Guardian by Jack Campbell marks the first of the Lost Fleet books that I’ve read in print (the rest I’ve listened to on audio) and it was an interesting experience. Insofar as I could tell the digital galley sent to me by the publisher was a pdf or at least a very very poorly formatted mobi file. This is a fact that is inconsequential as far as the novel’s content goes but certainly makes a big difference in my enjoyment of the reading experience. The formatting wasn’t too horrible however and I speed through the novel at lightning speed. Audiobooks have the benefit of control the rate at which I consume (assuming I don’t want to increase the playback speed) fiction, however they also have the benefit of allowing me to enjoy a book a can’t put down while actually doing other things. Reading Guardian in print definitely saw my attention to other responsibilities greatly lessened as I wanted to know what was going to happen next with an almost feverish desire.
Invincible (Beyond the Frontier #2)
A new Jack Campbell book is a drop everything and read, or in my case listen, affair. I have never been less than satisfied with any of the Lost Fleet novels and the most recent book Invincible is no different. For those who haven’t read the previous Lost Fleet series I highly highly recommend you go do so; particularly if you’re a fan of military science fiction. If you’ve read the previous series but haven’t jumped on board for Beyond the Frontier well…something is probably wrong with you and I can’t help. Both parties should be warned that this review will likely spoil both the previous series and the first Beyond the Frontier novel Dreadnaught.
Dreadnaught (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier #1)
OK, I know I skipped the last three volumes of the Lost Fleet series. Maybe I’ll go back and post some lengthier reviews but right now I will press onwards. If you haven’t read the first Lost Fleet series be aware that there will be some spoilers for that series in this review. That there is a second series is likely, on some level a spoiler, in and of itself. So, if you’ve just started to read The Lost Fleet or if you intend to read The Lost Fleet: be warned!
Jack Campbell, read by Christian Rummel
Audible Frontiers, 2008
Fearless picks up more or less exactly where Dauntless left off. Geary is still struggling with the presence of his legendary alter ego “Black Jack” trying to reconcile who he is now not only with who he used be but with who and what others expect him to be. Geary’s age and “man out of time” status is again at the forefront here though spun slightly different than in Dauntless. In the first novel Geary was focused mostly on coming to grips with what the Alliance fleet had become and how fleet traditions had deviated so far from what he knew in the past. Fearless however takes things in a more a personal direction. It doesn’t abandon Geary’s attempts to return the Alliance fleet to the traditions he remembers but a large portion of Fearless tackles Geary’s sense of isolation and, appropriately, fear.
Some spoilers ahead!
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless
Audible Frontiers, 2008
Audible Frontiers has so far done a bang up job of producing accessible and quality productions of recent and classic science fiction and fantasy works and their release of Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet: Dauntless is no exception. One of my favorite things so far is that they often include an introductory note by the author (true for this audiobook and for Mike Resnick’s Starship series) that give a little bit of background information on how the title came about and some of the thematic notions that spurred the authors into writing what they did. For Dauntless, Campbell explains that one of his inspirations were the notion of ancient heroes and particularly the Ten Thousand. In terms of the former Campbell focuses his attention on John “Blackjack” Geary. Geary, who secured a victory in the opening phases of war with the Syndicate was subsequently believed dead. Flash ahead a century or so and the novel opens with Geary, whose cryochamber has recently been discovered finds himself struggling to adjust to living again. Of course it’s more than that as those hundred plus years have served to transform what was a simple desperate battle for survival on Geary’s part into something much more mythic and turning the man into a legendary hero. Continue reading “Review: Dauntless (Lost Fleet) by Jack Campbell (audio)”