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153 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fallen Fleet
Captain John "Black Jack" Geary received his field promotion after everyone thought he'd died in battle. Instead, he'd been in suspended animation for a hundred years when he was found and revived. During that century of warfare that passed, the Alliance struggled against the Syndic, falling prey to the same kind of methodology employed against them by their enemy...
Published on July 16, 2006 by Mel Odom

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63 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on exposition, short on action.
It's been said that Arthur Conan Doyle created Watson because that was the only way he could make Holmes look like a genius. That is, by making Watson dull, plodding, and unimaginative he accentuated Sherlock Holmes' intellect, making him look more brilliant than he actually was.

The Lost Fleet series is much the same. Captain "Black Jack" Geary is a...
Published on March 18, 2007 by Orion


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153 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fallen Fleet, July 16, 2006
Captain John "Black Jack" Geary received his field promotion after everyone thought he'd died in battle. Instead, he'd been in suspended animation for a hundred years when he was found and revived. During that century of warfare that passed, the Alliance struggled against the Syndic, falling prey to the same kind of methodology employed against them by their enemy. Promoted to Fleet Commander after a Syndic betrayal, Geary wants to save as many of his people as he can. Boldly, he begins a campaign that will strand them light-years from home, with the only way back through enemy-held territory. If the Alliance had been the same Alliance he had died for, the chances would be slim. But now the Alliance is a shadow of its former self, no longer a competent force, broken down into segments of selfish officers who won't take orders.

Jack Campbell is the pseudonym for an accomplished SF author. THE LOST FLEET: DAUNTLESS is the first book in a new series.

The authors handling of the military is pitch-perfect. He knows the rules and regs, and he conveys the feeling of battle and being under fire really well. More than the sheer action, move and counter-move, though, he also understand the politics of running a large force and dealing with the enemy in an honorable fashion. The "science" that he's set up to deal with his universe is intact and he adheres to it. Not only do readers learn that the rules of engagement do allow mercy to an enemy, but also that anything over .1 light-speed leaves every other starcraft blurred and in uncertain positions. The military and scientific applications of the story, dealing with honor and command as well as real physics regarding how fast light travels, come across as real. For a science fiction author, it doesn't get any better than that.

Geary's character is a little thin, as is the whole background of the Alliance and the Syndic. Hopefully future installments will illuminate a little more of what Geary gave up, where he came from, and what the societies are like -- other than just opponents.

Readers who enjoyed Robert Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS, Joe Haldeman's FOREVER WAR, John Ringo's Posleen novels and John Scalzi's OLD MAN'S WAR will enjoy THE LOST FLEET: DAUNTLESS.
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89 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and Fun, July 4, 2006
I picked up this book and read the back cover and thought well that sounds different. I was not disappointed. The book is original in that it is military sci-fi with character development and growth. Black Jack Geary's thoughts as he trying to adjust to his new surrounds are amusing and totally in character. This book not only has great space battles and a 100 year war, but interesting characters that are more than military automatons. This is a full and interesting world I look forward to reading more about.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Burdens of Leadership, April 20, 2007
I was very impressed with this book. The highest praise I can give this book is that it is worthy of the comparison to the Hornblower series of C.S. Forester. It is the study of a leader who improbably finds himself thrust into a future war where the highly-developed tactics and strategies of space war have been lost owing to the severe attrition in the officer's ranks. It is a Rip Van Winkle tale of a man who must now live in the world of those who would be as old as his grandchildren and finds that much of the honor and discipline of his fighting force has been cast aside of seeming necessity.

Our leader, John "Black Jack" Geary has been picked up after drifting in space for over a hundred years. His exploits in the battle that stranded him are now legendary. Therein lies the unique power of this book--it allows the study of a character with all of the skills to be a fine leader who is unexpectedly thrust into a situation where suddenly he holds all the power and is forced to retrain an entire navy. What does he do? What are the effects of his virtually unlimited power?

The author takes every opportunity to teach the reader the value of discipline and military honor. It is this strong moral undertone that gives the book its power. It is far better than most books of its genre; indeed, this is the first author I have ever encountered who deals with relativistic effects in his portrayal of space battles.

Yet make no mistake, this isn't about battles. This is about a man who is in a position to lead and how he goes about persuading others to follow him. Fascinating five-star stuff.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Really Liked this Book, June 14, 2007
This isn't a complex space opera full of twists and turns. This isn't a new epic full of multiple characters and story lines. This isn't the next great series against which all other Sci-Fi series will be measured.

