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Publisher's Summary

The Alliance has been fighting a losing battle against the Syndicate Worlds for over a century. Now, Captain John "Black Jack" Geary, who returned to the fleet after a hundred-year suspended animation, must keep the Alliance one step ahead of its merciless foe.

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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I love Capt. Geary! (or is it just the narrator?)

STORY (military sci-fi) - Courageous is Book #3 in The Lost Fleet series. Capt. Geary, who escaped death and survived in an escape pod for 100 years, now finds himself caught in a perilous future where he must command an Alliance fleet in multiple deadly battles with the Syndics (another race of humans). This book continues the same threads as the first two books. Some of his crew worships him while others are nearly mutinous. His fleet is badly damaged, low on weapons and fuel, and cannot find a safe path back to the safety of Alliance space. The Syndics pop up everywhere and sometimes seem to know Geary's next move and be a step ahead of him. But how? There seems to be another alien entity "manipulating" things. Who or what are they? How do they get their information? Are they helping the Syndics or trying to send Geary a message? Very intriguing!

Anyway, I love everything about this book. The battles are ship-to-ship, not man-to-man, so there's no blood and guts. I love hearing Geary and his fleet captains discuss tactics and strategies for the next engagement with the Syndics. Even the battles themselves are interesting. The author has a Naval background, so the formations and movements of the fleet are described in detail and easy to visualize -- not to mention interesting and creative. Also, Geary becomes a bit more human in this book. He's still the renowned hero nicknamed Blackjack Geary, but he and Ambassador Rionne are having a romantic affair and their relationship becomes even more complicated.

PERFORMANCE - Christian Rummel does a great job. He does multiple accents and his voice is low and sexy, yet he still manages to do pretty good female voices. I must admit, however, his performance probably would have just received four stars if it weren't for the fact that I love his voice!!!!

OVERALL - This book is pretty "clean." There's no profanity and only minor references to sleeping together, having an affair, etc., with no actual sex scenes. I highly recommend this to adult sci-fi lovers, both male and female. It's mysterious, tense and the characters are very human. You should listen to the series in order, but each book can "stand alone." Due to the fact that the fleet is in the middle of a six-book journey back to Alliance space, the ending of this book is actually Geary preparing to face the Syndics yet again!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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More of the same.

I feel like this third book in the series basically repeated the first and second books so much that the author was treating me like a dumb ass. He'd rehash the same concepts over and over.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jesse
  • Creston, NC USA
  • 04-08-08

Great Scifi!

It’s been a long while since I really got into a series until this one. Great space war action, believable characters and an engaging plot line. There‘s almost no part of this series that I don‘t like. Perhaps knowing that it will go on for several more volumes but this is a double edged sword as I don‘t want it to end and yet I want to see the climax.
Would like to know more about this universe that Hemry has created. How did the Syndic empire come to be, how did the alliance. Where is Earth in all this? Is this an alternate universe or this one, far in the future?
The reader, Christian Rummel is great. He does female voices very well and accents as well. Very believable. At first I thought only Scott Brick could do justice to this series but Rummel grows on you and you realize he is into this story and a very good actor. Cannot wait for the 4th in this series in June. I might have to buy the hardcover.

If you like hard science fiction in the great tradition then this series Worth every penny.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 12-28-11


Christian Rummel did a good job narrating this story. Great space battle scenes and over all a good military Sci Fi. Black Jack and the lost fleet keep getting into impossible situation but do manage to get them selves out of it. A bit of repetition was getting a bit annoying but over all a good fast pace story. This story finished with a cliff hanger so can not wait for the next in the series.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great Series

I haven't been this excited about a series of books since Clancy's first three books.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good at start but drags on and on and on

My only issue, and its a major one, is the author repeats things in all 4 books. This doesn't sound that bad at first but he repeats A LOT! He explains how the ship captains use a virtual conference room, the importance of the hypernet key, how Geary was found floating suspended for 100 years, and the list goes on. I like what one reviewer said "any reader who cannot look in the front of the book and see this is book 4 in a series of 5 deserves to be confused... the repeated content just makes the story more tiring and comes off as "filler" so the book meets a specific page count. "
Amen brother!

