‘The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier’, J. Campbell

Why is there never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over?
— Campbell, Jack (2012-05-20). The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier – Invincible (Kindle Locations 3188-3189). Titan Books. Kindle Edition.

I took a look at ‘The Lost Fleet’ series as one long entry instead of a number of separate books since I read them in one go and that seemed the more natural thing to do. Seeing these books in a Waterstones outlet on Saturday made me think of them again, and I realized that I didn’t yet comment on the follow-up series to the original ‘The Lost Fleet’.

Admittedly, the third and last book will be out in a few months time, so what this effectively is is a look into how much I enjoyed the first two books in comparison to the original series.

“Somebody asked me why I still believed in ‘fair,’” Geary commented. “When I think of things like you just pointed out, I have to admit that’s a good question. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen ‘fair.’” “Just because you’ve never seen something doesn’t mean it’s not real.”
— Campbell, Jack (2011-09-08). The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier – Dreadnaught (Kindle Locations 2108-2111). Titan Books. Kindle Edition.

In a few words: I liked them. It would seem that Mr Campbell has put his mind to work at devising new races that humans can make contact with, and I would say that they look original. Maybe not as clever as some that Arthur C. Clarke thought of (when speaking of Mr Clarke’s extraterrestial species, that creature who lived in outer space and couldn’t approach stars always comes to my mind — just such a brilliant thought!), but certainly more developed in the why and the how than a few we see in our TV series.

What has become more of a point in these two books is the political intrigue where everyone seems to think that Admiral Geary might have his own ambitions for something. Whatever that something would be… That is at least how the story starts out and soon our hero is sent out into the wide (and hostile) galaxy commanding a powerful fleet that is ostensibly scouting the galaxy for the Alliance.

But if something seems to be true then is it really so? For some reason it takes the Admiral far too much time to understand that not everyone really likes him, but at least the next (third) book of the series might be more interesting due to that.

And by the above comment I did not mean to imply that this book wasn’t interesting — it was, but more for how things have changed from a political intrigue within a fleet-to-be-destroyed to an exploratory who-lives-in-the-next-star-system kind of thing. Since the next book promises to be a bit of both it is one that I am looking forward to.

As in the previous series, we get a reasonable amount of military conflict that is as detailed as before and as cleverly devised — by which I mean that Mr Campbell has the captains and admirals counting the seconds that any order or object takes to travel in space. This level of complexity made me desire that in other works as well — although I might still prefer the works of Evan Currie where there is at least some method of faster-than-light even though it isn’t prevalent all the time.

And finally, I’ll just add that I saw in that same Waterstones a copy of Mr Jack Campbell’s ‘The Lost Fleet’ spin-off ‘The Lost Stars’ which takes place on a former Syndic world. I opened it at a random page, and I liked what I saw there. I will be reading that book as well — although maybe not immediately.

As the old saying goes, never attribute to malice that which could be explained by stupidity.
— Campbell, Jack (2012-05-20). The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier – Invincible (Kindle Location 4182). Titan Books. Kindle Edition.

 

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