BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Jack Campbell.
Stark's War was originally published as "by John G. Hemry".
Battle stations! Listen to more in the Stark's War series.
©2000 John G. Hemry; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Reading or listening, this book is just fun. The listening experience gave an increased sense of fun to a light read. It extended the pleasure over a longer period than I would ordinarily have experience. I read quite quickly and would have ripped through this book in an evening. The audio version gave me more time to savor the story. Even a light story can be enjoyed this way. This is one of the primary selling points about audio books.
This book is similar in tone to the Honor Harrington or John Ringo. It has a fast pace with one problem after another. It differs in that the enemy is never really shown or defined except as perhaps the Establishment. Characters are sketched and too often killed. There is no love interest, sex, any sort of objectionable reference., It does have a definite political overtone as do many of the books in the genre. It is lighter than Honor Harrington and less violent than Ringo.
This is my first experience with his narration. He had a good pace, voice, and diction.
War in Low gravity is the New Frontier for the Corps. One where Stark leads one shot at a time.
It's a good series, light and funny, I recommend it on that basis.
I am greatly enjoying the Lost Fleet series and similarly enjoyed the JAG in space books. But with Stark's War, I could very clearly see that this was a rough introduction to someone who would be a great writer. Most of the plot is forced, unrealistic, and full of ideas without a necessarily compelling story holding them together. I only made it half way through before bailing.
Story: Stark is a Sergeant dealing with a military whose officers are shuffled around too frequently to be competent and whose superiors issue orders from afar and with media approval as a main goal. It means Stark's companions are being needlessly killed through incompetence and apathy. So he decides to take things into his own hands.
The main problem with Stark's War is that Hemry wishes to take the core point that the military will eventually be an incompetent, bureaucratic, self aggrandizing mess - and then push that thought to the nth degree. Every word, action, sentence, dialogue, and character action is to make that point. It gets silly very early when grunts are constantly asking Stark, "Why would they do that, Sarge?" for every idiotic and dangerous decision by the military leaders. From cost cutting leading to faulty equipment, to war maneuvers solely for the point of televising to gain civilian approval, to officers issuing orders from far away and clearly not aware of the actual situation. The book is in serious danger of becoming a parody of itself due to the absence of any intelligence.
The characters are very unlikeable - surprising from a writer known for his engaging everyman. Stark spends most of the time emoting self righteously or completely disobeying orders. We're supposed to cheer him but really, it just makes him look really stupid to have been dumb enough to enlist in the first place. Ayn Rand did this point of view much better with Atlas Shrugged - at least you rooted for the main character.
Honestly, if there is one thing I really dislike in a book, it's when all the characters are stupid. Especially the antagonists - a really cliche moustache-twirling set of villains (read: military officers) only serve to make the protagonist seem equally dumb. At least give him something to really outsmart - not military personnel taken right out of the movie Idiocracy.
I listened to the Audible version of this story and only made it half way through. The narrator did a decent job with the material, especially considering it must have been difficult not to roll eyes all the way through.
too much like real life if or if you every wanted to know what war really is like get this book
There was too much separation between the enlisted and officers. The author did not sell me on the fact decisions were made on made up numbers. A good author would have developed the story line the was remotely believable.
I like the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell, so I hate to say anything negative, but this book is just... not very good. The characters are 2 dimensional at best. The plot is pretty standard "soldiers go where they are ordered and fight who they are told to fight" books, and the dialog is incredibly repetitive. The characters have the same conversations over and over again about how stupid the officers are, and how civilians don't understand the military, and how stupid the officers are and so on. The combat is not very well written either. The physics of fighting with projectile weapons on the Moon isn't addressed, And the logistics of fighting that far away from the factories on Earth seem to be an afterthought. It is a very early book for Campbell, and it really shows. Listen to anything else by him.
blind guide dog handler, voracious reader, favorite authors: Jack Cambell, John Flanagan, BV Larson, David Drake.
It is difficult to rank Stark's War against the Other Jack Cambell Books I've read, but it is among my favorite.
The quick pace, humor, excellent story telling and plot with believable characters and situations.
That is a toss up between when when Stark covered the retreat of the Platoon and the confrontation between Sgt. Reynolds and Stark after he "fragged," their captain.
I laughed a lot and Jack Campbell, also caused me to think while I was laughing about the possibility of this becoming reality and not fiction.
The narrator was excellent with a variety of voices that stayed consistent. hHe brought the story to life with good delivery and timing.
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