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Katherine
  • St. Johns, FL, United States
  • 05-14-13

The Lost Fleet is still wandering....

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Keeps you guessing

Excellent series, has just the right amount of action and personal plots. The narrator does an excellent job on par with Scott Brick. It would be nice to see a little more background information on the two warring factions. Recomend for all ages.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 05-23-09

Author destroys what could have been a great book

I think the author is intent on destroying the whole series with his tiresomely overdone, repetitive, repetitive (did I mention repetitive?) device of the Co-President being paranoid about Geary being or becoming the Black Jack of legend. I had hoped that after overdoing it monumentally in the second book he might give it a rest in this third, but no. This is really the worst of anything overdone I've ever run across in any published work.

20 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Love the series

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lost Fleet: Courageous to be better than the print version?

Yes. I like audio books better than print books books because I have more time to listen than I do to sit & read, so I get to enjoy more books this way. I listen every day for at least several hours. While I'm working, driving, walking, at the beach, shopping, house keeping & even as I go to sleep (use timer).

What did you like best about this story?

Getting to hear more about Captain Jack Geary's adventures.

Have you listened to any of Christian Rummel and Jack Campbell ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I've listened to the entire series & love it. I've also done the Lost Stars series & loved it too.

Any additional comments?

I thought it was a fun series with lots of action, adventure, political intrigue & best of all, space ships & space battles. Has a brash, ballsy lead who cares about people & has a strong moral code. Also like that Campbell has strong female characters in his books. Not a lot of dead spots or repetition as the series progresses either, which happens too often in other long series (David Weber's Honor Harrington or Weber/Flint's Ring of Fire series for example, though I still really liked & read most of them both any way).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-25-17

must get the rest of the series.

my biggest problem these days is trying to figure out what I will read next when I finish this series and how many years it will take this memorable story to fade from my memory so I can start it from the beginning again. I didn't even know I love fleet books like this #ClutchesPearls

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  • C. H. Ford
  • 06-01-17

Excellent adaptation.

This is an excellent adaptation of one of the best military Sci-fi series out there at the moment.

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  • MR
  • 02-27-14


These Lost Fleet books really, really annoy me.

They annoy me because the protagonist is wearing Mary Sue's favorite earrings.

They annoy me because the author spells everything out very, very very clearly. So clearly it feels like I'm being bashed over the head with clearly. I'd describe the writing as 'military' - point this end toward enemy. Yes, I know.

They annoy me because of the plodding repetition including but not limited to:
-IT'S BLACKJACK! The Famous Hero! Break out the bunting!
-the physics of the solar system sized battlefield
-DON'T BE BLACKJACK! He can do anything he wants! That's a BAD THING(tm)
-the consequences of the self sustaining war of attrition in which the Alliance and the Syndics are engaged leads to the consequences of the self sustaining war of attrition leads to the...
-the physics of the solar system sized battlefield
-BLACKJACK! It's even a medical term now, y'know.
-the going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about honor
-those darn auxiliaries getting us in trouble again... but we NEED them dammit.
-and let's not forget the physics of that battlefield...

And they annoy me because:
- despite all of that, the actual fleet engagements (especially in this book) are tense enough to have me on the edge of my seat. And to be fair these rely entirely on a firm grasp of (yes, yes, you may have a point) the physics of the solar system sized battlefield.
- the honorable sacrifices are kept simple enough to have an impact
- the books are short enough that the repetition doesn't kill you
- intriguing hints of SPOILER :-p.

Yes, I'll be going on with sequel

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 08-29-17

another enjoyable book

the story is getting better and better. I look forward to the next book. music is still annoying.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful