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The Lost Fleet: Dauntless Audiobook

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

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Publisher's Summary

The Alliance has been fighting the Syndics for a century, and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is a man who has emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized beyond belief.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Ethan M. Philadelphia 04-23-08
    Ethan M. Philadelphia 04-23-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Fun military SF that falls prey to cliche"

    This book is solid enough military science fiction, delivering some dramatic space battles and heroic actions, but at the same time falls prey to almost every genre convention. It delivers some of the most awkwardly motivated descriptions of how technologies work that the science fiction world has to offer; the main character is (of course) a hero from another time, providing an excuse for yet more info-dumps from the author, characterization tends to be pretty one-dimensional, and so on. Not terrible stuff, but it started to drive me a bit crazy after awhile.

    In fact, it reminded me constantly of Rosenfelder's essay "If all stories were written like science fiction stories":

    "Do you think we'll be flying on a propeller plane? Or one of the newer jets?" asked Ann.

    "I'm sure it will be a jet," said Roger. "Propeller planes are almost entirely out of date, after all. On the other hand, rocket engines are still experimental. It's said that when they're in general use, trips like this will take an hour at most. This one will take up to four hours."

    ... if the tedious explanations don't bother you, and you like military SF, this is a fine choice. Otherwise, you can do better.

    21 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 04-01-08
    Ronald 04-01-08
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    "One of the BEST!"

    I loved this book, and the ones after it in the seriers. It got me hooked in the very first chapter. It is very well crafted with attention to betail, however that detail dosn't slow the story in the slightest. Action packed, and a thrill ride for the mind. A must book for anyone who likes the Miles Vorkosigan seriers by Lois McMaster Bujold, or The Prince Roger McClintock stories by John Ringo.

    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 10-15-13
    AudioAddict 10-15-13
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    "A hero with a sexy voice!"

    STORY - (Space Travel SciFi) This is Book 1 of the Lost Fleet series. Alliance Fleet Captain Geary is a legendary hero who was believed dead but has been rescued from a 100-year hibernation in a rescue pod. Immediately he is thrown into commanding a fleet in the midst of war with the enemy Syndics (also humans), and at the same time he must learn technical capabilities of his new fleet and try to gain the respect of officers who feel his long absence has made him unfit for command. This book is basically setting the stage for the series, and it has some exciting spaceship battle engagements. Since the author has a Naval background, he writes a lot of detail about fleet formations and military tactics, which is very interesting but not hard to understand.

    Geary is smart, likeable and (conveniently) talks to himself, so it's easy to follow his thoughts. The book ends at a nice stopping point, but there is a lot still ahead in this series. There are no alien creatures or mysterious occurrences in this story, but I'm expecting some in future episodes.

    PERFORMANCE - Christian Rummel has the perfect voice for this type of book -- powerful, masculine (and did I say sexy?) He does a great job.

    OVERALL - Recommended, especially if you enjoy military strategy and battle tactics.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eivind New York, New York 12-30-10
    Eivind New York, New York 12-30-10 Listener Since 2009
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    "Duty, honor and oh so much pride"

    This is, without a doubt, one of my least favorite science fiction books. I am sorry, I feel bad saying it, but I honestly feel that this might in fact be ???the??? worst SF book the lot. Now, I???ve read a lot of bad books. I???ve even enjoyed a lot of bad books, but this really just rubbed me the wrong way. Tedious and predicable internal monologue; I could have been fine with it in some cartoonish way, but the seriousness with which this is presented gals me. The main character seems to be the only sane character in the galaxy. Sure, this is justified somewhat by the fact that the rest of the human race has spent the last hundred years fighting in a never ending war. But honestly, it still just doesn???t cut it. The sheer, and I shudder to even use the expression, cheesiness of not only the hero worship, but also the stupidity of others does not engender Black Jack Geary to me in the least.

    This is another of those novels where instead of making the main character likeable though faults and obstacles and his overcoming these, the author has instead elected to make everyone else as inedible as possible. It is too simple, too cheap and much too little.

