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The Lost Fleet: Valiant, by Jack Campbell Book Review | SFReader.com
The Lost Fleet: Valiant, by Jack Campbell Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Ace Books Published: 2008 Review Posted: 7/19/2014 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Lost Fleet: Valiant, by Jack Campbell
Book Review by Joshua Palmatier
Have you read this book?
This is the fourth book in the Lost Fleet series. It's military SF, which I don't usually read and/or enjoy, but I have to say that this series rocks. So maybe I do like military SF . . . just only the good kind. *grin* In any case, if you like realistic, hardcore, military SF, then you should be reading this series.
In this book, we get the continuation of the battle at Lakota star system, which in the previous book is where Captain John Geary found his fleet trapped and outflanked by the Syndics . . . with the help of the elusive aliens that gave the Alliance and the Syndics the hypernet gates. Geary managed to get the majority of his fleet away from the jaws of the trap, but then immediately turned around and returned to the system, hoping the move would catch the Syndics by surprise. At the same time, the forces within the fleet that don't want Geary to succeed have stepped up their on internal attacks, raising the level by actively killing members of the fleet that could expose them . . . and targeting John Geary himself and those that support him.
Again, the book and the plight of both John Geary and the fleet capture the reader's interest and sympathy and immediately draw you into the story. The key to this series' success (at least for me) is the focus on the characters and the near-impossible situation that they find themselves in. That's what keeps the book riveting, not the realistic space battles. The political intrigue taking place internally also keeps me reading, since Geary's greatest enemy isn't actually the Syndics or the aliens, it's people within his own fleet. To add to all of this, here the relationship that has been developing between Geary and the captain of the Dauntless also comes to the fore--a relationship that neither one of the two can act upon without serious consequences. All of this combines for another great book in the series.
The only reason that I didn't give this book 5 stars was because the book itself is off balance. There are some great scenes in the first half of the book as the fleet re-enters Lakota and is forced to deal with the Syndics forces that remain there and their own internal sabotage. However, after that, the book enters into a lull that pretty much extends all the way to the end of the book. There are some internal struggles in there, and one or two moral issues raised and addressed, but the immediacy of everything is lost when the fleet departs Lakota. Basically, I felt the first half of the book completed the arc started in the previous book, and the second half was simply a transition period getting us to the next book. Yes, some things were developed--necessary things, even--but the main thrust of the book happened in the first half.
So, that simply means readers should immediately move on to the fifth book in the series, which I fully intend to do. *grin* Even with the lull, it was a great book and retained my interest all the way to the end. Definitely interested in seeing what happens next.