On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
This book is solid enough military science fiction, delivering some dramatic space battles and heroic actions, but at the same time falls prey to almost every genre convention. It delivers some of the most awkwardly motivated descriptions of how technologies work that the science fiction world has to offer; the main character is (of course) a hero from another time, providing an excuse for yet more info-dumps from the author, characterization tends to be pretty one-dimensional, and so on. Not terrible stuff, but it started to drive me a bit crazy after awhile.
In fact, it reminded me constantly of Rosenfelder's essay "If all stories were written like science fiction stories":
"Do you think we'll be flying on a propeller plane? Or one of the newer jets?" asked Ann.
"I'm sure it will be a jet," said Roger. "Propeller planes are almost entirely out of date, after all. On the other hand, rocket engines are still experimental. It's said that when they're in general use, trips like this will take an hour at most. This one will take up to four hours."
... if the tedious explanations don't bother you, and you like military SF, this is a fine choice. Otherwise, you can do better.
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
The best book series by Jack Campbell AKA John G Henry
In the future people finally moved to other planets, Hundreds of planets are populated.
Years later the major rift appeared in human politics , some planets kept their Democratic form of government "Alliance" and some other decided to go with evolution of free market in which companies became the new government "Syndics".
And the WAR began:
During the first battle, the ship "Merlin" under command of John Geary protected merchant ships and helped them run away from the star system, and this became the first battle of the great war.
As the last of his actions Commander Geary ordered to abandon ship, and commenced self destruct sequence, Commander Geary was posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain.
Hundred years later the war still goes on!!!!
Just as it always happens the war evolved, it became the thing of stupidity and atrocities, of war crimes and annihilation, the war in which strategical and tactical thinking was replaced with brutal frontal attacks, the time when battle promotions became normal career advancement,..
The human kind dwelled in stagnation for almost hundred years. As an act of desperation the great fleet was built by the Alliance to finish the war once and for all. During the movement of the fleet the escape pod was recovered in long abandoned star system, containing a man of legends, a man of myths "Black Jack Geary".
How timely, because the fleet is going directly into Syndics Trap!!!!
If you are not hooked yet,I don't know what to say.
There are rumours, that there maybe a movie based on this series soon. :-)
That old label used to come with your new Kodak SLR camera in the old days. It is still an important message to this day. before you read any of the other books, read Dauntless! For us technical science fiction fans it is a very satisfying read. The tale of how "Black Jack" was recovered and returned to duty is a bit subtle but it is an enjoyable listen anyway!
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - (Space Travel SciFi) This is Book 1 of the Lost Fleet series. Alliance Fleet Captain Geary is a legendary hero who was believed dead but has been rescued from a 100-year hibernation in a rescue pod. Immediately he is thrown into commanding a fleet in the midst of war with the enemy Syndics (also humans), and at the same time he must learn technical capabilities of his new fleet and try to gain the respect of officers who feel his long absence has made him unfit for command. This book is basically setting the stage for the series, and it has some exciting spaceship battle engagements. Since the author has a Naval background, he writes a lot of detail about fleet formations and military tactics, which is very interesting but not hard to understand.
Geary is smart, likeable and (conveniently) talks to himself, so it's easy to follow his thoughts. The book ends at a nice stopping point, but there is a lot still ahead in this series. There are no alien creatures or mysterious occurrences in this story, but I'm expecting some in future episodes.
PERFORMANCE - Christian Rummel has the perfect voice for this type of book -- powerful, masculine (and did I say sexy?) He does a great job.
OVERALL - Recommended, especially if you enjoy military strategy and battle tactics.
It's hard to believe that a war fought by so many people hell bent on self destruction could possibly last 100 years. Perhaps in the previous 99 years, a very large battle is fought every 10 years that literally destroys every space going warship in each fleet. Then, the next 10 years are spent rebuilding said fleets. Rinse, repeat. This must be the case given that modern tactics require throwing all assets into a battle with little to no thought given to tactics. Any future fleet officer with an IQ greater than 60 is either forcibly removed from command or assassinated. Such a waste that the writer attempted to make his main character look like Caesar by making everyone else as head-smackingly dumb as Gomer Pyle. The space battles are quite thrilling and seem realistic enough despite the unbelievable carelessness off the enemy or for that matter all of the captain's subordinates.
I have. I'm a space fight junkie and the space battles in these books were good enough to keep me running back for more. Up to a point anyway. Careful though. The last book in the series was the weakest.
The narration was great. Not surprisingly, the main character is voiced powerfully and believably. The rest are passable which is quite impressive given the material.
Every scene where the captain is talking to anyone but himself.
If you've read this book, watch the movie Idiocracy.
Probably not, I foresee more of the same.
The main character had no character. He was like a cardboard cutout of some idealized naval officer, with zero personal motivations or character traits. He also handles the political situations in his fleet with a disappointing lack of chutzpah. He never says what he's really thinking when speaking to other officers, especially the annoyingly stupid ones who oppose his command of the fleet (I say stupid because they are stupid, not because they oppose him). By the time the book was finished, I was aching for a good old fashioned public smack-down of the leader of this adversarial group. The final few scenes even played like a lead up to a big charismatic speech where Black Jack would lay down the law and put some ridiculously insubordinate officers in their places. It never happened. What a let down.
I think the narrator could have given the main character some more vitality, he sounds like an awfully dull person, not a charismatic legendary hero.
