Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.
Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.
BONUS AUDIO: Author Jack Campbell explains how the legend of King Arthur, the Greek historian Xenophon, and other writings influenced the Lost Fleet series.
Get Lost! Listen to the rest of the Lost Fleet series.
©2006 by John G. Hemry writing as Jack Campbell; (P) 2008 Audible, Inc.
"The best novel of its type that I've read." (David Sherman, co-author of the Starfist series)
"Military science fiction at its best." (Catherine Asaro, Nebula Award-winning author of Alpha)
Campbell keeps to the most realistic depiction of speed vs. relative distance in space. Unfortunately, that realism by its nature slows down the action as the characters must wait hours for ships to get close enough to engage. Campbell's portrayal of the technology is fascinating and well thought out, more so than the character development. The characters were flat, and Geary was such a recluse that he failed to engage in any relationship close enough to bring interest. The main problem was Campbell's unwillingness to leave the bridge of the Dauntless, and the "almost first person" point of view. Though the book was written in third person, Campbell never left Geary's side, and the character's reluctance to engage with anyone else made it a somewhat boring perspective. Main case in point - we watched one ship sacrifice itself to give the fleet enough time to escape, all from the point of view of Geary's bridge. With the half an hour delay, the scene played out like a TV show playing on the other side of a crowded room with the sound turned off. If Campbell had instead portrayed the scene from on board the doomed ship, the action would have been riveting. Likewise, if Campbell had brought us aboard the ships of Geary's rivals so we could hear their complaining and plotting, that would also have made it more interesting. There was nothing that I particularly disliked about the book, but it didn't interest me enough to want to read the next in the series.
The storyline is riveting. The narration is stellar !!!!!!
The writer is constantly talking about the characters praying to their ancestors and thanking the living stars. I know it's science fiction, but this is disturbing and will prevent me from purchasing any additional books from this author, permanently. I find it repulsive enough that American society has rejected the Bible and Christ, thinking (just like the scribes and Pharisees did) that man is smarter than he really is. I know that a lot of science fiction is non-religious or has alternative beliefs, but this series is blasphemy. If you worship your ancestors (they are dead people) and thank the living ??? stars (they are rocks), then I pity you.
A personal fault of mine that I have to listen to the entire book, even one this tiresome.
Its juvenile moralizing/philosophizing/religulous tone is teeth grating. After a couple hours this book was almost humorous, except for how bad it was.
Since Audible deems that every book is worth at least one star I was forced to give it that. Which does not go to explain how it garnered the positive reviews it did.
Hands down the worst book I have every listened to.
I would not recommend this book to anyone.
I am an avid reader and listener to SciFi novels and this is one of the best Space Navy series around. It is very much a hard scifi novel and, while avoiding excess scientific theories, Campbell maintains an extremely consistent universe. As a member of the US Navy the methods and actions of the Navy and Marine personnel hit very close to home. The story is engrossing and characters well developed.
I don't usually write a review but after reading the one before mine I felt the need to bump it down.
As a Naval veteran I find the authors' use of relative motion simplistic and realistic. Meaning, it adds a realism to the story you don't get in any other sci fi novels. It has added a dimension to the story and gets you thinking and trying to visualize the relative motion and drift. Scenarios sailors have to deal with day in and day out. Ships simply don't stop on a dime. The important factors are the characters are likeable, the story flows and the battles are very interesting. I loved the balance between the politico and the captain of the ship on each side of Black Jack. I am going to purchase the entire series. Great book...Keep them coming!!
It is a good story. What bothers me is that to make captain greary look like great leader he creates a command structure in which subordinate captains can question or ignore his orders as they see fit. Then after combat captain greary can say,
"look if you did it my way things would have been so much better." I can't think of any military in history that allows undisciplined insubordination. I wont read the rest of the series
Thinly veiled Christian ethics lesson proffered by a fleet commander who has yet to grow a pair.
I'm holding out hope for book 2 if I can tolerate the guilt and self-abasement of the protagonist.
I enjoyed the description of the space battles and Campbell's attempt to envision what they would be like instead of just an aerial dogfight in space. The contrived nature of the plot that Captain Geary appearing in the nick of time was irritating. Even the characters remark on it constantly. It wasn't clear that the Syndics were human until late in the story, and Geary's internal monologue was difficult to follow since he would speak to the other characters almost immediately afterwards. The transitions between scenes was hard to follow as well, it was almost like he should have had dialogue about traveling between the helm, the conference room, and his stateroom.
Only to military buffs.
I have book 2, I will listen to it eventually. Hopefully the pace picks up and I will want to read the other 3.
It was worth hearing once.
I found the battle descriptions entertaining, but beyond that this novel was lacking. The supporting cast are all one dimensional cutouts that exist for the sole purpose of having people for the main character to express his feelings. E.g. the fawning second in command who exists as a foil for the MC's self-doubt and the questioning vice president who exists to allow the MC to explain his plans. The villians are either cartoonishly incompetent buffoons or evil-for-the-sake-of-being-evil caricatures. Just not believable at all. The MC's long pontifications and monologues are also extremely tiring. This book wasn't horrible but I am definitely not moving on to entry #2 in the series.
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