    That the concept, the idea itself, behind the novel is decent in itself, even good, does not change these facts. The book is just poorly executed, poorly written and unfortunately also poorly read.

    69 of 95 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 04-30-13
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Black Jack Geary makes a great hero"

    Originally posted at FanLit.

    John “Black Jack” Geary’s escape pod has just been rescued from deep space. He’s been in cold-sleep for a century after he single-handedly held off enemy spaceships while letting the rest of the Alliance fleet escape. Everyone thought he was dead, but his brave sacrifice went down in the history books and many people still whisper that Black Jack Geary will come back to save the Alliance in a time of great need. And so he has… or at least that’s what many soldiers of the Alliance believe. Geary himself is bewildered to learn that not only is he alive, but that his one famous deed was exaggerated and now he’s a hero of legend. All he really feels like doing is grieving over the loved ones he left behind a century ago. But duty calls.

    Now Geary finds himself again trying to save the Alliance fleet. They’re still fighting the Syndicate Worlds — the same enemies they’ve been fighting since Geary’s time — and they’re stuck in enemy territory with damaged ships. They’re also carrying a stolen key to one of the Syndics’ hypernets — a tool which could help them finally win the war. Can Geary get the fleet and the key back home safely?

    Well, that’s a hard enough task for any fleet commander. What makes it even harder for John Geary is that this modern Alliance fleet is far different from the one he knew before. The technology has advanced enormously (Geary doesn’t even know what a hypernet is!), but what has changed even more is the structure of the military. Geary lived in a time when the military was well-trained and the leaders gave orders which their subordinates obeyed. But because of the devastating losses the Alliance has suffered over the past several decades, younger commanders have had to step up. They lack skills and experience and the military is now run more like a democracy than a hierarchy, with commanders discussing and voting during meetings instead of receiving and following orders from superiors. Black Jack Geary’s own legendary exploit is also a factor in this decline — his heroic status has caused many ship commanders to try to seek their own glory. Geary recognizes that all of this is bad for the Alliance Worlds, but changing an entire military organization may be too much for one man. Unless that man is a legendary hero who has returned to set his people free…

    Dauntless, the first book in Jack Campbell’s LOST FLEET series is highly entertaining space opera. Black Jack Geary makes a great reluctant hero. He’s smart and experienced, but 100 years behind in his understanding of technology. He has a disadvantage when he has to rely on others to help him understand and navigate his controls, but his old battle tactics, which rely on careful fleet coordination rather than personal glory-seeking, are an advantage. Not only are they better for the fleet as a whole, but they confound the enemy who is now unable to predict what the Alliance forces will do.

    I didn’t much care for the other characters in Dauntless, but I enjoyed the story enough that I didn’t mind. One thing that sets this series apart from other space opera is Campbell’s attempt to deal with the problem of relativity in a war that spans so much space. For example, if your computer is reporting the location of an enemy that’s lightminutes away from you, they are no longer in that location when you get the report. This distortion has a lot of implications, especially when you’re trying to shoot the enemy and the enemy is trying to shoot you. Campbell’s constant reminders about this get tedious, but I appreciated that he tried to deal with this problem that’s too often ignored.

    I listened to Audible Frontier’s production of Dauntless. Christian Rummel was a perfect narrator and I thought the voice and tone he used for Black Jack was a perfect reflection of Geary’s humble but confident personality. After listening to Dauntless, I immediately downloaded book 2, Fearless. THE LOST FLEET looks like it’s going to be a good series.

    Jack Campbell is a pseudonym for author John G. Hemry who writes other military science fiction under his real name. He’s a retired Navy officer.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deano Thousand Oaks, CA United States 11-04-12
    Deano Thousand Oaks, CA United States 11-04-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Kind of tedious."
    What disappointed you about The Lost Fleet: Dauntless?

    I'm don't think I'll continue past the first book in the series. There's not too much depth to the characters and the plot seems like it's going to be a long, drawn out journey home.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Berryville, AR, United States 08-09-13
    Justin Berryville, AR, United States 08-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Kinda boring, mostly tedious, and frustrating"
    Would you try another book from Jack Campbell and/or Christian Rummel and Jack Campbell ?

