Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell (the pen name of John Hemry) is a military sci-fi novel that revolves around the main character Captain John "Black Jack" Geary. Geary is war hero of historic proportions and the hero of the battle in the Grendel system. The Syndics (a human corporate empire) ambushed the Alliance at Grendel where Geary made himself famous with his heroic "last stand". Geary is thought to be lost in battle at the helm of his ship but a hundred years later an Alliance fleet finds Geary aboard an escape pod, in stasis.
Geary awakes to find that, shockingly, it's an entire century since he commanded the battle at Grendel and the war is still going. He is disturbed by the reaction the crews of the fleet have when they see him, after all he's the legendary "Black Jack". Crews swear by his name much in the same way people use the name "Jesus" in real life. This all disturbs Geary and in fact he finds it just plain annoying. As with most legends, Geary's has been inflated beyond how he can actually perform so he is constantly trying to point out that he is not the person they think he is.
Well, he gets little time to convince them otherwise: Shortly after he awakes the commander of the fleet and his staff are killed by the Syndics in an act of treachery. Admiral Bloch left Geary in charge of the fleet in his absence. Now in charge Geary mush lead the battered, out-gunned fleet home after their terrible defeat.
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless is a great example of Military Sci-Fi. Those who like John Scalzi should like Campbell's style of writing: not overly complicated and doesn't require a degree in physics to understand the technology. Good solid storytelling. The pacing of the story is outstanding and balanced. While there isn't as much combat in the book as one would suspect for this type of novel, Campbell manages to keep the pages turning with the subplots. Many of the subplots revolve around the logistics of running a fleet and managing problems with the crew.
Jack Geary is a very interesting character. Instead of the author pushing him as the "man god" Geary plays down his prowess and despises the legend worship he is met with. He struggles with grasping the new technology of the day and the culture of the fleet has completely changed.
While the setting is covered very thinly, there is enough to get an idea of the cultures of the two human factions involved in this book. Hopefully in future books we will get more background on the Alliance, Syndics, and the characters themselves.
Conclusion: If you like military Sci-Fi this book should be right up your alley. There's enough action, plenty of subplots and a really fun story to be find within the pages of this novel. I feel comfortable saying that Campbell is in the same class as Scalzi, Haldeman, and Ringo. If you like these authors, you should find Lost Fleet: Dauntless to your liking.
I picked this book because i've read several sci-fi military series , i love series and this author looks like he has a winner with The Lost Fleet. The book is original in that it is military sci-fi with character development and a plot that continues to expand. First throw in a Legandary Hero "Black Jack Geary" and his thoughts as he trying to adjust to his new surrounds are amusing and totally in character but as he comes to grip with having been thrown into command of a fleet trapped behind enemy lines with little hope of survival. This book is full of great space battles and a 100 year war with traditions that have been forgottem or thrown out in space, traditions that will soon be reinstalled to continue the traditions that have gone on before. This is a fun and interesting book that keeps the reader involved and waiting for the next book.... I look forward to reading the next book.
This book was absolutely amazing. A captain who has spent 100 years in hibernation is the only person that might save the future. Most sci-fi books ignore many of the laws of physics, a book that works with these limitations takes far more imagination. This may not be your cup of tea if you like sci-fi ground combat, but Campell does a great job of describing fleet-wide maneuvering and combat. Most fans of military sci-fi should find this book to be well worth while.
Somehow the idea of a "sea adventure" is space didn't seem like something I would like even though I like both genre's it didn't seem like they could be successfully integrated, but I was wrong. I really enjoyed this book from both standpoints and I intend to read the rest of the series.
As I searched for books to read, I kept coming across the Lost Fleet series. I avoided ordering any of the books as too many space opera series have these great space battles where too many ships are destroyed as if they and the people aboard them meant nothing.
I finally decided to trey reading this one, the first in the series, if only because I had too many credit accumulated. And was I glad I did. Jack Campbell does an excellent job of defining the main and supporting characters along with a realistic story line. This is space opera at its best.
I was skeptical about this series but read it based on a recommendation on Linnea Sinclair's list. I was hooked almost immediately, quit reading the book I was reading, and have now read the first four books in less than a month.
The series as a whole reads like a single epic tale. But each book has a lot of "recap" since they came out so far apart. If you're reading them in a row like I am it can be a bit trying at times, but the main plot and the huge surprise plot, plus the romantic sub-plots make this book the first step in a terrific journey.
Each book in this series is more than space battles. Each one unwraps another layer in each aspect--character development, backstory, a mystery, and romance.
Read them in order. You'll get more out of them that way.
I didn't expect a lot from this book and boy was I wrong. What a great story! Good writing. Good story. And I know there is a twist coming and while I might suspect what it is there is every chance that I am about to be surprised again. If you like sailing stories, science fiction, navy stories, or just plain adventure then read this.
Review: Campbell has a very interesting idea for this series. Two human empires (The Alliance and The Syndics) have been at war for almost a century now. For most of that century neither side has been able to push things out of a stalemate. At the same time a century of war has drained the Alliance of resources, especially trained personnel. Officers in the Navy keep getting promoted because there's no one else to do the job. This has resulted in an under trained military, with no idea of military discipline and a tendency to make decisions (even in battle) by committee.
However, an opportunity has come along - a Syndic traitor has (literally) handed the Alliance the keys to the Syndic home world. The Alliance pulls together a fleet and heads out to finish the war. Their path in takes them through areas of space that haven't been traveled much since the beginning of the war. They stumble across an old rescue pod that is still active. Inside the find Captain John "Black Jack" Geary still in cryosleep. Black Jack was an early hero in the war, believed to have died in battle a century ago. When he's awakened he finds himself surrounded by an entire fleet of people with a serious case of Hero worship. While he's still trying to adjust to his new life the fleet enters space around the Syndic home world - just to find out it was a trap. Black Jack winds up in charge of the entire fleet (due to seniority - it's hard to been someone that's been Captain for 100 years) and has to try to get everyone safely home.
Unfortunately almost everything up above happens before the beginning of the book. It could have been a better book if it has started a bit early and incorporated some of that into actually story instead of background.
Despite the interesting ideas that Campbell has, the story isn't told well at well. In fact the writing gets a bit repetitive - Black Jack sits around feeling sorry for himself, getting annoyed at people for their hero-worship, worrying about the fact that there's no way to accomplish his goals without either sacrificing some of his people or killing some of the enemy, and horrified at the incompetence and bloodthirstiness of the modern navy. The the captain of the ship that he's on will do something to show her hero-worship, followed by an expression of bafflement that he doesn't want to kill all of the enemy in sight and burn and salt their fields. Then a representative of an allied government on the ship will come up, ask Black Jack what his plans are and make it clear that she doesn't trust him to do anything intelligent because he's a Hero and Hero's get people killed. Repeat until the end of the book. It gets very annoying by the 4th or 5th time through the cycle, especially when there's no character development at all.
Dezaree M. reviewed Dauntless (Lost Fleet, Bk 1) on
I very much enjoyed this book. Jack Campbell did a great
job with the storyline. I think David Weber still has him beat with the space battles. But overall it was a
great book. Couldn't wait to start book 2. Glad I ordered it along with book 1.
I enjoyed the book very much. It was brain candy, but fun. The story was unique and flowed from one adventure to another. Really kept my interest from start to finish. I enjoyed it so much I have put the other Lost Fleet books on my wish list.
OK, how embarrassed am I to admit I've just read this? ... Not at all actually. I've tended to steer away from military SF (damaged by Starship Troopers at a tender age) but the premise of this intrigued me: the hero of a legendary "last stand" is discovered alive, floating in space, in stasis, and discovers that he must simultaneously live up to his heroic reputation while saving his new comrades (who could be his great-grandchildren) from the stupid macho heroics that are the twisted legacy of his legend. Imagine George Armstrong Custer were to be discovered alive -- and turned out to be a nice guy, with a conscience.
It helps that this is well-written -- while the secondary characters are a leetle cardboard, the psychology of Black Jack himself -- awakened to find that everyone he knew and loved is dead, and he is the focus of a personality cult -- is not bad at all. Now can the next five books int he series live up to this good read?