Read Dauntless by Jack Campbell Free Online
Book Title: Dauntless|
The author of the book: Jack Campbell
The size of the: 5.45 MB
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Loaded: 2782 times
Reader ratings: 7.6
Edition: Penguin Group (USA)
Date of issue: June 27th 2006
ISBN 13: 9781101192436
Format files: PDF
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“Sagas wouldn't be interesting if terrible things didn't happen to the people in them.”
Captain John “Black Jack” Geary won his accolades after defending a convoy of Alliance transports against an attack from the Syndicate Worlds. Believed killed in action, he was given the rank of honorary admiral, and subsequently declared a war hero and an example for future generations of Alliance sailors to live by. But a hundred years later, Alliance warships pick up an escape pod in outer space, and find a body who’s been lying in stasis since the beginning of the conflict.
Geary awakens to see a galaxy that has been torn apart by total war. The Alliance fights an endless struggle against the Syndicate Worlds, until a daring strike at the enemy homeworld is attempted. But the Alliance fleet is led into a trap, all its commanding officers are killed, and slowly all the remaining captains realise that the only man with the rank to take command of the lost fleet is Honorary Admiral Geary…
Inspired by Xenophon’s legendary The Ten Thousand, this series is a tale of a fleet stranded in enemy territory with no option but to fight its way back. Through book after book, John G. Hemry aka Jack Campbell brings us along on a journey across a whole galaxy, from space battle to space battle, from the viewpoint of a man who according to the author was inspired by George Washington.
I’ve been reading these books for quite some time now, and there’s no hiding that they go under the category mindless entertainment. Despite intricate technical descriptions and a few other things. The plot, the characterisation, the writing and the setting are all very simple. But the books are entertaining to read, and if that’s what you’re looking for, they’re perfect. They even have humour:
“What are you going to do for fun if you can't devastate planets anymore?"
"I'll have to find another hobby, I guess.”
Despite having a great number of weaknesses, the series also has quite a few important strengths. First of all: space battles. I’ve never been a fan of military science fiction, but I do enjoy a good space battle every now and then. And the space battles here are both more suspense-filled and much better written than for instance the ones portrayed in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Campbell brilliantly describes complex tactics and fleet manoeuvring, and gives the reader a great impression of how he imagines these devastating encounters.
While battles and war used to be one of my favourite aspects of fantasy and sci-fi when I was a bit younger, that role has now been taken over by political intrigue; and this series has that too. Not nearly everyone accepts Geary’s role as admiral and acting commander, and the lost fleet is filled to the brim with plotting and politicking. And not only that, but in secret, the governments of both the Alliance and the Syndicate Worlds are crumbling, with ambitious politicians and ruthless military leaders seeing their chances appear in front of them.
The single biggest weakness in this series is its setting. Viewed by itself, it is almost pathetic. Compared to Star Wars, Dune, Hyperion? Don’t make me laugh. Neither of the two warring factions have any depth, and none of the planets you read about are fascinating in any way. The series does have potential, and Campbell utilises it more and more as it progresses, but early on the setting is just remarkably uninteresting.
However, even the setting does have one very interesting aspect: religion. It’s quite rare to find a military sci-fi series where all the characters are deeply religious, and while not exactly heavily developed, this is by far the best part of Campbell’s worldbuilding.
“From the stars we came, and to the stars we return.”
The Lost Fleet itself is currently a six-book series, describing Geary's mission to lead the fleet through enemy lines and back home to the Alliance. Those six books definitely make up the best part of the series, but if you read those and find yourself wanting more, Campbell is currently working on a series continuing Geary's adventures, called The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier; and also a spin-off series set in the Midway star system, called The Lost Stars.
Overall, this is a great series if you’re looking for something light and easy that can be great fun to read while not having much depth to it. I don’t think there’s a book in this series I spent more than a day reading. These are certainly not the best books out there, but they definitely have my recommendation.
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Read information about the authorJack Campbell is a pseudonym for American science fiction author John G. Hemry.
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
John G. Hemry is an American author of military science fiction novels. Drawing on his experience as a retired United States Navy officer, he has written the Stark's War and Paul Sinclair series. Under the name Jack Campbell, he has written four volumes of the Lost Fleet series, and on his website names two more forthcoming volumes. He has also written over a dozen short stories, many published in Analog magazine, and a number of non-fiction works.
John G Hemry is a retired United States Navy officer. His father, Jack M. Hemry, also served in the navy and as John points out was a mustang. John grew up living in several places including Pensacola, San Diego, and Midway Island.
John graduated from Lyons High School in Lyons in 1974 then attended the US Naval Academy (Class of '78) where he was labeled 'the un-midshipman' by his roommates.
He lives in Maryland with his wife and three kids. His two eldest children are diagnosed as autistic and suffer from Neuro immune dysfunction syndrome (NIDS), an auto-immune ailment which causes their illness, but are progressing under treatment.
John is a member of the SFWA Musketeers whose motto reads: 'The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword, but the Wise Person Carries Both'.
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