Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Lost Fleet: Relentless, Victorious

(cover image from Amazon.com)

The final two books in Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series - Relentless (2009) and Victorious (2010) - finally arrived yesterday, and I immediately sat down and read them both. Yeah, I just couldn't resist.

Note that the series is all one story. Indeed, the story continues, even after this series ends, with The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught (2011). But the story does come to a satisfying conclusion in this series.

As I explained in my review of the first Lost Fleet book, John "Black Jack" Geary has been in suspended animation for a century, one of the first victims of the war between the Alliance and the Syndicate Worlds.

When finally recovered, he learns that the Alliance has turned him into a legendary hero and that the war has been draining - and changing - both societies for the past century. Almost immediately, he's forced to take command of a starship fleet trapped behind enemy lines, horribly outnumbered, after a devastating defeat.

Of course, there's never any doubt that the fleet will make it home. This isn't a Greek tragedy, where everyone dies. Equally, there's never any doubt that some ships and some people won't make it home. To that extent, this is typical military science fiction (though far better than most).

What can I say that I haven't already said in previous reviews? Well, not much, I guess. Geary continues to handle the fleet superbly (not so much his personal life, though). Each battle is different enough to be entertaining, even after several volumes. And there's more going on than just space battles, with unexpected enemies both inside and outside the fleet.

(cover image from Amazon.com)

The fleet finally makes it home in the fifth volume of the series, Relentless (as I say, that's no spoiler, because it was obviously going to happen, right from the beginning), then heads back out to finish the war in Victorious. (Do you really have to be told how that turns out?)

I had a great time with it, and there's more to come. I already posted a review of The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight - the first in a new series which focuses on former Syndics, after the Syndicate Worlds empire begins to break up. I'm especially enthusiastic about that.

But John Geary continues, with pretty much the same fleet and the same people, in The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught, too. I wonder a little more about that, since it seems so similar to the first series. But there are some pretty interesting aliens involved, so we'll just have to see.

I'm certainly very pleased to have discovered this author. If you like military science fiction, you don't want to miss The Lost Fleet. And even if you don't, you still might want to give it a try. It's done very well here.

Note: You can find all of my book reviews here.

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