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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Enjoyable, light read

This entire story takes place in space, no planet of the week, but actual space travel. It takes a good writer to keep a story in space and not have to resort to landing on weird planets to make the story interesting.

The hero worship theme gets real tiring after a while and it gets a little preachy, but I enjoyed the story and it kept my attention. I am looking forward to getting the next book in the series.

The narrator was pretty good. I did have problems sometimes in knowing if the main character was thinking something in his head or saying it out loud. The main character has conversations in his head while he is talking to others and it is not always clear which he is doing.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Flat and Feeble-minded Characters

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone who enjoys being lectured endlessly about military regulations while fantasizing that they are an average minded adult in a universe full of toddlers.

Has The Lost Fleet: Dauntless turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. I am a fan of this genre, but this author is the Terry Goodkind of this genre. The universe is completely derivative and the characters are so two dimensional and undeveloped that it is hard for the reader to care what happens to them.

What does Christian Rummel and Jack Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Christian Rummel's narration made it possible for me to finish the book. If I had tried to read this as a paperback, I would have donated it about 1/3 of the way through.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Lost Fleet: Dauntless?

The repetitive internal moralizing of the main character could have been cut down by 80% and been more effective. This would have freed up enormous amounts of space for the development of other characters.

Any additional comments?

Just don't do it.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Perfect example of decent military sci-fi

It is military science-fiction - definitely science-fiction in that they are in spaceships, in the future. Definitely military in they they are at war - in their spaceships which are treated like naval ships would be, complete with marines and officer rankings - with a human enemy.

It is a bit space-opera-y in that the characters will be recurring in future installments, and the overall plot encompasses multiple planetary systems and characters. The story doesn't really end at the end of the book - just the first leg of the journey was completed, not the entire trip.

There is a bit of character development in the main character, though the rest of them are pretty much cardboard cut-outs. Mostly, they are there for the main character to reflect his own thoughts off. Fortunately the main character is actually pretty interesting. He has a bit of conflict both within himself ("will power corrupt me?") and with the other ship captains ("is he corrupt?" or "will he get in my path en route to glory?")

I quite liked the story, and how Black Jack's history was brought into the story, and how this history is used to make him who he is. I have bought the next couple in this series.

The narration is un-obtrusive (i.e. at points I sorta forgot it was narrated). There is no graphic anything (sex, violence or language). And, while there is a tiny bit of moralizing (i.e. "this" is right/moral), it was not excessively so.

39 of 48 people found this review helpful

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A Great Start To A Space SciFi Series

This audiobook ranks up there with the Prince Rogers, Miles Vorkosigan, and Honor Harrington series. There seemed to be more space battles in this story than the others; so if that is what you like in a space novel, then this book is for you. However, the best part is a strong character whom you can cheer on. Captain John Geary is a man out of time having recently been rescued from stasis after a long time lost in space. He is a battle hero from his days and is worshiped by many of those in the fleet that picked him up. However, timing is bad for Geary as the fleet has headed into an ambush deep in enemy territory. This is the line of events we are thrust into at the very beginning of the book and may be a little confusing at first. This story is about how Captain Geary must take hold of the fleet and save it from destruction with the goal to get everyone back home to safety. Enemies and difficulties may not only lie out in space but in the fleet itself. A long time of war has changed the hearts and minds of those that serve in the Alliance fleet and Geary must come to terms and live up to everyones expectations or find control of the fleet to slip out of his hands. The reader did an excellent job. I had no problem distinguishing characters. This is one of those books that made me want to download the follow up right away.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

good sci fi

I agree with Michael, at times the author repeats himself about lag. Nevertheless, thats sort of the point. Battles on this scale and at these speeds are all about lag and trying to deal with it.

BTW I think the narrator is does a great job.

