dumbed down. The military tactics seem sound, and sensible, and exciting!
Yes... Because things take time... you are always anxious... you always want to see what happens next, and if the gable paid off!
Pretty good listen. Heavy on the 'real physics' aspects and military lingo. Voice acting is very good, with no silly sounds, and consistent characters across the whole book.
There is not much to say about this book. Everyone has read a book like this, which has characters with no depth. The dialogue is simply words on a page with little energy or emotional attachment. The entire contents of this book could have been produced in a few chapters by a better writter. I got to the end of the book still waiting for the book to start. I am not impressed. I think in the entire book there are maybe 2-3 fights between the hero and the antagonists. There were very few moments of actual intrest. There was very little in the area of universe development and very little character development. The main character only goes through 1 point of development (determining to be the leader that everyone else expects him to be.) The Main character in the last chapter is basically the same as in the first chapter. This is poorly executed. The author doesn't even understand basic story telling, conflict drives character>character drives plot> plot drives story. There really isn't a story here. When the characters in your book are still dealing with the same quandry in the last chapter as in the first, you have a bad story.I would recommend the StarFleet series if you are looking for more entertaining space epics.
I found the main character and the supporting cast very good. The concept of trying to live up to or down to your reputation that has been embellished for hundreds of years a good framework. I will listen to the whole series but am not compelled to do it immediately. This is my rationale for the four star rating. I listen to many audio books on my commute and to put me to sleep at night and found this great entertainment and the author's naval background clearly reflected in his battle and decorum sequences. It is a "Beach Read" predictable but still engaging.