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)
I first found this series listed on one of Audible's BOGO sales - the cover art and the brief synopsis was enough for me to impulsively purchase the first three books. I was expecting a sweeping space opera with a military setting, standard scifi action and distinctive characters. I didn't get all that I wanted, but I'm not exactly disappointed.
- Christian Rummel does a fantastic reading. I don't think I'd like Captain Geary half as much as I do if he was presented with a different voice. Many different (Earth) accents are used when different characters are speaking, and I think it makes dialogue that would otherwise be tedious easier to follow and differentiate between characters.
- The "complicated" military maneuvers are written in such a way that they're easy to understand and follow. Rarely do I find myself without a clear mental vision of the battle formations and layouts, and I know nothing about warfare tactics outside of video games.
- The various ship names are incredible.
The Not-So-Good but Maybe Won't Bother You:
- Judging by the covers, I thought that there would be some up close and personal battles. So far, the entire book could be told in 3 rooms: the bridge, the captain's quarters, and a conference room. I love life on a space ship type stories, but Captain Geary doesn't get out much, and we're stuck within his POV.
- I have no idea what any of these people look like, what the ships look like, or what any of the external systems and planets look like. There is something to be said about leaving space for the reader to fill in their own details, but I feel that the author should have left a few more bullet points for my imagination to branch from. I have no idea if the interior of Dauntless is a shiny, clinical ship or a rust bucket. I don't know if Captain Geary is marching around in his dress blues, Starfleet-looking uniforms or body armor like all the covers suggest. I can kind of imagine what people look like and how old they are based on Rummel's accents and inflections, but that's completely all to his credit as a reader and not in the book itself.
- Many reviews point out the fact that none of the supporting characters seem very bright. They are not exaggerating or being nitpicky, anyone who isn't John Geary is kind of a derp. Part of why I love space operas and sagas is the huge cast of characters that I'll gradually get to know, and no one other than Captain Geary seems to have any kind of depth or room for growth.
- John Geary doesn't think he should be Fleet Commander. Did you get that? If not, don't worry, because you'll be reminded in the next two minutes. And again in another five. Never have I ever been so beat near-to-death by a concept. I understand that his doubts are a large part of his character, but I found myself rolling my eyes every time Geary had an introspective moment about how he wasn't the hero everyone thought he was. My eye rollin' muscles are jacked now.
To sum up, I liked the story, but not the characters. I'm going to continue on with the series in hopes that it's a slow burn. Even if I never bond with the cast, I'm now invested in the plot enough to remain both interested and entertained.
I really enjoyed the leadership insights from the lead character, unlike the other (though enjoyable sci-fi books) I have listened too before. I like the realism of the characters & the story, looking forward to listen the rest of the series. Not as fast paced as it could be...
This book represents no stroke of brilliance. It is Master and Commander Go to Outer Space. It draws heavily on the author's real-world experience in the Navy. That makes it feel almost historical and real.
I compare two categories of science fiction. Some elucidate a brilliant new idea and its consequences. Others, this kind, use a change of context simply to tell a story. Both have their place. Each has different pitfalls for author and listener. This book avoids them quite well.
I've read two books in the series and they are of equal quality. In both cases, I can see flaws. The author is a Navy-guy, not a literature guy. His prose is grounded. His relationships are, shall we say, not as well reasoned as his space warfare concepts. But the flaws are minor and the pleasures great.
Each time the protagonist has to figure a way out of some box for his fleet, it's just great. The author goes to great lengths to imagine real solutions to real problems of space warfare. The plotting is good. This is a fun, interesting book. Having read two of the books, I will read the rest.
Don't get this book unless you are willing to burn through the whole series. I think I demolished it in about a week.
Take one part naval history, one part Battlestar Galactica (minus the whiny civilians), mix with a measure of The Odyssey, and shake with a whole lot of creative energy and excitement.
Glad you asked! I've listened to over 200, and I place this series in my top ten percent. Excellent science fiction is also excellent fiction. This series is a study in the role of the use of force of personality in leadership. Rich in interpersonal situations, fleet combat tactics, decision making, and even puzzles and mysteries, yet easy to follow. Keeps you wanting more.
J. D. Molles' *The Remaining* series. Both follow a strong leader through a series of compellingly interesting situations, across several superb novels, and both are narrated by the best narrator of I have ever heard.
Rummel is absolutely best narrator in the business. Nobody else comes close. He does a variety of BELIEVABLE female voices, a multitude of male voices, and accents, and every character's sound and style is consistent and recognizable across the whole series. His sense of pace and drama breathe life into dialogs that would fly by too quickly, if you were reading them with your eyes. If for no other reason, listen to this series to marvel at the artistry of Rummel's narrating. (I discovered this series by chance, while looking for more Rummel-narrated books, after having listened to *The Remaining.*)
I really enjoyed the story and how it sets the stage for future installments in the series. I find myself looking forward to this series more so than some I have either started or finished. Overall, I think this will be one of my favorite "light reading" or "fun reading" series.
