Author: Jack Campbell
Series: The Lost Fleet # 1
Mass Market Paperback, 304 Pages
Publication: June 27, 2006 by Ace
Source: Personal Library
The Alliance has been fighting the Syndics for a century--and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is a man who's emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized, beyond belief...
Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.
Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend...
Jack Campbell is synonymous with Science Fiction,whom is most notable for his military sci-fi novels. I’ve heard about Campbell over the years with my foray into Science Fiction but never really got around to reading his novels. Until a co-worker recommended Campbell’s Black Jack series for the best and most accurate space battles; thus resulted in me picking up Dauntless, the first book in The Lost Fleet series. The story is centered around John “Black Jack” Geary waking up a century later from stasis and finding himself revered as a heroic legend and in the midst of a long, drawn out war between the Alliance and the Syndics. A war he thought he prevented. Geary is now thrust to the forefront to help Dauntless and fleet navigate through hostile territory, hoping to make their way home back to the Alliance.
I’ve never been one for military science fiction but I found myself enthralled by the fleet operations. From the intricate and detailed space battle, practice simulations, war time tactics, battle laws dealing with the enemy and prisoners, to the overall internal and external chain of command. The only thing I knew of space battle can be reference to Star Wars. And the space battle in Dauntless is the total opposite. It’s not high octane or fast. Instead, everything is counted in light minutes…hours with significant lag time between every volley shot and received. The author was an ex-Navy Officer and it clearly shows he knows exactly what he's writing about. What ended up being more fascinating was the character of Geary. He’s been floating through space for a 100 years, only to wake up to find how drastic time has changed. He was a somewhat newbie, not unlike the ones he ends up commanding now. Yet everyone sees him as this wartime god. Every solider in the fleet has learned about Geary from a young age and everything anyone has ever done in the Alliance was in hope of living up to his standard. An apparently high bar he never meant to set. I liked seeing Geary grapple with his new current reality, as he does his best to get everyone home and somehow live up to these new expectations of himself without bolstering it even more.
I enjoyed Dauntless and thought it was a great starter in what looks like to be a long but eventful trip back to the Alliance. The novel hints at more obstacles to overcome and new lifeforms waiting to be discovered. I’m looking forward to continuing with this series and see what Campbell has in store for the Dauntless and Co.