©2005 Jack Campbell; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is book four in the Jag in Space series. I have enjoyed the series because I enjoy military law and military court room drama. There is some "action" at the beginning of the story as has been in each of the other books in the series but most of the story is leading up to the Court Marshall and then the Court Marshall. In this story most of the prior people in the series is off the USS Michaelson and at the end Lt Paul Sinclair also ends his tour of duty on the ship. This story was a bit different from the others as it has to do with espionage vs spying and the legal difference. Sinclair works with NCIS to set a trap to catch the person passing "secret" documents to another country but he is surprised by who was caught and has problem believing they got the right person. The story has suspense, humor, and family interaction. The story sets us up for next book at the Mars Station. Nick Sullivan does a good job narrating the story. Looking forward to the next book.
This book is not a bad listen. But at the end you (ie I) get feeling that there needed to be something more to the story; some greater reason for there to be all the apparent tension but there's not. Like the other books in the series there is a bit of action at the beginning and then the book falls into a prolonged court room drama, and except for the fact that the initial action occurs in a space setting there really isn't much science fiction about the book. This book has a little less of the mundane court room stuff than the previous volumes and it is interesting to follow, especially some of the things that occur outside the court room but as the end was coming I was expecting something to happen. When it did happen it was more surprising in its banality than its twist. I thought that some of the side issues could have been handled better and I personally would have preferred more action dispersed throughout the novel rather than the two part formula of action then court room. The amount of intrigue is probably less than I would have otherwise expected for an espionage plot. The entire series of "JAG in space" is also misnamed. In reality you only have the perspective of a ship's officer with collateral 'legal officer' duty and while there are large editorials to fill you in with other's perspectives, the tension is all that of the legal officer not the court room drama. The only 'space' aspect of the novels is that the events occur in space although they could have easily occurred on a seafaring ship. At least there was a little more science fiction technology in te evidence of this novel, but only marginally slow. Definitely more a novel for those interested in court room stuff than science fiction or action.
In this final book, completing Paul Sinclair's tour of duty on board the Michaelson, we're given more complex character building along with the expected action-then-trial of the previous books. This fourth is just as engaging and I was a bit sad to see it come to an end. Things are tied up fairly neatly but not always in favor of our poor beleaguered protagonist.
Story: When it becomes obvious the SASL ships know far too much about the Michaelson's orders while on a mission, deaths of civilians and military are the result. Paul Sinclair is approached to help root out the spy on his ship - a position Paul is quite uncomfortable about accepting when he discovers it is one of the officers - perhaps even one with whom he shares a stateroom.
This last book had a lot more machinations in it; now that the characters are well established, Campbell spends time with a more intricate plot. As with previous books, guilt isn't necessarily assumed and Paul grapples with not only condemning one of his fellow officers but the idea that anyone could blithely perform actions that cost lives. It's a constant theme in Campbell's books, especially this series, that the loss of lives will always be a result of apathy, arrogance, or incompetence. As well, his actions in previous books hardly endeared him to the brass and he will pay for that as a result.
I listened to the Audible version and the narrator did an excellent job with all the characters.
I love this series and this book did not disappoint. I just wish the author would continue Paul's adventures.
"A little Niche but I really enjoyed it"
This book sits right in a sweet spot for me - I love military themed books and legal/courtroom drama. I'm not sure how broad an audience existing for this particular genre but I personally loved every minute of it; and I've listened to the whole series.
I think the scene in which Sinclair learns the price he will have to pay for his lack of political maneuvering over the series - it was very real and although not particularly unexpected it was a satisfying conclusion in the scheme of things.
I think the voice acting is fantastic, he really captures the taut efficiency of senior officers, as contrasted with the casual banter of the enlisted personnel and civilians.
No - I listened over a number of days, but I think I walked twice as much as usual in order
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