The sacrifice made in the fleet's escape early in the book is sufficiently detailed without being laboriously so and exciting to read.
The reading of the book is quite good. While each character is read in a distinctive way so you know who is who, it is not over-the-top or distracting to the story at hand. I personally tend to find myself having to re-read a page frequently, and listening to the story helps me focus on the story.
I wouldn't say I got choked up at any point in the book. The book is certainly more on the lighter end of the spectrum but you do get a real sense that the main character is struggling with understanding how humanity has lost some of it's humanity. So probably the most moving feeling you get is one of being inspired by his bravery to do the right thing no matter the cost or opposition.
The book doesn't spend tons of time doing character building, instead, it gets down to business pretty quickly. It has good space based naval battle scenes that differ from many you'll read. The authors background gives him a unique perspective on how battles in space might play out and it turns out to be refreshingly different. A great book if you want a refreshingly fun book to read that doesn't get too deep.
The overall story of the series is a lot of fun. The writing does occasionally get bogged down, but Campbell's ideas and plot twists more than make up for it
Christian Rummel provides perfect narration for these books. He provides believable personalities even for the characters who are minimally fleshed out in the writing. His portrayal of Geary is spot-on with my imagination.
Always after books that read well in the tractor!
I bought this on a whim and it was a decent story. Didn't seem long enough, you only get the two main battles, but I saw that it is only the first part of an entire saga so that explains it. I like sci-fi novels, but this is the first with a lot more military information in it. I enjoyed the parts about relativity, and how much more realistic this was than many I have read. A lot of the science is plausible, once you get over the "faster-than-light" means of travel.
I like the main character, but it was a bit annoying how aggravating many of the side characters are. They are either worshiping him, or hating him, constantly. There was enough humor dispersed throughout to get you over it though, mainly on the part of the internal monologue of the main character.
The story was interesting enough, and left you wanting to buy the rest of the series to find out what happens. I might, eventually, but its not the top of my list. Overall it was a good few hours of listening.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
I saw this book for sale & wanted to write a review for a first book I loved in a great series after reading it, plus the character John Geary continues in a newer series that is almost as good (can't make a judgement until the series ends no?). This is a great Sci-Fi for a person who is not really into Sci-fi... why? Because besides the space battles the author deals with many human emotions & what separates a group of people from another or even from possible extraterrestrial life.
The basic premise is that u have a guy who was a commander of a smaller vessel that was surprised attacked by a nation who was neutral at the time of the attack beginning a war. In the process of this attack he fights back as much as he can, saves as many crew members as he can, & then puts himself into survival sleep in cryogenics & its 'good night John Geary.' Fast forward about 100 years when a squadron of Alliance warships happen to find his cryogenic pod floating out in space. Once they revive him he realizes that the 'last stand' he had that begun the war had been immortalized & most importantly, the war is STILL GOING ON! A war between 2 nations in the universe that have been fighting nearly 100 years is not the only shock, he soon comes to also realize not only was the 'last stand' immortalized but because the government was operating on the notion that he was dead, John Geary (the protagonist) is the most famous historical war figure in a race of humans that have been at war for generations.
He quickly finds out that the stories & legends about him are nowhere near the truth nor are they accurate in describing the type of person he is. After the commander is ruthlessly dispatched by the Syndicate's (the other nation the Alliance is fighting) he holds the highest rank due to seniority (almost 100 years lol), but he takes over for an armada of ships that were sent into a trap & the series is the story of his attempt to return the sailors back to they're homes. He battles both enemies from the Syndicate side & those within his own army that don't believe he stands for what the 'true John Geary' stood for, which is a total head trip because how could someone tell u that ur ideals don't match the ideals the government created as propaganda because they believed him to be dead?
Like I said in the beginning, there are space battles & it takes place in the future, which classifies the book as Sci-fi. But it is the personal connections that he makes & the thoughts he brings from an entirely different century that make the minuet changes that will hopefully bring this 'Lost Fleet' back home. This series is EXCELLENT & besides cool space battles it is a book about human nature, the struggle for power no matter the time, & one unique story about a hero who wants nothing to do with the way the history books have made his legend into... With this legend he holds immense power with the populace ('the mob mentality'), existing government, & other universal influences. This power makes him not only a hero & god to some but also a potential danger & dictator to others. The entire series is great so plop onto ur captains chair & check it out lol.
So many fun things to do so little time
When you start this book it feels like you just got dropped into the middle of a story line but that's actually good in this case. I started listening to this book and was immediately confused but within the first chapter I was like oh now this makes sense of why the author started where he does. It does a great job of creating a premise of how this interstellar war has been waged for so long and how the soldiers fighting it have changed so much. Overall great first book of the series and I've listened to the rest now as well and like them just as much.
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