What it is is an extremely enjoyable read with good plot, characters, pace, and one of the most accurate depictions of real space battles that I have ever read.

The main character is the very real, very human Jack 'Black Jack' Greary. Greary had taken part in the open engagement of a century spanning war and his actions had made him a legend. Believed to have died in the battle his life pod is discovered and Greary awakes to find himself a living legend.

Greary is a good character. He struggles with his status as the greatest warrior of his time, struggling to live up to an image that he doesn't feel he matches. The supporting cast is not as dynamic, but they're real and interesting enough, but the focus is definitely on Greary.

My favorite part of the series is the use of relativistic science. Campbell takes into account the speed that light travels in relation to figuring out where objects based on where they were when the light reaches you and where they have moved to in the interim. Communication delays are taken into account with co-ordinating millitary actions in a way I've never seen. This level of use of real science in science fiction is what really sets this apart from the rest.

Some reviews have argued against a higher rating because this isn't a complex novel or an epic saga like the Dune series. But it doesn't try to be. I couldn't wait to pick it back up when I was made to sit it down and it does what it does excellently and what it does is entertains.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Military Sci Fi at it's best, July 16, 2006
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless was by far a great military Sci-Fi read. The hero is found in suspended animation and revived 100 years after he `died' in a spectacular display of heroics. Now he's a legend in a time where his people are `familiar strangers' and the honor of his day is long past. To talk too much about the book would give away it's excellent points. All I'll say is that the hero is engaging, and you are sucked into his world in the firs two pages of the book, and you can't put that book down. I had to read it in one sitting, and it's been rare I can find a book that produces such an effect. I found it in a way reminiscent of Battle Star Galactica, with a touch of "Space Above and Beyond". The characters are well defined, as is the conflict and moral dilemmas. The battles are quick, and deadly. The stakes are high. Everything you'd want in good Military Sci Fi is here. My only regret: there are no more of these to read. I'm hoping the rest of the books are out soon.
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63 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on exposition, short on action., March 18, 2007
By 
Orion "orionca" (Riverside, CA USA) - See all my reviews
It's been said that Arthur Conan Doyle created Watson because that was the only way he could make Holmes look like a genius. That is, by making Watson dull, plodding, and unimaginative he accentuated Sherlock Holmes' intellect, making him look more brilliant than he actually was.

The Lost Fleet series is much the same. Captain "Black Jack" Geary is a competent though not brilliant starship captain in the Alliance fleet who executed a covering action for a convoy he was guarding against the Syndic, an archtypical Evil Empire (tm). Stuck in a cryosleep pod for a century he just "happens" to be found and thawed out by an Alliance fleet on a mission to attack the Syndic home system. Over the past century war seems to have wiped all all the smart Alliance officers and left the navy with a bunch of morons who can't fly in formation or spot an obvious trap w/o sticking their heads in it first.

Thrust into command because all the higher ranking officers flew off to a meeting aboard a Syndic fleet and got shot (I said all the bright ones were long dead) he finds himself in charge of a fleet run by kindergardeners who incidentally worship the deck plating he walks on. I said "kindergardeners", I meant to say, "not-very-bright" kindergardeners, the kind who don't tend to go on to college, much less become naval officers aboard extremely expensive warships. Collectively they seem to have IQs in the range of their shoe sizes and act accordingly. The Syndics in contrast act like The Evil Overlord Manual was required reading in school and think rings around the poor Alliance saps. All except Black Jack Geary, who singlehandedly whips the Alliance Fleet into shape and saves it from disaster time after time after time...with lots and lots of exposition between himself and his wooden-headed officers to explain in excruciating detail why 2 + 2 = 4 and the ground gets wet when it rains.

