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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

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  •  
    Aser Tolentino Vacaville, California USA 10-03-12
    Aser Tolentino Vacaville, California USA 10-03-12 Member Since 2004

    I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.

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    "Enjoy OBSTLT (or Be Subject to Life Termination)"

    I remember when the author first announced his signing a deal for two spinoff series to follow The Lost Fleet about three years ago. Since then, Lost Fleet has come to a close and Beyond the Frontier has been through two volumes, and what was originally referred to as The Phoenix Stars has just seen the light of day.

    As the first reviewer notes, this book adds little to the Lost Fleet narrative, but succeeds quite well at expanding the universe through which the Alliance Fleet has rampaged since Dauntless's publication half a decade ago. The Lost Fleet was the author's third series, and the fact that its characters and geography have made it into further stories beyond the Alliance Fleet's escape from Syndic space is a wonderful thing, even if at first blush that is only to add greater depth to the snapshots of life in one system through which the Alliance fleet has passed through in the last three Lost Fleet novels.

    Though it is technically the beginning of a new series, Tarnished Knight leans heavily upon the original Lost Fleet series and its continuation, Beyond the Frontier. The events in the Midway star system occur after those depicted in Dreadnaught.

    This entry features more space battles and ground combat from the Syndic perspective, as the Midway system battles various internal and external threats. But where the Lost Fleet series proper often turns on fleet politics and combat logistics, Lost Stars deals with the aftermath of revolution and the tenuous balance maintained by two strong leaders with complementary power bases, who both need one another and have the means to bring about the other's undoing. The problem is that we already have the outlines of this story by virtue of the glimpses we've received through Dreadnaught and Invincible, thought it can be interesting to see just how things came to change between visits. Meanwhile, the author dangles the prospect of further developments in Alliance space in the next Beyond the Frontier entry, titled Guardian and due next year as usual.

    The perspective of this story is a bit different given that there are two point of view characters. The author maintains a style similar to Lost Fleet though, with great tactical details, scheming, and occasional humorous interludes.

    Mark Vietor is terrific as always. For those who have come to associate the voice of Christian Rummel with this universe though, be prepared for slightly varied pronunciation of some character and place names. My wish that Rummel would have been tapped for this series is the only reason for four stars as far as the performance goes.

    I can't imagine why one would read this without having read the eight Lost Fleet and Beyond the Frontier books first. If you have though, I think you'll find enough of what made those stories winners to satisfy with this new slant to the universe. Little gems about the Syndic way of doing things like the one referenced in the title are almost worth the price of admission alone.

    30 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clifton Gadbois 12-07-12
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    "A good beginning..."

    The story is almost as engaging as the Lost Fleet books. However, if one hasn't read the Lost Fleet books the story and setting could be a little confusing. Marc Vietor's performance was good but not great; at times it was hard to distinguish the different characters. Christian Rummel has a much larger range of character voices and I wish he were narrating the Lost Stars as well. Overall a good beginning to another series of books from Mr. Hemry.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-20-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "a new sub series"

    I got hooked on The Lost Fleet and then Beyond the Frontier Series and now a new great sub series about the Midway Star system. The story picks up with life on Midway after Geary leaves Midway into the unknown space to explore it. The Midway Star System has declared independence from the Syndic and are forming a new government and alliances of neighbouring star systems. Jack Campbell's usual great space battles, intrigue between different groups all goes into creating action, suspense and the ending leaves me wanting the next volume in the series. If you like the other two series you will enjoy this new one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel O. Buchholz Arlington, VA USA 12-18-12
    Daniel O. Buchholz Arlington, VA USA 12-18-12 Member Since 2004

    Computer Geek

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    "More from the Lost Fleet world"

    What a great spinoff concept. Prior to this book the Syndicate, controlled by nefarious CEO's, were nothing more than relative stick figures. In this case we get to delve deeper into Syndicate society in the post-Geary age. The main characters were tangentially introduced in the main series, but now we have a chance to see the desperate fight of the leadership of Midway to separate themselves from the central control of the Syndicate.

    This is much more of a political novel than the Lost Fleet books. Yes, there is space combat as well as ground combat, but a lot of the book is devoted to the truly twisted political realm of the CEO's, where you cannot trust anyone. Even though they must work together to wring a small hole of safety for both themselves and the people of Midway, the sheer level of scheming is intense (where every move is never taken at face value and no one is what they seem to be). But the two leaders, Drakon and Iceni, seem to see the value of cooperation and realize that the system that they were born into needs to be changed (but realizing that it cannot be done overnight).

