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The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight by Jack…
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The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight

by Jack Campbell

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2081356,261 (3.59)2
  1. 10
    On Basilisk Station by David Weber (Dragget)
    Dragget: There are some differences, but both of these are good military SF. Tarnished Knight focuses more on the rulers as main characters while On Basilisk Station is about a ship commander implementing her government's policies. Both, however, focus the main characters' problem-solving and follow them as they rise to various military and diplomatic challenges.… (more)
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This book is the first in a new spin-off series (The Lost Stars) from Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series. I quite enjoyed The Lost Fleet series and, so far, it looks like I will enjoy this series as well.

I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant at first given that this series, to some extent, deals with a view from the side of the bad guys in the previous books. I usually never find that kind of story as amusing to read since I am always somewhat biased by the fact that the previous books, if they were any good, have instilled a certain animosity towards these guys in me.

One issue I had with The Lost Fleet series was the politics and bickering by useless commanders who thought the military was some kind of democracy and even their own political playground. This was another thing that I was afraid might be the case with this book since the two main characters obviously was not exactly going to be best buddies from the start.

Luckily none of my fears came true, at least not true enough to be a problem. I found the book quite enjoyable. Maybe not as enjoyable as the best of the Lost Fleet books but nonetheless, quite enjoyable.

It becomes quite clear from the start that the two main characters, Drakon and Iceni, are not Syndicate goons and wants nothing more to do with the Syndicate government. There are quite a bit of politics, mistrust and some behind the back scheming in the book but it is well managed in the plot and, unlike the plonkers in some of the Lost Fleet books, these two people are skilled professionals who are victims of a corrupt and totalitarian system.

Both of them struggle to trust other people, something which could not be done during the Syndicate rule, at the same time as they are trying to hold together and defend the star system that they have wrestled out of the syndicate hands.

There is of course a reasonable amount of action both on the ground and in space. As usual the author creates believable physics and, consequently, believable battles between space ships.

It’s definitely a good start. I’m looking forward to read the continuation of this and I hope the author manages to keep a balance between the politics and the real action. With this opening salvo it can go either way and personally, I would vote for the action and not so much for the politics as usual. ( )
  perjonsson | Oct 28, 2017 |
An offshoot of his Lost Fleet novels, with this first in a new series Campbell takes his now-familiar universe and explores it from a new angle. By focusing on the heretofore antagonists, he humanizes what were up to this point a fairly monolithic and cartoonish enemy force. There is quite clearly a different tone with this volume as well, which also offers a nice change of pace. Where the Black Jack books have mainly focused on concepts of Leadership and responsibility, this new series has taken a more morally ambiguous focus on questions of trust. I'm looking forward to future installments to Campbell's rapidly expanding catalog. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
If you liked the Lost Fleet series, and are enjoying the Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier series, then you'll like this book.

It is tough to tell if it is a standalone or the start of a sub-series in the Black Jack Geary universe.

Either way, we get to see a Syndic system [Midway, featured prominently along with the Enigma races in early books] after the fall of the Syndics.

2 CEO's make a go of creating an independent system of Midway. Along the way they must face and takedown the Syndic secret service [officially known as ISS, but popularly as Snakes], have enough trust in the other to not knife them in the back, and deal with gate-connected systems as they go through upheaval as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. There was only 1 or 2 instances of Mr Campbell's love of exposition on space fighting and whatnot. Made for a refreshing change. The story did wrap up ok, but it was completely open for future novels if he so desired.

I, for one, would like to see some more of this Universe without Black Jack. Not because I dislike him, but because writing about a duo seems to bring out a different side of Mr. Campbell's writing. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
having read the lost fleet and beyond the frontier I realised that although some parts felt a bit samey and just repeated the plot lines, I had enjoyed them a great deal so I wanted to stay in the same universe and read more. this series runs the same timeline as beyond the frontier bit in midway star system.
I enjoyed this more in some ways than some of the previous books its well written and thought out. although I'm bored of the " didn't realise x was holding his her breath" I will miss reading this sequence of books but hopefully as they are so open ended more could follow ( )
  troyka | May 5, 2016 |
This is not the sort of action-packed book you might expect of a spinoff from the Lost Fleet series. Instead, it's much more psychological and political, addressing the problem of how two basically decent people who have attained high rank in a seriously corrupt system can overthrow both that system and the habits it has forced upon them. How do you lead a meaningful coup against the secret police when you're used to ordering assassinations for the sake of convenience? If you've lied and blackmailed your way to the top, how do you react to the alien notion of open elections? Finally, what do you do when neighboring systems are facing similar questions...and they have assets you want?

It's good, meaty philosophical material, but sometimes it could use a bit of variety to break things up and speed the book along. There are a couple of battles, but most of the action is handled off-the-page, letting the ethical issues keep the focus. If you've read the Lost Fleet books and enjoyed the discussions between Geary and the two ranking women he has to deal with in his life, this book is similar to those sections and you'll probably enjoy it. On the other hand, if you mainly skip over those passages to get to the next military obstacle, you should probably skip this.

Oh, one more thing: this DOES end on a cliffhanger. Be thee warned. ;) ( )
  RevBobMIB | Oct 21, 2015 |
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To my agent, Joshua Bilmes, who has stuck with me through thick and thin, offering support, encouragement, and advice.

For S., as always
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Treason could be as simple as walking through a doorway.
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CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndicate Worlds’ government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of reliable soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System—assisted by an ally he’s unsure he can trust…

CEO Gwen Iceni was exiled to Midway because she wasn’t ruthless enough in the eyes of her superiors. She proved them wrong by commandeering some of the warships at Midway and declaring the star system’s independence on behalf of the people though staying in charge as “President.” But while she controls the mobile fleet, she has no choice but to rely on “General” Drakon’s ground forces to keep the peace planet-side.

If their coup is to succeed, Drakon and Iceni must put their differences aside to prevent the population of Midway from rebelling against them, to defend their star system from the enigmas—and to ferret out saboteurs determined to reestablish Syndic rule… [retrieved 7/15/2014 from Amazon.com]
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CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndic government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of loyal soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System--assisted by an ally he's unsure he can trust.… (more)

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