- CD de audio
- Editor: Brilliance Corp; Edición: Unabridged (1 de marzo de 2010)
- Colección: The Lost Fleet
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1441806598
- ISBN-13: 978-1441806598
Valiant (The Lost Fleet) (Inglés) CD de audio – Audiolibro, mar 2010
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Reseña del editor
Deep within Syndicate World space, the Alliance fleet continues its dangerous journey home under the command of Captain John Black Jack Geary revived after a century spent in suspended animation. Geary s victories over the enemy have earned him both the respect and the envy of his fellow officers.
Black Jack Geary has made many risky decisions as commander, but ordering the Alliance fleet back to the Lakota Star System where it had nearly been destroyed by the Syndics has his officers questioning his sanity. It s a desperate gamble that may buy Geary just enough time to prepare for the Syndics inevitable return and give the fleet a fighting chance of survival.
But even as he struggles to stay one step ahead of the enemy, Geary must face conspirators within his own fleet an unknown number of officers who want a change of command. And Geary knows that his fleet must stand together or the Syndic forces will tear them apart.
Jack Campbell has written the most believable space battles I ve ever seen anywhere. David Sherman, coauthor of the Starfist series
Biografía del autor
"Jack Campbell" is the pseudonym for John G. Hemry, a retired Naval officer (and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis). As Jack Campbell, he writes The Lost Fleet series of military science fiction novels. He lives with his family in Maryland.
Christian Rummel has recorded many audiobooks in a variety of genres and won two AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actor, he has worked with Theatre for a New Audience and Clubbed Thumb and also appeared in several episodes of "Law & Order".
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What's still good?
The military battles are still well-described. There are better writers of speculative military fiction (Charles Stross, John Scalzi) in term of what can generally be described as "thinking up cool, futuristic stuff". Campbell excels in the telling of battles in enjoyable tactical detail in a plausible, futuristic setting. His ability to factor in time distortions, relativistic changes, simple momentum, leadership, motivation, and even navigation was what originally drew me to the series. This talent is still on display in the battle scenes of this book.
What's not so good?
It would be a stretch to say "everything else", but there are some flaws that appear to be worsening over the course of the series.
CAPT John Geary, the fleet's commander, is still the only character who seems fully fleshed out. We spend the books inside his head, and by book 4 much of the Geary internal monologue about honor, duty, ancestors, etc., is a bit repetitive. Still, Geary remains a likable, honorably motivated leader without becoming a caricature. For the rest, not so much.
Victoria Rione, is, to judge by reader comments, almost universally annoying. What's more, while her motivations initially seemed congruent with her actions, that no longer seems the case. She vacillates between insightful advisor and shrewish harridan, and I actually LIKED her character initially. Now I find myself in the camp saying "Please, someone slap her".
CAPT Desjani, the loyal subordinate and captain of the fleet flagship, still seems too 2-dimensional to function as Geary's love interest. Way too many "Rione spoke while Desjani gritted her teeth" sequences. The book has too much of this interplay. I'd bet Geary wishes Campbell would write a holo-deck into book 5 to get him out of this.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
So, if you really have enjoyed the battle sequences, as I have, then the book will probably be worth it. If you struggled through the 3rd book thinking "please don't have so much cat-fighting in the 4th", well, consider yourself warned. If you are new to the series, I can unreservedly recommend the first book, Dauntless.
I don't want to come off as too harsh. I enjoyed this book and plan to buy the 5th. I think fans of the series will generally still enjoy this entry. Still, I do think it's fair to point out what I see as areas to improve in the concluding books.
* The character of Rione has pushed beyond annoying/irritating into the "get rid of this character" territory - move her to one of her own ships, kill her off, whatever... her attitude was required in book 1, growing tiresome in book 2, and completely useless in book 3 and 4 - yes, her attitude has a different focus in this book (Desjani) but it doesn't matter - her purpose has been served. Geary is fully aware of the thin line between Hero and real-world leadership; he doesn't need Rione anymore to remind him.
* The 3rd party (aliens) storyline in the book is obviously not going to be resolved in book 5, so I fully expect a 2nd series with Geary leading both Syndic and Alliance forces against this unknown enemy. The problem I have with this is that the 3rd party was introduced in Book 1 and has dragged out to the point where I'm not sure I want to wait until 2011/2012 for this story to be completed and we find out how Geary chooses to spend the remainder of his days...
* Whereas the previous books had 2-3 well-written battle scenes in them, this one has only 1 detailed battle (1 at the end is hastily written and no explanation of where this force has jumped in from or how they happened to just 'be there') - again, this goes back to my argument that the series is losing steam.
* This series could easily have been done in a trilogy (with longer pagecounts); these books are short and can be read fairly quickly and it only makes me wary of getting started with the next Black Jack series as I'm ready to move on to something new. If the next series ends up being a 5 parter, don't say I didn't warn you.
* My biggest complaint is the author's tendency to repeat things in all 4 books (and probably will be repeated in book 5) - this includes explaining how the 100+ of ship captains use the conference room (virtual, of course), the importance of the hypernet key, how Geary was found floating suspended for 100 years, etc... any reader who cannot look in the front of the book and see this is book 4 in a series of 5 deserves to be confused... the repeated content just makes the story more tiring and comes off as "filler" so the book meets a specific page count.
* My last bit of review is a plea to the author to ask his publishers to consider releasing the next series as a 3 parter, with longer page count and shorter release periods.
Campbell is one of the best in his descriptive tactical and situational accounts of what large scale fleet actions in future space could be like. Detailed, but not overly-technical, descriptions of large space fleet engagements are very well thought out, yet so well written that a non-military person can grasp what's going on.