The space battle, the one space battle in the book, was well described and interesting in the way it played out. Sort of.
The book makes it clear that in the hundred years of warfare since Black Jack was turned into a popsicle, everything ever known about military tactics has been abandoned or forgotten. I find it somewhat arbitrary and highly unrealistic that two militaristic cultures, fighting one another for a hundred years, would both settle on the same tactic of just plowing into one another until one side is completely wiped out. That's pretty stupid. We're supposed to believe that Black Jack is, literally, the only person in the universe that has any kind of grasp of tactical maneuvering. Many of the officers in his fleet are constantly pissed (and bitching about it in staff meetings), that they haven't been allowed to make straight shot suicide runs at enemy ships. I get that it's been a long war, which in my mind would encourage developments of new strategies and tactics; I mean, that's the history of warfare right there. Side A comes up with something unique, so Side B has to develop a counter tactic. Warfare does not move in the opposite direction of "Beat with Club until Dead".
The other part of the book that was extremely frustrating was the near complete lack of discipline of the fleet officers. They argue and fight with each other constantly, and basically pick and choose the orders they want to follow, and only on one occasion does this result in any kind of disciplinary action by the Fleet Commander Black Jack. And then, in this one case, he handles it extremely delicately, afraid to annoy any of the other officers. I would have stripped the bastard in question of his command, and busted him to ensign. He was firing on a group of friendly marines, and refused orders to cease fire like four times! Bam! Hang him from the Yard Arm I say!
Meh. It was a frustrating experience listening to the whole thing. I really like Space Navy stuff, this was a poor showing in that genre. Sorry Mr. Campbell, I wanted to like this book, but the characters were just no bueno. I liked the premise though, as a consolation.
Starship Troopers Shows the reason for miltary rules.
It is always best to have the author read the book
Finished it in 2 days
Steve Gibson was right again with this series! I got this whole series because of Steve Gibson's recommendation on the 'Security Now' podcast.
The story starts out with no back story and that is true with each book in the series. The story picks up right after a major battle where the 'Alliance' gets its rear handed to it. It comes down to a man 100 years out of touch with time and tactics to save the fleet. This story is a great depiction of what has happened with the military lacks true leadership and discipline. It also is a real depiction of space battles without the 'advance' technologies appearing in most science fiction movies and shows. Humans haven't evolved to the point where they can build 'Hyper' drives for each ship or 'Warp' drives either. The author took a navy fleet and put it in space as if we continued to evolve at our present rate for the next 200 years. I like the story as I've seen it played out in military units when they're allowed to go lax and a real leader shows up to put everything back in place. I began the second book immediately and it doesn't skip anything from the first book at all.
I haven't read yet many of the audobooks but I would say that from those I read, this one was a really nice and welcome surprise in terms of what I've expected.
What I was pleasantly surprised the most was the fact that the author gave a lot of effort into describing tactical space combat. That applied specially in regard to the effort put into describing the space physics of transferring data from the space and responding to such data since in the "Lost Fleet" universe, various data like ship positions, scan data from the planets etc. is transferred no faster than light-speed which means that every data received by ship is something that already happened from several minutes to several hours or even days ago. Then there are specifics regarding space travel and distortion caused to ship sensors by travelling fast through space and so on. Anyway these mechanics are really nicely developed and tactical space combat is nicely described as a result.
The other layer of the story is the internal struggles within the fleet, a long lost hero with a completely different view from an era long gone suddenly takes command and his views are not necessarily the views of his captains. How does he restore order and discipline to the fleet. This is also something I consider to be the weakest point in the novel. The Alliance captains sometimes act so stupidly that is really hard to swallow. I understand the story background which tries to justify such behavior but its really hard to swallow. At moments it seems like the whole human race experienced overall IQ loss. Well, nevertheless I find the story very promising and the plot, with time, opens up even further which makes me wonder where it will take our lost fleet.
Well, its hard to pick a favorite character since the story is told from a perspective of one character but other supporting characters seems to offer a lot of promise like co-president Rione and captain Desjani, so I am looking forward to see them grow.
I am not a native speaker but I didn't find any problems with the performance. It was clear and adequately paced, not to mention that various appearing characters were nicely performed.
If you are looking for a very well sc-fi novel with believable and interesting space combat physics supplemented with inter fleet machinations and standoff with a ruthless and mostly calculating enemy (Syndics), you will not regret reading this novel. I am looking forward to listening to the remaining 5 books in this series.
Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)
I didn't care for this book at all. In fact, I got so disillusioned with it that I almost quit listening several times, but kept going so I would be sure I had given it a fair try. The only good thing was the obvious knowledge that the author has about naval inner-workings. There were no descriptions about the look-and-feel of anything or anyone. While some authors can overdo this aspect, this author gave us none of it. It was clearly written by someone who is a very straightforward thinker who thinks explaining how anything looks, smells, feels, etc. is a waste of time. Same for the characters, at the end of the book you know about as much about them as you did by the end of the 2nd chapter.
The author repeated for many chapters that the hero is reluctant, to the point where I physically yelled out "I get it already, I get it!"
The author showed us all of the thoughts in the head of the characters, then made us sit through reading them again as they spoke their thoughts to the other characters.
The characters are mostly simplistic and one-dimensional. There is almost no mystery, at least none that lasts more than about 5 minutes.
So, if you like being spoon-fed a dry story from simplistic characters without getting emotionally invested and without seeing/touching/hearing/tasting/smelling anything, this is the book for you.