I enjoyed the book and will read/listen to the next book in series.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

fun but endless

I enjoyed the first two of these books but I'm declining to read the third. They bid fair for becoming as endless Robert Jordan's "The Eye of the World" series. I liked the first couple of those, too, till I realized that there was never, ever going to be a resolution, as when the goal was accomplished, the series would end.

The Lost Fleet plots were entertaining. If you don't mind the endless repetitive permutations necessary to this sort of series and the suspicion that nothing's actually ever going to happen because the goal of getting home will be the end of the series, go for it.

Be nice if Campbell could take a tip from Bujold and Forester, and give the captain a mission, let him perform it and send him out on another one, as he battles to form the fleet into a real honest-to-god fighting Navy.

Got to say that Campbell's onto a good thing, here, professionally. But eventually he'll figure out why Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off Sherlock.

27 of 35 people found this review helpful

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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

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  • Aaron
  • Westwood, NJ, United States
  • 08-31-13

Idiocracy in Space, Almost as Funny

What disappointed you about The Lost Fleet: Dauntless?

It's hard to believe that a war fought by so many people hell bent on self destruction could possibly last 100 years. Perhaps in the previous 99 years, a very large battle is fought every 10 years that literally destroys every space going warship in each fleet. Then, the next 10 years are spent rebuilding said fleets. Rinse, repeat. This must be the case given that modern tactics require throwing all assets into a battle with little to no thought given to tactics. Any future fleet officer with an IQ greater than 60 is either forcibly removed from command or assassinated. Such a waste that the writer attempted to make his main character look like Caesar by making everyone else as head-smackingly dumb as Gomer Pyle. The space battles are quite thrilling and seem realistic enough despite the unbelievable carelessness off the enemy or for that matter all of the captain's subordinates.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jack Campbell again?

I have. I'm a space fight junkie and the space battles in these books were good enough to keep me running back for more. Up to a point anyway. Careful though. The last book in the series was the weakest.

What about Christian Rummel and Jack Campbell ’s performance did you like?

The narration was great. Not surprisingly, the main character is voiced powerfully and believably. The rest are passable which is quite impressive given the material.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Lost Fleet: Dauntless?

Every scene where the captain is talking to anyone but himself.

Any additional comments?

If you've read this book, watch the movie Idiocracy.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Deano
  • Thousand Oaks, CA United States
  • 11-04-12

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 06-18-11

The lost Fleet:Dauntless

Was searching around Audibles database looking for a good Sci Fi series to read. Saw the Lost Fleet and downloaded the first one, "Dauntless". It is great, find it interesting concept for a long thought dead hero to come back and save the fleet. The light year lag in time makes an interesting tactical problem in space warfare. It is nice to see so many women in high ranking roles. Downloading the next in the series. It is great that Audible has the entire series so I can listen in the correct order. This is my first Jack Campbell book I will also look for books in his real name John G. Henry.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 07-22-09

the lost fleet book 1

Don't be fooled by talk of physics, The Lost Fleet; Dauntless book 1 is pure space opera. You've got good guys, bad guys and plenty of battles and things blowing up. And don't forget the love interest (ok you do have to wait to book 2 buts its fairly obvious). The premis of the book is fairly simple - the Alliance fleet was suckered into a trap and badly mauled. All the leaders have been murdered and it up to a hero to save the day. The book is exciting and well paced. The physics of space travel are fairly consistant and true to life from what i remember of the subject. On the negative side, the way the book and author goes on about it can grate at times, after all the author didn't seem to mind making up the faster than light stuff, so why preach? The only other main flaw, to my mind, was that i found it hard to believe that a military force would lose it capability to use tactics. That aside, its well worth a listen to.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • MR
  • 04-08-13

Hard SF Naval combat in space.

As the author says in his preface, this is a retelling of the classic 'sleeping hero returns in his country's hour of need' Arthurian style story - but, of course, 'In Space'. Captain John Geary finds himself in command of a battered fleet needing to get home the hard way, but helpfully also in possession of fleet combat skills lost to his side by a century of war. He also finds his command weakened by the shining example of his own tactics in his last battle, and his 'outdated ideas' on morality.



