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The Lost Fleet, Courageous, by Jack Campbell Book Review | SFReader.com
The Lost Fleet, Courageous, by Jack Campbell Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Ace Books Published: 2008 Review Posted: 10/29/2014 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Lost Fleet, Courageous, by Jack Campbell
Book Review by Joshua Palmatier
Have you read this book?
This is the third book in the Lost Fleet series and I'm still thoroughly enjoying it. In fact, I've already read book four as well (review up shortly). If you like military sci-fi that's realistic, both in terms of battles, strategy, and characterizations, then you should be reading this series.
The premise is that Captain John "Black Jack" Geary was lost for a hundred years in a hibernation escape pod after his ship was destroyed at the start of the war with the Syndics. Now he's been woken up and the war is still raging. In fact, the Alliance fleet that found him has been ambushed, its leaders killed, and now Geary has to get the fleet back to Alliance space in one piece even though they're trapped far behind enemy lines because they have the key to the Syndic hypernet gates, which could tip the war in favor of the Alliance.
In this book, Geary has decided to make a direct run for the Alliance border, after a series of avoidance tactics meant to throw off the Syndics. But the Syndics are starting to learn how Geary thinks. With supplies running low, the first few jumps are successful, but Geary pushes his luck and jumps to Lakota, against some of his advisors' wishes. It's a risk, one that may get the fleet that much closer to home . . . but the Syndics aren't stupid, and there's another alien force out there who's goals are unknown. Not to mention those within the fleet who are actively working against Geary's command.
I said in my previous review that Geary's decisions were working out a little too well and that something needed to happen to show that he wasn't always right and didn't always make the right choice. That happens in this book. The Syndics are wising up and starting to think instead of just react, realizing that the Alliance fleet isn't going to fall apart and be easy pickings. Here, Geary has few options and is being out-maneuvered, the fleet forced into too narrow a corridor with too few choices. Geary's luck has run out. And it makes his character that much more real, since he now has to deal with the consequences of his command and, with the help of those loyal to him, figure out a way out.
The situation the fleet finds themselves in when they reach Lakota is real and what Geary is forced to do to escape is believable. At some point, the fleet was going to end up in such a situation, and the fact that it's complicated even more by the unknown aliens is just icing on the cake. And Geary's final act in this book is what pushed this review from four stars to five. I wasn't expecting it, and yet it makes total sense.
This series is spectacular. If you aren't reading it, you should be, even if you aren't a hardcore sci-fi fan. I'm mostly drawn to fantasy, rarely read sci-fi and enjoy it as much as fantasy, but I'm loving this series.