    Probably not, I foresee more of the same.


    What was most disappointing about Jack Campbell’s story?

    The main character had no character. He was like a cardboard cutout of some idealized naval officer, with zero personal motivations or character traits. He also handles the political situations in his fleet with a disappointing lack of chutzpah. He never says what he's really thinking when speaking to other officers, especially the annoyingly stupid ones who oppose his command of the fleet (I say stupid because they are stupid, not because they oppose him). By the time the book was finished, I was aching for a good old fashioned public smack-down of the leader of this adversarial group. The final few scenes even played like a lead up to a big charismatic speech where Black Jack would lay down the law and put some ridiculously insubordinate officers in their places. It never happened. What a let down.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I think the narrator could have given the main character some more vitality, he sounds like an awfully dull person, not a charismatic legendary hero.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The space battle, the one space battle in the book, was well described and interesting in the way it played out. Sort of.


    Any additional comments?

    The book makes it clear that in the hundred years of warfare since Black Jack was turned into a popsicle, everything ever known about military tactics has been abandoned or forgotten. I find it somewhat arbitrary and highly unrealistic that two militaristic cultures, fighting one another for a hundred years, would both settle on the same tactic of just plowing into one another until one side is completely wiped out. That's pretty stupid. We're supposed to believe that Black Jack is, literally, the only person in the universe that has any kind of grasp of tactical maneuvering. Many of the officers in his fleet are constantly pissed (and bitching about it in staff meetings), that they haven't been allowed to make straight shot suicide runs at enemy ships. I get that it's been a long war, which in my mind would encourage developments of new strategies and tactics; I mean, that's the history of warfare right there. Side A comes up with something unique, so Side B has to develop a counter tactic. Warfare does not move in the opposite direction of "Beat with Club until Dead".

    The other part of the book that was extremely frustrating was the near complete lack of discipline of the fleet officers. They argue and fight with each other constantly, and basically pick and choose the orders they want to follow, and only on one occasion does this result in any kind of disciplinary action by the Fleet Commander Black Jack. And then, in this one case, he handles it extremely delicately, afraid to annoy any of the other officers. I would have stripped the bastard in question of his command, and busted him to ensign. He was firing on a group of friendly marines, and refused orders to cease fire like four times! Bam! Hang him from the Yard Arm I say!

    Meh. It was a frustrating experience listening to the whole thing. I really like Space Navy stuff, this was a poor showing in that genre. Sorry Mr. Campbell, I wanted to like this book, but the characters were just no bueno. I liked the premise though, as a consolation.

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JLM Oakland, CA, United States 05-22-14
    JLM Oakland, CA, United States 05-22-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Stop Explaining..."

    I really wanted to like this. I wanted it to be a rip roaring space adventure-hopefully with some identifiable or with some luck, interesting characters. But not really....'Black Jack' Geary is not lovable, he's completely self obsessed, so you are always hearing him repeating lots of inner dialogue about 'woe is him'...because everyone worships him... We also hear,ad nauseum, how far away everything is in space and exactly what the time lag is for each and every maneuver. Sounds like he's describing a video game screen or trying to 'teach' us about what it would be like, really, to fight at faster than light speeds. These never ending reflections during 'battles' actually makes the fights strangely disjointed: They fire on the enemy and...now let's stop and remember, "they really fired this over 3 minutes ago because they are 3 light minutes away, so it's already happened....and Now -back to the action....
    Didn't work for me- and I love good space opera, give me some Old Man's War, or some Larson over this any day.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chance Louisiana, United States 02-06-09
    Chance Louisiana, United States 02-06-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Ranks up there with Star Wars!"

    This is perhaps the best Sci-Fi story since Star Wars. I downloaded the first book "Dauntless" and before I was finished with it, I had the next two on my Ipod. I then downloaded the 4th book the day it was released, and am now counting the days until the 5th book is released, "Relentless" . There is not another Science Fiction book I would rather read or would rather suggest to another listener. If you have a credit, USE IT; if you don't, BUY IT! You will not be disappointed.

