After a series of deadly engagements, the Alliance fleet is severely damaged and its arsenal is running low. Forced to halt in the Baldur Star System to raid the Syndic mines for raw materials, Geary is anxious to get moving again. But what should the fleet's next move be? The Syndics are starting to catch on to Geary's tactics, and as the Alliance ships jump from system to system, it's getting harder to keep one step ahead.
What's more, Geary has started to piece fragments of intelligence together into a highly disturbing picture: the Syndics have been keeping the existence of another potential player in the war a secret - and this unknown power may have the means to annihilate the human race.
BONUS AUDIO: Author Jack Campbell explains how his own background in the military shaped the Lost Fleet series.
Get Lost! Listen to the rest of the Lost Fleet series.
©2008 by John G. Hemry; (P) 2008 Audible, Inc.
"Jack Campbell has written the most believable space battles I've ever seen anywhere." (David Sherman, co-author of the Starfist series)
"The kind of hero Hornblower fans will love!" (William C. Dietz, national best-selling author of When All Seems Lost)
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at FanLit.
In Courageous, the third book in Jack Campbell’s LOST FLEET series, the Alliance fleet is still wandering from star system to star system, trying to get back home by some path the Syndics won’t predict. It seems like a hopeless situation, but the legendary Black Jack Geary, who’s been revived out of cold sleep after his suicidal mission 100 years ago, is just the hero they need. He’s proved himself so capable so far that some of his commanders want to help him secure a dictatorship when they get home, and others just want to get rid of him. Geary could decide to be a dictator, get rid of the people who are causing him problems and do things the way he thinks they should be done, but then how is he different from their enemies?
Geary isn’t as confident in his own abilities, however. He’s still uncomfortable in this new military where the pursuit of self-glory is tolerated and the best commanders are put on the ships most likely to be destroyed. No wonder discipline is shattered and the war has been going on for so long. Geary is starting to understand how the Alliance fleet got this way. He’s also learning more about their enemies — the Syndics — and the possibility that an unknown alien race may be manipulating both the Alliance and the Syndics. A scary thought.
Meanwhile Geary’s lover, Victoria Rione, who used to be reserved, reasonable, and icy, has turned into a fickle drama queen. This subplot is tedious and exasperating and it feels contrived to elevate the tension. It’s clear that Campbell is setting things up for a romantic change of venue for Black Jack, though our hero isn’t aware of it yet. After listening to Victoria rant and rave for so long, readers will be eager for a change.
I love the hero of the LOST FLEET series — Captain Geary is awesome and Campbell has done a great job with his development over the series so far. Geary is what keeps me reading LOST FLEET because I don’t much like anyone else in the book, or at least I don’t know them well enough to like them.
At this point, though, I’m starting to wonder why the series needs six books. It could have been cut in half. The truth is that even though I like hanging out with Black Jack Geary, not much new happens in Courageous. They’re wandering around at the beginning and they’re still wandering around at the end. In the last chapter of Courageous, Geary and Victoria make some really wild speculations about what might be happening with the alleged alien race and though I thought it was far-fetched that they would jump to those conclusions, I want to know what happens. Campbell leaves us with a cliffhanger that made me glad I’d already downloaded the next book, Valiant.
I am very intrigued by this series, and the reader is very good. There are some problems though.
Each book in the series assumes the reader never read any of the preceding books. You often get descriptions of systems you already have had explained to you over, and over again. The sections dealing with his personal life is very interesting, but the continuing theme of hero worship puts a foreshadow on everything in the book. If he starts thinking about how he can't turn into Black Jack, that probably means he's going to stomp the Syndic fleet into a mud hole.
This book also has problems with the commander being too perfect. Its like the commander does everything you expect him to do. For this reason he doesn't have a human side to him, not really anyways. He's always minding his honor, and doing everything exactly the way it should be done. Its just not very realistic, and this is brought out by the irony that the main character keeps telling himself over and over he's not perfect. Even worse, when things do go wrong Black Jack can't be blamed for the failure. He's invincible and unfallable...
Now onto the good. The space battles are nicely done, if you've been loaded with a pretty good 3D graphics card from the womb they come out pretty handsomely. The fleet drama between the characters does wonders to make the plot very interesting and dynamic. You get to see them fail, and then disciplined which is gratifying for the reader. Anything involving Captain Falco is absolutely hilarious. This is only intensified because the reader makes him sound like quagmire from Family guy. I'm just waiting for a giggidy giggidy to be thrown in for good measure where I would lose control and risk a stroke.
Thats about it for night, i'll see the series through for sure. I just wish the author would of thought it out a little bit more. Some minor tweaks could have removed some of the more glaring inconsistencies.
Show me your paso doble.
Nothing really new in this book. Just a repeat of everything we know so far. I don't think I'm gonna get the next book in the series. There are some interesting parts that foreshadow possible stuff to come, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
I started this book with the expectation that the 3rd book would be the last. I was wrong. There are only 3 available in audio, but there are 6 books planned in this series. The 4th installment will be released to paperback on June 24th, 2008. I don't know when the audio version is due.
The story is still interesting, but it's getting a little tired. We need some closure. Once that happens, I think there would be a strong interest in other stories set in the same universe.
Off we go again! I really want to like these books but they're the same basic plot over and over again (much like my reviews of the books in this series). I like the concepts spelled out in the introduction, in theory it all sounds great, and bits of it are quite readable but the constant theme of "Geary considers his future options and has a miraculous realisation that saves the day", especially when said "miraculous realisation" is always blindingly obvious (to me at least, and I'm pretty sure to everyone else who reads them) really takes away from the story. That and the fact that the author specifically calls out his desire to write well-rounded characters...and then doesn't.
Once again though, I enjoyed the details of keeping the fleet running and the space battles and since the sub-plot is finally surfacing as an actual thing I need to read episode 4 and find out what happens next.
With regard to the narration, it meshes perfectly with the prior books as far as character voices are concerned. The only jarring note was what I assume was an Australian accent for Lieutenant Iger, that was a mistake.
Great continuation of the journey back to Alliance territory. Loved it. Cant wait to start Valiant :)
Too much of the same characters having the same drama. Not enough good science or fiction to inspire creative thought.
three books in the series and we're still spending 20 minutes explaining every basic concept of this universe by book three we should have a pretty good idea of what's going on stop feeling Pages was crap
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