This is not to say Geary isn't an interesting character. He's Hornblower w/o the sexual overtones and well-portrays a poor Everyman who has to become a Hero because everyone else is so...helpless. Halfway through the book I started rooting for the Syndics to kill off the fleet so he could escape with the Hypernet key back to Alliance space. If he didn't have that gaggle of blockheads to shepard there wouldn't be a sequel, though, so I guess he'll have to suffer the fools a bit longer.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story about an unwilling hero, June 25, 2007
When John Geary's ship was attacked, he did his duty and provided covering fire so his comrades could escape. But when he is awakened after 100 years in survival hibernation, Geary discovers that history has turned him into a hero of mythic proportions. The Alliance is in desperate need of heroes. After a century of fighting the Syndics, they have launched an all-out attack on their enemy's home system--only to suffer a crushing defeat. Now, the remnants of the Alliance fleet have placed their trust in the legendary "Black Jack" Geary's leadership. Somehow, Geary must live up to his heroic reputation and get them safely back home.

As the younger sibling of a "perfect" child, I was immediately drawn to the main premise of this book. How do you live up to the expectations of others--expectations based not upon who you are, but upon what others think you should be. The book also examines the toll a prolonged war takes on a society and explores the dynamics of leadership.

"Dauntless" has plenty of space battles and fleet politics. Geary is a likable protagonist. The author has given him an internal monologue that helps tell the story while adding depth to the character. The story is straightforward without being simplistic, and has a nice sprinkling of humor throughout. Satisfying on its own, the book leaves readers eagerly anticipating the sequel.

Bottom line, this great entertainment--a fast, fun read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci Fi Military History?, September 2, 2006
I have just completed reading Lost Fleet: Dauntless and there is very little I can add to the previous reviews.

Jack Campbell is the pseudonym for John G.Hemry. (I recently met Hemry and the 64th Worldcon. He told me the use of the pseudonym was because book dealers do not like too many books written by a single person. Because of this many writers have to use a pseudonym for some of their works. I have read that Stephen King has done this.)

Hemry is a retired naval officer who has a strong background in history as well as science. In many of his stories there is an actual historical basis for many of the events. I am suprises that no one has caught on that this is a science fictionalization of Xenephon's Anabasis.

Some examples:

The Hero in the story does spend a great deal agonizing over his decisions. But this appears to be a faily accurate representation on what military leaders go through. For example, my father, who was an officer in the Marine Corps in World War II, frequently explained to me how his decisions effected him. This is one of the things he liked about Saving Private Ryan. He told me that in private that he frequently broke down like Captain Miller did.

The Hero intoduces new tactics to the fleet and in there first battle the enemy force is surprised and slaughtered. One can frequently find actual examples of this in history. (Crecy anyone. How long did it take the French to learn how to deal with the English longbow?)

It appears that he accurately deals with problems new general has when he takes command of a established force. One of them is dealing incompetent subordinates who got their position through politics. How long did it take Grant to weed out the losers in the Army of the Potomac when he first took command?

If a person likes military history, he should enjoy this book and its many parallels with actual military events.

Hemry told me that this is the first book in a 6 part series.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership Primer, September 22, 2006
By 
Steven Samuels (Colorado Springs, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've been a big John Hemry fan as I teach Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at a military academy. Hemry (writing as Jack Campbell here) always gets both the military feeling and moral magnitude spot on. In this book, however, he really nails the importance of leadership and followership in a way I haven't seen before. In a story about a great man, he disassembles the ludicrous notion of Great Man Leadership Theory and shows that leadership is about effort, forethought, and your relationship with your followers. I have recommended this to my students in my Leadership class as an illustration of what goes wrong with the wrong person at the top, and how they can each turn things around if they work hard enough. Yes, the moral imperatives are there--as with all Hemry's books he shows that leadership without ethical considerations is by definition, empty.

Oh yeah, and it's a GREAT read! Can't wait for the next in this series!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story and character worth reading, December 6, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just like sifi, especially military sifi. So when I saw this I thought okay what the hell and I bought it. This book turned out to be special. I read it because I wanted to read it. The story is a western where the hero has to take the wagon train through the indians and make men out of the boys. We have seen this in countless moives. However Campbell by introducing a wonderfull and human character in Black Jack made the story moving. I really cared about Black Jack. I also found myself liking the secondary characters. I found that Campbell had taken time to flesh them out and make them interesting and not props. Let me say at this time that Campbell has set up the ideas of legend vs the common man, which after thinking about is the bases of many of John Ford's John Wayne moives. This concept is familar and comforting for the reader. I also found Campbell's war without anyone knowing why it started unnervingly real and modern. The actions of both sides in Campbell's war were very very contemporay and out of today's news. I found myslef satitisfied after reading this novel and hungry for the next. Great job.
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