Audie Award Nominee, Science Fiction, 2013
Admiral John "Black Jack" Geary earned his rank after being revived from cryogenic sleep to lead the Alliance to victory against the Syndicate Worlds. But his superiors question his loyalty to the regime. Now in command of the First Fleet, Geary is tasked with exploring the frontier beyond Syndic space, a mission he fears deliberately puts the fleet - and himself - in harm's way.
An encounter with the alien enigmas confirms Geary's fears. Attacked without warning, he orders the fleet to jump star systems - only to enter the crosshairs of another hostile alien armada. Ignoring all of the First Fleet's attempts to communicate peaceful intentions, this system's species sends its ships into battle on suicide runs while it guards the exiting jump point with a fortress of incalculable power.
Now, with a faction of his officers determined to eliminate this new threat at any cost, Geary must figure out how to breach the enemy's defenses so the fleet can reach the jump point without massive casualties - even though the enigmas could be waiting on the other side.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Jack Campbell.
©2012 John G. Hemry (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This book marked a couple of developments for me:
1) I'm tired of the constant marital back-and-forth between Geary & Desjani. Ditto for the jealousy between Desjani and Rione, and pretty much anything to do with Desjani. Unfortunately, she's in just about every scene, standing over Geary's shoulder and being just about the most annoying character in recent memory.
2) Christian Rummel's reading is a tour-de-force of nicely-employed accents to help distinguish characters, as usual. However, does he *have* to use the most inarticulate and stupid-sounding accents every time there's an NCO speaking? Every time he broke into Vinny Barbarino as the Chief Gianini character, it completely broke me out of the story.
Despite those two annoyances, I still enjoyed the book overall. I guess I'll just be taking a break before I grab another, or maybe I'll switch back to print for the next one.
I will assume that you, like me, have read this entire series, so I will just say that it continues to satisfy with creative situations and interesting characters. I have found that each book is as listenable as the last, not too much to ask of a series, but enough.
I highly suggest that anyone who enjoys a good space opera sample this author.
The author is right up there with the best of them snd is improving with every book.
At the very least-keep your eyes on him and his works.
Audible rendition of the book is just as good.
I have always enjoyed space sagas, from "Ender's Game" to "Armor", the idea of three dimensional tactics have been fascinating to me. This series is becoming an obsession of mine and I hope for more to come.
I've been hooked on this series and the previous series, but when the aliens turned out to be lizards, teddy bears, and hairy spiders you almost lost me... I thought the series had just gone down the drain with no return possible. Jack Campbell managed to pull the series out of the drain and give this book a decent ending. I will continue the series!
What a great story! Twists and turns but with Black Jack commanding the fleet, you know you'll get home! Excellent performance!
Not by itself. You have to start from Book 1 if you ever want to read this series again because each book is completely incapable of standing alone. As a series, I might.
If I was reading this as a book, I think I'd get bored and stop reading because the story is pretty slow. However, as an audio book, it's a pretty non-offensive (aka nothing to get excited about either way) and plods along at a pace that allows me to do other things while I listen.
As with the first book, what really bothers me about this book is that there is no resolution of anything by the end of the book. It simply ends, almost mid-sentence. You might as well tack "To Be Continued" onto the end. It's feels annoying like they took a finished story and intentionally broke it up into unfinished pieces just to get readers to spend more money buying what is essentially one book.
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