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 01-04-17
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 01-04-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Space battle tactics the strong point"

    There's a lot of inner talk by the main character, and the interactions with other characters are interesting - reflecting the usual human interactions and dilemmas of personalities, egos, morality, discipline, power plays, etc. The book's strong point is the tactics used in outer space for battles. In Star Trek, we'd see what Capt Kirk would come up with to fight with a single ship. In Lost Fleet, we see what can be done with multiple ships put into formations that change up as needed. Pretty fascinating writing there.

    However, the writing could use more sensory descriptions. The characters are faceless to me, just voices, as there is little to nothing in the way of description of their appearance. The environment is sterile without more descriptions of sounds and scents. There are some visuals, but more would be better.

    Narration is excellent, most characters have typical American voices, the diplomat has a British type of voice, there is an Irish voice used, and perhaps a slightly Russian or Slavic type? of voice used. The narrator could probably flex a bit and come up with more to distinguish characters and where the author didn't do enough to describe characters, the narrator filled in some of the gap.

    Production messed up in that the "scene" or "setting" shifts to another location and there is no pause whatsoever in the narration. So, it is up to the listener to mentally back up and figure out that suddenly the story has shifted to another time and place. Even a one second pause would have fixed that problem.

    I bought the first and second book in a sale, so on to the second book, but might not have purchased the second book due to the lack of descriptions and less-than-3-D secondary characters. With so much inner talk in the book, the other characters really need to be stronger and better fleshed out to make the experience more colorful.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • C. H. Ford
    Manchester UK
    5/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent adaptation"

    This is one of my favourite series and it has been adapted very well. Recommended for any war in space fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martrix
    4/16/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A mist for a Sci-fi fan"

    one of the best sci-fi series on audible at this time a series that I have listened to multiple times and would recommend to anyone that's in to space fleet battles and a good cast of caricatures

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Murphy
    UK
    12/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable military space opera"

    If you are after military sci-fi with space battles on a huge scale this series is for you. The books focus heavily on the tactics of combat on a solar-system scale, along with the pressures and challenges of command. The author likes to keep one eye on realistic physics, but without being a slave to it, which does keep an element of realism.

    The characters are a little thin, and sometimes the author isn't particularly subtle when painting their motivations, but that doesn't make the book less enjoyable if you're going into it for the military aspect. After the more serious Expanse Series books (which are also absolutely excellent) this is a little lighter and more fun.

    The story is gripping and that is enhanced by an excellent narrator. I've already finished the second in the series (which was just as good) and expect to get to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scott N.
    11/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "awesome"

    I loved this audiobook It had humour and excitemen. it was wonderfully read
    well done can not wait for the next one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NickFish
    8/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't put it down 2nd time reading the series"

    Sure some of the descriptiveness of the maneuvers is hard to fully grasp. but totally love the fight to become the hero he needs to be. And parallels between the space ship's and current sea ships adds a nice grounding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Systems
    8/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen, but its not unabridged."
    What did you like most about The Lost Fleet?

    Exciting


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Blackjack


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When people rejected his advice


    Any additional comments?

    This book has lost of missing content not in the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edith Newby
    7/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely story telling. Struggle for a man out of time"

    I enjoyed this book greatly. Nice concept of man out of time. With lost knowledge of combats.

    As for some comets that say there is no character depth, I do not understand this as I found there was a deeper characteristic in these characters without have to understand in a deeper form.

    There is some repetition of some fact but this I did not feel was much of a problem

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crazyomega29
    uk
    2/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wonderful"

    Was a pleasure and good gripping story balance of tatics and story love it worth several reads

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    1/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a good read"
    Where does The Lost Fleet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    about mid way of all the books i have listened too.


    What did you like best about this story?

    it all seems well thought out


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

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tom
    12/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Far too predictable "

    I downloaded this in the hope of epic Sci Fi but was left wanting. The premise is strong; a long fighting retreat through space, but it all feels very 2 dimensional. The interactions between characters are cumbersome and it's extremely easy to read how the conversation will end. I'll be reverting to Peter F Hamilton I think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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