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Tarnished Knight: The Lost Stars, Book 1 | [Jack Campbell]

Tarnished Knight: The Lost Stars, Book 1

The authority of the Syndicate Worlds’ government is crumbling. Civil war and rebellion are breaking out in many star systems, despite the Syndic government’s brutal attempts to suppress disorder. Midway is one of those star systems, and leaders there must decide whether to remain loyal to the old order or fight for something new.
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author puts the Alliance fleet’s enemy in the spotlight as the people of the Syndicate Worlds attempt to rebuild their lives after Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary defeated them....

The authority of the Syndicate Worlds’ government is crumbling. Civil war and rebellion are breaking out in many star systems, despite the Syndic government’s brutal attempts to suppress disorder. Midway is one of those star systems, and leaders there must decide whether to remain loyal to the old order or fight for something new.

CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndic government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of loyal soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System - assisted by an ally he’s unsure he can trust....

CEO Gwen Iceni was exiled to Midway because she wasn’t ruthless enough in the eyes of her superiors. She’s made them regret their assessment by commandeering some of the warships at Midway and attacking the remaining ships still loyal to the Syndicate empire. Iceni declares independence for the Midway Star System on behalf of the people while staying in charge as “President”. But while she controls the mobile fleet, she has no choice but to rely on 'General' Drakon’s ground forces to keep the peace planet-side....

If their coup is to succeed, Drakon and Iceni must put their differences aside to prevent the population of Midway from rising up in rebellion against them, to defend Midway against the alien threat of the enigma race - and to ferret out saboteurs determined to reestablish Syndic rule....

©2012 John G. Hemry (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Military science fiction at its very best..." (Catherine Asaro, Nebula Award-winning author of Carnelians)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1338 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Karen 01-20-13
    Karen 01-20-13

    Avid book reader and fan of quality audibles.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story...Tarnished Narration"

    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.

    Questionable Points:

    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?"

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Abbott, TX, United States 01-07-13
    James Abbott, TX, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Slightly dissapointing, hoped for better"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I knew right from the start (based on the reviews) that this listen would not be as well-done as the rest of the series, and the reviews proved to be correct. I wouldn't say that this was a bad listen, because I am a die-hard fan of Jack's series and I am willing to put up with a lemon. I listened because this book focuses on the Syndicate Worlds, a part of the universe that I wanted to learn more about. Jack fulfilled in that regard. But the narrator sometimes ran different characters together, which proved occasionally confusing and annoying. He was not the best narrator for Jack's style of writing. Was my time well-spent? I would say yes and no. Yes because I am curious about the Syndicate way of doing things, no because Jack let me down this time around. Like the reviewers have said, this book was just not the same as the rest of the series. Where Dauntless was riveting and well-paced, this was dull. Where I was rooting for Geary when he went into a battle and moved by his marriage, this was like watching paint dry. And I hate watching paint dry.


    If you’ve listened to books by Jack Campbell before, how does this one compare?

    That's the thing- it doesn't compare.


    What aspect of Marc Vietor’s performance would you have changed?

    I understand his difficulty but I paid for this book. Sometimes when I read one of Jack's books, I myself got confused and had to backtrack to find out which character was speaking. I can only guess that that was Marc's difficulty, also. Maybe someone else should narrate next time.


    Did The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I have said what needed to be said. Maybe better luck next time, Jack.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Dunwoody, GA, USA 11-13-12
    Charles Dunwoody, GA, USA 11-13-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Very disappointed"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Jack Campbell again?

    Yes, I own all but one of the Lost Fleet series and think they are well done. For this one he has changed his writing style so that for me it was very confusing and very hard to follow.
    Up until now Jack kept his Point of View to mainly one character per book. This time he's jumping all over the place.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    not really


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, Jack please return to your one main character point of view.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 11-12-12
    Jonathan 11-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good spinoff"
    If you could sum up The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight in three words, what would they be?

    Machiavellian evolving democracy


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gives a view into what's going on behind the scenes with some of the key minor characters from the Lost Fleet series.


    Have you listened to any of Marc Vietor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Marc's a solid narrator, and this performance is no different. I don't hesitate to purchase books he's read.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really, no. The main characters, as former CEOs of the Syndicate Worlds, developed extremely Machiavellian outlooks on life. Therefore, they are hard-pressed to be truly heroic, although they're cautiously moving towards breaking those behavior patterns. They come across a basically good people who have learned to be ruthless in order to survive a system that punished altruism.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindell Seattle, WA, United States 11-10-12
    Lindell Seattle, WA, United States 11-10-12 Member Since 2001

    Lindell

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Learned a lot about the Syndicate worlds"
    What did you love best about The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight?

    If you enjoy the Black Jack series, you should enjoy this. Fills in background on some of the Syndicate characters met in the Black Jack series, and provides insight into the Syndicate worlds structure and history.


    Any additional comments?

    Cliff-hanger ending left me anxious for the next in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 10-28-12
    George 10-28-12 Member Since 2011

    janastas4

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    "Not bad. Abrupt ending."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight to be better than the print version?

    The style and pace are pretty consistent with the previous books of the series in this universe. I was a bit startled and fairly disappointed with the abruptness of the ending; it seemed like there was a good solid chapter missing. I would understand if it was a cliff hanger, but this didn't seem the case.

    Maybe next time.....


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SteveK The Woodlands, Texas 10-09-12
    SteveK The Woodlands, Texas 10-09-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow Paced and Devoid of Plot"
    Would you try another book from Jack Campbell and/or Marc Vietor?

    Probably. I'm a big fan of the lost fleet series, but found this book incredibly boring. Don't expect the epic space battles and fast moving plots of the earlier books in this series.


    What could Jack Campbell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    How about some action and character development? This book is political intrigue minus the intrigue.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Marc Vietor’s performances?

    I couldn't keep the dialog between characters straight. The narrator sounded as bored with the story as I was.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight?

    The book has no redeeming value and adds nothing the the Lost Fleet series.


    8 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Albion, MI, United States 10-29-12
    Leslie Albion, MI, United States 10-29-12
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    "Weak ,the stores are getting so slow"
    Would you try another book from Jack Campbell and/or Marc Vietor?

    I doubt i would buy any more of these books the stores are getting so slow i could use them to fall a sleep at night with,


    Has The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes , but not the genre but the series yes, it is like he is just writing them for the money


    Did Marc Vietor do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Audio was ok


    Do you think The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No let this dieing horse go


    Any additional comments?

    I think my review says it all

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 10-14-12
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2008

    My wife says she can read me like an open book. Though she regrets not being able to shut me up the same way. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid title. But voice has range limits."

    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.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben United States 10-03-12
    Ben United States 10-03-12 Member Since 2012

    En Dieu Ma Foy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tarnished but still a Knight!"

    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.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
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