Capt. John "Black Jack" Geary is an extremely well-crafted protagonist that we immediately like and empathize with. He's the kind of man everyone wishes to known and work with and for. His struggles with his situation are grist for the mill of legends and Campbell is masterful at getting Geary and the Fleet into impossible situations and then credibly getting them out again.
In the series, the other fleet captains hinder Geary's efforts to get the fleet home safely as much as they do to help him. This makes up some of the best, most entertaining aspects of the books. This is also done in the best tradition of literary military heroes as Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey and Richard Sharpe. Campbell's expert use of divisive, internal fleet politics also gives us a candid look into the military cultures of any age, not just ones in a space fleet-dominated future. Here Campbell writes with the sensitivity and authority of someone who has been on both the winning and the losing ends of such inter-personal political engagements.
Geary's character is very well done but other important characters are not as well-developed as you might hope. Their actions and motivations sometimes strain the credulity of the situations they find themselves in. Captain Desjani, female captain of Geary's flagship, is an interesting character but could be more so, given a little more room to breath. Her continued one-dimensional hero worship of "Geary the Legend" rings true in the first two books.
But as she is both an extremely capable and a highly intelligent, aggressive commander, she might be better served having a more visible (to the reader) internal/external conflict going on about who Geary really is and questioning his military and personal decisions, especially her continued suffering-in-silence about Geary's relationship with Victoria Rione.
Victoria Rione, as written, borders at times on clinical schizophrenia. Though an attempt is made in the third book to explain her actions over the course of the series, they often fail to jibe with the consumate politician she is initially presented as in the beginning of the series. Given all of the other problems on his plate, it is puzzling to most readers why a strong character like Geary would continue to put up with her "Three Faces of Eve" act after the first 2-3 installments, no matter how good she might be in the rack.
The overall problem is that, aside from Geary, no attempt is made to better clarify in better detail for the reader the inner thought processes and motivations that lead important characters to agree with or oppose Geary. Keeping Geary's character "in the dark" some of the time is one thing, and it's consistent that Rione might want to keep her motivations a secret from a legendary and potentially politically dangerous military leader who's seemingly returned from the dead.
What's desperately needed, most of all for Rione, is a clarification for readers of her true thoughts and motivations, especially after so many installments. By the end of Book 3, her character is not so much a difficult-to-figure femme fatale as simply an annoying, ultra-irrational sufferer of the Universe's worst cast of pre-menstrual syndrome. In book 5 (if there is one - I can't seem to find anything online about a release date) if she stays her current course, readers will be hoping that before the fleet makes it home that Madame Co_President has been inadvertantly blown out an air lock.
This is nit-picking, and a relatively small burdern on the series. While it's an accepted convention to minimally re-explain certain aspects of the hero's Universe so that the individual book stands on its own, Campbell does seem to spend an inordinate amount of space re-explaining far too much that has already been covered. The series as a whole is good enough that, if you were one of those people who inadvertantly began with Book 3, you'd still probably go back and get 1 and 2 to get caught up on what you missed.
Final opinion: The Lost Fleet series is great fun and well worth the time spent in the Alliance/Syndic Universe.
In additon the plot includes a dramatic rescue of an enemy civilian population abandoned by its own leaders. Why doesn't all this add up to a higher rating?
This is the fourth book of the series and the structural flaws of the series are hurting the execution of what should be riveting science fiction. The action sequences can no longer carry the reader over the preposterous personal life of "Black Jack" Geary.
In this book, the awkward character of Senator Rione becomes even more awkward. This civilian character whose presence on this miliary vessel is incredible to begin with never has rung true. As the series has progressed, she starts as the competent political observer, becomes Geary's lover and suffers a crisis of conscience when she learns that her husband might be a living prisoner instead of killed in action. In this book, she seems to have morphed into a one-note jealous shrew even though she refuses to enjoy Geary's favors. She all but pushes Geary at his female flagship captain to whom Geary is attracted and with whom he has a lot in common. This love triangle could have been an asset to the series but because it is handled so clumsily all the noble sentiments flying around somehow detract from Black Jack's character instead of add luster to him. Rione is so one-dimensional that none of her changes of face seem credible. Geary comes off as incrediably passive in his interactions with the women.
Unlike previous books in this series, I found this one easy to put down. That's very sad as I love the space battle scenes and the main character. This projected six-book series should be a sweeping epic but the way each book unfolds multiples the weaknesses while minimizing the strengths. For example, after one of the battles Geary reviews certain personnel files that give background information on various officers that have been prominent in this series. However the way he does so is a bit confusing as if these officers are casualties of the preceeding battle although no mention has been made of in the battle scenes themselves. By much paging around, I'm guessing these folks are still alive although the placement of the background information like this at the end of the book deflates suspense and confuses the reader. Am I supposed to remember this for book five?
What this does and what I think the author was going for is to create a story of isolation. I mean think about it, he's a man found after a century of floating in space only to find out he is some great hero of the past. He is automatically isolated and on the outside because of this but then you throw in the burdens of command and an enemy constantly trying to kill them all if he makes a mistake. He has thoughts and feelings that go beyond his duty but due to his honor he sticks to regulations (regarding his love interests and most everything else). This further isolates him because he can't even choose to do what his heart desires most.
Hopefully that helps some of you understand why the books are written like they are. And the 4th book, Valiant, is very good at portraying this isolation and shows that Geary is extremely human and on the verge of breaking down. He can't stop being fleet commander, he can't have the women in his life, he has secret foes that may be willing to do anything to oppose him.
I gave this book only 4 stars simply because as others have stated this series should have been condensed down into 3 books with longer page counts. I also do not like the reiteration of certain things in all 4 books. It's as if the author wants to make his books readable starting at any point. They may not make as much sense if you don't start from the first one but you wouldn't miss out on some of the detailed explanations of how things work. I don't like that.