Sunday, June 5, 2011
The Lost Fleet Beyond The Frontier Dreadnaught by Jack Campbell
Jack Campbell continues his space opera series with the seventh book in the series. John "Black Jack" Geary has successfully defeated the Syndic worlds as an Alliance commander. Now, he is going to seek out the aliens who supported the Syndics. This is classic space opera. Black Jack is the hero out of time, a common theme in science fiction. He was awoken out of frozen sleep after 100 years to lead the Alliance to victory. This theme goes all the way back to Buck Rogers.
Jack Campbell writes about more than just battles. The story is also about a man who refuses to become a supreme leader and is a living hero. John Geary must also deal with the politics of command, prisoners of war, and resupplying his war weary fleet. He is sent back to face a new enemy, the aliens because the people at home are afraid of him.
The aliens are wonderfully enigmatic. They destroy their own ships and installations before they can be captured. As the fleet enters deeper into alien space, the aliens become more and more dangerous. It follows the classic formula of space opera; each battle must be more challenging, and each time the hero must be more morally upright and cunning. It makes for an entertaining story. Predictably at the end the fleet meets up with an even more powerful alien race. It is a classic, reliable formula.
When I started reading this book, I could not put it down. It was gripping. The hero did not just fight the aliens, he outstrategized them. The story is much more than blazing guns. Jack Campbell, the author served in the U.S. Navy surface fleet and it shows in the writing. The series is also on the bestseller list in Locus Magazine. I also enjoyed reading several of the other books.