Friday, May 23, 2014

The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Invincible & The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Guardian

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I know, I know. I'm reading these books faster than I can write reviews of them. What can I say?

Well, I suppose I can say that I'm almost done now - not because I'm enjoying Jack Campbell's books any less, but because I'm running out of books which have already been published. (Luckily, there's still one in this series that was published just this month.)

The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Invincible (2012) and The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Guardian (2013) are the second and third volumes in Jack Campbell's second series about John "Black Jack" Geary, continuing the story from the first Lost Fleet series.

These are all one story. Indeed, as I say, the story in the original Lost Fleet series just continues in this one. However, there are natural stopping places, and oddly enough (since a fourth book has already been published), the end of Guardian is one of them. If I hadn't known better, I probably wouldn't  have expected another volume after that.

Anyway, this series started with The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught, with Admiral Geary sent to investigate their mysterious alien enemies, without even much of a chance to rest or repair his worn-out fleet.

This is military science fiction, so there are lots of space battles, but there's also more than that. Now that the war is over, politics seems to be the biggest danger to the Alliance. As time goes on, it seems more and more likely that some people in the Alliance government sent them on this mission in the hope of getting rid of Geary and his fleet, both.

(Note that they weren't entirely foolish to worry about a legendary war hero and his devoted space navy. We readers know enough about John Geary to recognize that those fears aren't justified, in this particular case, but they wouldn't. Of course, there are different people with different motives involved in every decision. Not all of them are admirable.)

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At the end of Dreadnaught, Admiral Geary's fleet had gone entirely through the enigma race's territory, only to stumble upon an even more hostile alien race. Of course, it's no surprise to learn that they don't get trapped there. In fact, they discover yet a third alien species - this one, friendly.

The fleet makes it back home in Guardian - again, no surprise - but it turns out that the aliens want to go to Earth, now a neutral planet, demilitarized, rarely visited (and then just for ceremonial purposes).

In fact, they want to go to Kansas, which I have to say is poor taste on their part, especially when Nebraska is just one state north. :)

Frankly, I'm enjoying this series more than I thought I would. I wasn't sure how much more Jack Campbell would really have to say about the same characters and the same fleet we've seen since the start of The Lost Fleet: Dauntless.

And I'm still not sure how well the series will hang together as a series. If there's an overall plot here, I'm not seeing it. But I like the aliens - all three species - and I'm still enjoying each book.

Note: The rest of my book reviews, such as they are, are here.

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