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Dauntless (2006)

by Jack Campbell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Admiral John Geary (1), The Lost Fleet (1)

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1,945718,137 (3.74)64
The Alliance has been fighting the Syndic for a century-and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is Captain John "Black Jack" Geary-a man who's emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized beyond belief. Now, he must live up to his own legend.… (more)

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English (69)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
2.5 stars
I'm going to combine the first five books of the Lost Fleet series in one review. They're light reading, you could knock out one or two a day, and there aren't really natural transition points in the story between books. There's also not a lot of variation in terms of quality or technique from book to book, so there isn't much reason not to combine them here, especially as there isn't a lot to rave about.
Lost Fleet gives us the story of Black Jack Geary, a hero lost in the past and like the once and future king returning when his society (really all of humanity) needs him most...last in a 100 year interstellar war between human factions (eventually evolving to be against an alien race). The first 6 books are all about him trying to get his fleet home and hopefully end the war between human factions, while decimating the opposition, with a little bit of investigation/mystery regarding the aliens and some politicking. There's also a LOT of introspective musing and characters-as-mouthpiece for the ethical dilemma of how to lead both the fleet and eventually the human race (democracy or benevolent dictatorship).
High points, like I said, is that they're light, fast reads. If you like like that sort of military scifi, you'll probably enjoy these well enough. For that matter, if you like submarine military fiction, you'll probably like this, as the sub combat-esque fleet maneuvering is about the only real action you're going to get here. There's limited person to person action, and even the limited political maneuvering is spread pretty thinly across the whole series.
There's a lot of showing rather than telling throughout, even after the first five books I couldn't give you any idea what ships might looks like (they're primarily described by class of vessel and name only). I'm steeped in enough scifi that my mind filled in the spaces, but its less than ideal writing. For that matter, I probably couldn't tell you with any accuracy what any main characters look like, again save for what my head filled in based on personality.
Something really jarring early on is that we don't really see Geary's rescue, awakening, and semi-reintegration into the fleet until book 3 or 4. Book 1 picks up sometime *after* he wakes up, which for the first hundred pages had me feeling as if I'd missed something.
I got the first 5 books free, in a box of other books from my aunt, and while not terrible I probably won't be setting off to pick up any more of the, at this point pretty lengthy, series. ( )
  jdavidhacker | Nov 26, 2023 |
Great book --- I love the fact that the battles all take place at the captain's perspective. It is amazing how much suspense can be built up without being right in the line of action of the story. The concept is also very interesting. I look forward to reading more and following how Captain Geary falls into the "Black Jack" legend that was built up around him. ( )
  RyeToast | Oct 23, 2023 |
I dunno.

There's parts of me that really did not like this book. It's rigid, preachy, and Campbell uses the political and military figureheads stationed on Dauntless as devices to allow him to explain things to the reader. There is a LOT of telling, and very little showing. And the ending is incredibly abrupt. I mean, my audio book ended and I was like, "Am I missing a file or something?" kind of abrupt. The tension's lackluster and the descriptions of battle are..well. Yeah. Lackluster's the right way to describe the book.

That said, there was something that made me come back to it. I dunno, I was interested in whole process. But it really made me long for some David Weber.

It's been a long time since I've been this ambivalent about a book. Usually it's either, "Hey, this is cool, I'll keep reading it," or, "Wow, this is awful, I'm done." :/ Anyway. Yeah.

Edited to add: I started reading Fearless a week or two later, and after the first encounter and Rion following Geary to his quarters to exposit to, I just quit. I cannot stand poor character development and characters created solely to service the plot. ( )
  lyrrael | Aug 3, 2023 |
I enjoyed this book overall, also loved the set up for ideas that I hope come to fruition later in the series. Battles were easy to follow which was a big plus.

Note, I did this as a audible book. Only issue I had was distinguishing between main characters inner voice and spoken parts. ( )
  sgsmitty | Jun 14, 2023 |
Entertaining "space opera" story of a military officer who wakes out of suspended animation one hundred years in the future and finds himself lauded as a legend. Circumstances put him reluctantly into a position of authority at a time of crisis. Good read, will look for the next book in the series. ( )
  fuzzi | Dec 8, 2022 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Campbellprimary authorall editionscalculated
del Rosario, KristinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiore, AnnetteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcos, Roberto GeladoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichert, FrankTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosvall, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rummel, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sander, RalphÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szmidt, Robert J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, PatrickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Christine and Larry Maguire, Good people and good friends who've made our lives richer by their being here.
For S., as always.
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The cold air blowing in through the vents still carried a faint tang of overheated metal and burned equipment.
. . . "Democracies and republics cannot live with indispensable men . . ."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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The Alliance has been fighting the Syndic for a century-and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is Captain John "Black Jack" Geary-a man who's emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized beyond belief. Now, he must live up to his own legend.

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Average: (3.74)
1 11
1.5 3
2 34
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