The most unusual thing about this series is the hard scifi treatment of relativistic speeds and distances. Fleets of ships must act like WW2 bomber squadrons - as a lattice of fields of fire. Commands take time to reach the edges of the formation. Ships take time to turn. Arriving ships take time to be seen. etc. It works rather well.



The narrator is excellent - managing to make all the characters distinctive and instantly recognisable.



The story's narrative is entirely from Geary's POV, and is well written but maybe lacks the masterful touch - possibly because it is so simply done.



This is a reasonably short book, made shorter by the fact that it is gripping enough to blast through in no time. Fortunately there are plenty more in the series.



Recommended.







3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-24-11

Best SciFi I've read in years

As they used to say a "rip roaring yarn". Superb piece of space opera. No deep philosophical navel gazing in this book, just good old space warfare and petty political backstabbing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison Laura Goodman
  • 12-12-13

A truly stunning read about a space journey home.

What did you like most about The Lost Fleet?

In The Lost Fleet: Dauntless, you are introduced to Captain Black Jack Geary and the one hundred year war between the Alliance and the syndicates.<br/><br/>Still recovering from his stint in survival sleep, he is thrust into command of the Alliance fleet when all higher ranked officers are killed, he is forced to try and save the fleet using long forgotten tactics in an endless journey home.<br/><br/>Jack Campbell is an excellent author who knows how to keep the suspense going whilst telling a great story that the reader just has to keep reading.<br/><br/>The way he describes the space battles is a skill that I just envoy as it is so simple but brilliant at the same time.<br/><br/>Alison Laura Goodman<br/>

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lost Fleet?

The way he describes the space battles

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The fact that the characters are human and show it with all of their faults.

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

No as I enjoyed the whole book.

Any additional comments?

No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sir Greggor
  • 11-27-17

When you wake up and find everything's ....Gone !

Forced to live in your own shadow and to question everything you do, a gab start to this space epic !

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-03-17

exciting and gripping

exciting and gripping from the first second till the last. 10 out of 10, brilliant

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  • Tombo
  • 09-04-17

Little science plenty fiction

A naval strategy story set in space
Substitute submarines for spaceships and the story would be no different
Good characters and strategy but precious little science in the fiction

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  • Tom
  • 08-30-17

Rollicking Good Fun

What made the experience of listening to The Lost Fleet the most enjoyable?

The pace. You are thrown in at the deep end, as is Black Jack Geary and expected to cope. You get fed snippets of information about the universe your in. Not so much that you are swamped and not in a way that it detracts from what else is happening. The story justs keeps going the battles are good, the negotiating is fun, even the administration makes you smile.

What did you like best about this story?

You are not bored. The science makes it real. There may be faster than light travel, but you still have to get to the point where it can be used and that takes time. Physics means that conversations and information happen in real time. You tell the enemy that you have no intention of surrendering and have to wait 6 minutes for that message to reach him. Then wait another 6 minutes for his response to get back to you. While this is going on you repair your fleet. Wonderful.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I like the book as a whole. The pace of the book kept me hooked and I finished it in one day.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but I did have the occasional chuckle. Just one thing though the enemy have the kind of superior english accent that makes you hate them simply for existing. No Englishman I have ever come across speaks like that, they'd never make it past kindergarten!

Any additional comments?

I was so impressed with the first book that I bought the whole series.

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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 08-22-17

a decent start

not a bad start to the series, I kinda enjoyed the politics that were happening as well as the space battles.
however I didn't think the music was necessary and kinda put me off the story, just a little bit.

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  • Paul A. Adams
  • 08-17-17

Absolutely brilliant

Far far better than expected. In fact I purchased 3d book before finishing this the first book in the series.
Nice see the internal thoughts and external actions of the lead character. See the effect of time and direction on the fleets movement and battles.
Excellent