    A very solid book and I very much look forward to the next (with a cliffhanger like Jack dropped at the end of the book, it is a given that there needs to be another book).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joki Helsinki 02-03-13
    Joki Helsinki 02-03-13 Member Since 2008
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    "As Enjoyable as Jack Campell's Other Work"
    Any additional comments?

    I wouldn't consider this a standalone - and ideally you'll read it between Dreadnought and Invincible since it takes place during the middle of Invincible.

    It gives the perspective of the Syndicate World that wants to break free - and the two main characters, Iceni and Drakon, are both emboldened by but also hampered by their Syndicate upbringing. It's a fun read to see them battle their own nature to do what's right for their people.

    The characters aren't carbon copies of the Alliance counterparts. They will sleep with subordinates or assasinate rivals. But at the same time, this really does have a smart set of supporting characters that are very real in their own right.

    This book really is the best of both worlds - more Jack Campbell goodness but NOT a carbon copy of previous characters in the series. Refreshingly, this includes both ground based battles and space battles.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    phillip Westerville, OH, United States 01-02-13
    phillip Westerville, OH, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "the kind of book I expect from Jack Campbell"
    Would you listen to The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight again? Why?

    a good book is always worth a second read


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    both the main characters


    Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

    the general


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    great special effects


    Any additional comments?

    no

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Thomas 12-05-12 Member Since 2001
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    "A well done spin-off"

    Great audio performance. Clasic space-opera. Interesting characters.I couldn't decide whether to love or hate the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David cincinnati, OH, United States 11-05-12
    David cincinnati, OH, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2005

    I'm a manager of a lawncare crew that listens to audio books when feasible. I have 2 years of business and 3 towards a history degree.

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    "Good Alternative perspective"
    If you could sum up The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight in three words, what would they be?

    Intriguing Alternative Perspective


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I won't state one so I don't spoil anything, but in general, my favorite scene were when the main characters were trying to figure out each others angles and if the other could be trusted.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is similar to what the fall of the USSR was like for people. Russian's lives were dominated by government their whole lives, and once it fell, they had freedoms but didn't know what to do with them. Take the make characters as Ukrainians that have just left the USSR but have to fear Russia's heavy handed tactics that are not limited to economic or political aggression.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Green Cove Springs, FL, United States 10-27-13
    Edward Green Cove Springs, FL, United States 10-27-13 Member Since 2010
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    "The Beggining of a Great Spinoff Series"

    I just want to applaud Jack Campbell for expanding his Lost Fleet universe in this direction. I've always been a sucker for the reluctant hero, and in this story you get 2. The portrayal of CEO Drakon and Iceni as they try to survive the downfall of the Syndicate Worlds and in the process become heroes that you can easily identify with is truly an enjoyable experience. The plot line, of course parallels the story of the Lost Fleet series but from the other side. This makes the events in the last couple books in the Lost Fleet series much more understandable. The action is great, as always with Jack Campbell, but it is the twists and turns and intrigue that really draws you in. I also liked the fact that Jack Campbell portrays his Heroes with all their warts and how they struggle, inspite of them, to make a better world. So if you liked the Lost Fleet Series you're definitely going to like this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Woody15 Union, KY 10-22-13
    Woody15 Union, KY 10-22-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Not just space battles anymore"
    If you could sum up The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight in three words, what would they be?

    Syndicate learn trust


    What did you like best about this story?

    New characters with muddled values create intriguing relationships that keep you hooked.


    What about Marc Vietor’s performance did you like?

    Good pacing and clear.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Never trust and always verify.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Nick
    London, United Kingdom
    11/6/12
    Overall
    "The future looks bright."

    Tarnished Knight is a real step forward for Campbell [Hemry] in my opinion. More than in any other of his books in the Alliance/Syndic universe, we the reader actually get some genuine depth to the main cast of characters. When there is introspection it is worth while in the majority of cases. Whilst the earlier novels made for good military Sci-fi they at times they came across like a commentary.



    This might a controversial statement to fans of the series, however after reading this i think i like Gwen Iceni's character over Geary or Desjani and Rione's nowhere by comparison. I hope that Iceni continues to receive dur prominence and is treated well by the author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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