My wife says she can read me like an open book. Though she regrets not being able to shut me up the same way. :)
STOP! If this is your first Jack Campbell title, then you'll thank me later for following my suggestion to hold off on this title until after you've completed the "Lost Fleet" and the "Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier" series. Don't worry, you're not losing anything by it. In fact, you'll be gaining a great audio library.
For Lost Fleet vets, you'll enjoy this title. But, don't expect a continuation of Blackjack's exploits here.
This title takes a detour down a parallel track -- one that follows the evolution of the Syndic's Midway star system/government. (You may remember CEO Iceni had a small-ish part in one of the Lost Fleet: Beyond Frontier titles. She takes a starring role in this one.)
Suffice to say, it's a culture shift after having you and I grow up in Alliance space.
It's a nice detour, though, that opens up a potentially whole new storyline -- or two -- for Jack Campbell to explore with us.
Also, Audible picks up a new narrator here. In place of Christian Rummel, we're graced with the performance of Marc Vietor.
Mr. Vietor is good -- that is, as far as one good voice can carry the performance. But it may take some indulgence on your part to get used to the limited inventory he has in his character-voice library. With limited range, all the characters end up sounding similar. :( But, don't let that dissuade you. It's not bad. It's good, in fact -- it's just that it could've been better with more diversity in character-voices.
MY BOTTOM LINE: Expect range limitations in character voices. Expect the mis-pronunciation of CEO Iceni's name (also initially annoying). But, the sooner you can get past those two issues, then the sooner you can sit back and enjoy another great story from Mr. Campbell.
En Dieu Ma Foy
Campbell's latest work in his world of Alliance and Syndicate is a look into the world of the Syndicate. Focusing in on the world of Midway, Campbell spends less time in space and more time looking at human nature and diplomacy in a world "liberated" from Facist rule. As in the Lost Fleet Series, Campbell does a fantastic job of covering the riot of emotions and ideas that work to rebuild a world left devistated by 100 years of war. This look into the Syndicate world is a great addition to the Lost Fleet and Beyond the Frontier series. The Lost Stars Tarnished Knight series is going to be just as addictive to its readers as Campbell's previous series.
Marc Vietor is a change in narrator for the latest Campbell books, but it's a good fit since this is a new view of the same world and having Christian Rummel read it would have been good but not great. Marc Vietor takes Campbell's new world and makes it live and fight in the minds eye. Truly a great read all the way around.
If he started the book with a bit more action instead of characters talking and sending messages to each other.
It never took off. It was like watching a fictional documentary.
I patiently waited while the author set up new characters; this cut down on the action to talk ratio even more than usual. My reward was to be the big ending...which didn't happen; he didn't conclude the story, so much as just drop it! there is a social contract between authors and fans, and it has been stepped on--badly!
The best aspect of this new series is the interesting look into the Syndic mentality, which is very different from the Alliance in many respects. It was also an opportunity to see war from a perspective other than the space engagements and limited Marine ground engagements of previous books.
The story itself is more of a political intrigue book than space drama/action, so fans of the previous series may or may not find it as engaging. I confess to having lost a bit of interest and found this series less addictive than the previous one.
Christian Rummel would be my first choice. His range of voices and accents really adds life to a story, and when he narrates he feels like he is *acting* the story. Marc is a great narrator in that he *reads* the book well, but I never felt like he was trying to inject any real amount of life into the characters. This may have been a conscious directorial choice and not the fault of Vietor or an indicator of his abilities as an actor.
I'll stick with this series for one more book. If it doesn't grab me by then I'll probably focus on the adventures of Blackjack instead.
Avid book reader and fan of quality audibles.
When I listen to a book by Jack Campbell, I rarely feel compelled to hit the pause button. Tarnished Knight was no exception. Following the Syndicate defeat at the hands of Black Jack and the Alliance, the book is focused on the Midway star system and two former Syndic CEO's who have decided to create a new independent government. The author does a great job with the pacing, focusing on not just the politics but also on action both on the ground and in space. I especially enjoyed the battle preparation sequences and the battles themselves since they held my attention so effectively.
The narration was passable but was perhaps the most questionable point of the experience. The narration of the inner dialog of the CEO's gave me pause, as did some of the voices chosen for the various characters. Thankfully, the voices were not offensive and the inner dialog was rare. The rest of the narration got the job done, but definitely left me asking "why this guy?" at times. I felt the monotone and passionless narration helped highlight flaws in the writing that may have been less obvious if a more suitable narrator read the story.
Despite my concerns over the narration, Tarnished Night by Jack Campbell kept me captivated and in a good mood as I listened. When the book was completed, all I could think was "when can I buy the next book?"
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
A parallel series to Campbell's lost fleet space exploration series. The author starts to explore the impact of the fleets travels on the worlds and star systems they pass through. This side bar writing method I think speaks of the depth of thought the author actual put into the first plot, that the time line of secondary characters is also solid.
Jack Campbell (J.G. Henry) is one of my favorite SF authors and this is an excellent novel (an offshoot of the Lost Fleet Series). The thing I like about J.G. Henry is that the gets the small things right -- the characters, the interactions, the details of life in a military environment -- it is all consistent and makes sense. He does not overindulge in emotion and histrionics and extensive battles. He has some good battle scenes but, ultimately his books are based mainly on interactions between characters. The building trust (professional, not romantic) between Drakon and Iseni -- former Syndicate CEOs -- is very interesting and satisfying.
This is good if you have read the other books and a nice introduction to the syndicate worlds.It also provides a nice perspective on the short comings of centralize government.