Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) historical mystery

☆ [PDF / Epub] ★ Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, #1) By Jack Campbell ✩ –

As near perfect an example of military science fiction as it s possible to find Campbell mixes real world physics and far future tech to provide a convincing picture of what fleets of huge spaceships fighting a battle at relativistic speeds might actually look like In the character of Captain Black Jack Geary, a resurrected military genius burdened by unasked for legendary status, this series makes a welcome addition to the ranks of great SF heroes. 3.5 Stars Dauntless was an enjoyable naval adventure in space that ignored depth and challenging complexity in favour of cool tech and massive space battles A hundred years ago the Syndicate worlds launched a deadly surprise attack on a small convoy of Alliance ships, igniting a terrible war In command of the small Alliance convoy was Captain Black Jack Geary Under his inspired leadership the majority of the convoy was saved, however Captain Geary was lost with his ship Remembered in the Alliance as the Paragon of bravery and heroism, in the hundred years that followed his death it was whispered that the great captain would return to lead the Alliance to vengeance and to victory And now he has But how can a man live up to a legend that has built for a hundred years And what does he do when he has no choice but to try to be that legend to save the fleet he is responsible for from destruction This was a really interesting premise and I thought it was delivered on reasonably well Many aspects of the plot were predictable but there were also some interesting features such as Captain Geary s attempts to deal with his legendary reputation and the massive space battles While I occasionally wasn t able to understand what was going on beyond imagining scenes from star wars, complete with pew pew and whoosh noises for the most part the basic course of the battles were easy enough to follow and made for compelling scenes My favourite part of this book was the exploration of naval warfare doctrine and how it had developed over a hundred years I really liked seeing how Geary adapted the fleets tactics and organisation to try and trump the opposition His interaction with his crew was also nicely done and I liked seeing how he earned their loyalty and boosted moral The author is a former naval officer and his knowledge and experience really shine through in these sections.The worldbuilding in this first book of the series however was pretty pitiful The Alliance and The Syndicate are both incredibly unremarkable organisations nations planets whatever Neither has any distinct culture or value system on its own or in contrast to the other one We re shown that the Syndicates are evil because they pull a double cross at the start but we re never given any context for their actions On a kind of related note I found Captain Geary s frequent moralising about how far the Alliance had fallen very annoying Geary took a hundred year nap with a complimentary tax dodge and when he woke up started fixing the morality of a nation that had been fighting a war for a hundred years There were also hints that aliens are somehow responsible for the otherwise inexplicable war This was kind of weird because Geary and a number of military scientists became convinced of the presence of aliens in the galaxy and their apparently important role in geo politics based on evidence that wouldn t even qualify for a history channel programme Overall this was an enjoyable trip through space and while it lacked depth in world building or plot it had plenty of likeable characters, interesting naval strategy and cool battle scenes In space The Alliance Has Been Fighting The Syndics For A Century And Losing Badly Now Its Fleet Is Crippled And Stranded In Enemy Territory Their Only Hope Is A Man Who S Emerged From A Century Long Hibernation To Find He Has Been Heroically Idealized, Beyond BeliefCaptain John Black Jack Geary S Legendary Exploits Are Known To Every Schoolchild Revered For His Heroic Last Stand In The Early Days Of The War, He Was Presumed Dead But A Century Later, Geary Miraculously Returns From Survival Hibernation And Reluctantly Takes Command Of The Alliance Fleet As It Faces Annihilation By The SyndicsAppalled By The Hero Worship Around Him, Geary Is Nevertheless A Man Who Will Do His Duty And He Knows That Bringing The Stolen Syndic Hypernet Key Safely Home Is The Alliance S One Chance To Win The War But To Do That, Geary Will Have To Live Up To The Impossibly Heroic Black Jack Legend Until I came back, like some ancient general who remembers ways of fighting that the barbarians forgot long ago.I rarely pick up military sci fi, but when I do I end up enjoying it immensely As long as it doesn t involve rape either as a rape fellow soldiers because they are female or rape as a weapon of war This book chose not to have any rape in it, and as a result I enjoyed it thoroughly, just as I d hoped I would.Captain John Black Jack Geary has just been awakened from cryosleep after 100 years, only to find that he has become legend Awe inspiring and held up as an ideal of courage and strength, the vessel that picked him up the Dauntless is ecstatic to have him on board.The war Geary was fighting for the Alliance against the Syndic is still going on, 100 years later Seemingly it will never end Everyone he ever knew is dead And the Alliance he once knew, loved, and fought proudly for has devolved into a force that will kill POWs, kill people who have surrendered, etc etc It s up to Geary to whip this Navy back in shape and teach them about honor, mercy, and compassionI could say that sometimes it s good for the soul to show mercy when none is required or expected But Geary doesn t feel like the hero he s made out to be he feels like a tired, sad, old man.I liked this book The Alliance is like the U.S.A or some other strong, democratic country I just picked U.S.A because I m an American and the Syndic is presented or less as a strong North Korea But after a hundred years of endless fighting, the Alliance has become not much better than the Syndic dishonorable and without mercy and not abiding by the rules of war.I liked Geary He is worshiped as a great leader, but he just feels like a tired man who wants to go home He s smart, compassionate, and shows mercy on people Highly attractive qualities in a man, for sure Can he fight against the Syndic and win and lead his ship to safety Can he teach the prideful and misguided crew about honor and mercy Can he live up to people s unrealistic expectations of him It s exciting.The only drawbacks 1 It s military sci fi and I understand that many people can t get into this sub genre But if you CAN, this book is a winner.2 It s obviously the first book in a series You are going to have to read the other books and continue with the series if you want to find out what happens.However, I consider these to be very minor drawbacks in the grand scheme of things.Tl dr Strong military sci fi that is fun, engaging, and exciting But if neither side can win and neither side will negotiate, that dooms everyone, good or bad, to endless war. Well, I tried Listened to 3 4ths of the book and stopped Many folks love it, but it s just not my kind of space opera UnlikeThe Vorkosigan Series, by Lois McMaster Bujold, or even The Liaden Universe,by Lee and Miller, there is insufficient character or relationship development Instead, military protocols, jockeying for position, and battles Some cool scenes Some good battle strategy The author embeds a few navigational and tactical ideas about long distance, time relative battle planning, etc It started out fine, but I gradually grew weary of Commander Geary It s all his POV, but IMO, he s not all that interesting He thinks too much about every decision, every response, and his thoughts are fully spelled out, redundant, and monotonous The author needs to leave this reader me something to do, interpreting and inferring, wondering and waiting.When not napping, Geary ponders how the rules of war especially prisoner treatment have fallen apart over a century of war When the book begins, all the captains, officers, and enlisted ignore the rules No saluting Voting over every command decision Killing enemies without mercy, taking no prisoners This problem is provocative, but the author beat me over the head with it, rehashing the topic repeatedly As one reviewer said, so much that it forces the reader to consider the improbability of the premise the premise being that everyone has abandoned proper protocols everyone except Geary, who has been in stasis for 100 years What are the chances that so much military culture, protocol, and battle tactics should be lost, when computers have survived I needed to get to know some other characters, but they were all interchangeable, like the image on the front cover The returning, mythological legend, Black Jack Geary, surrounded by a nimbus of glory, with everyone else largely monochromatic and similar Whether they are for or against Geary, they are primarily a device to prop up his reluctant hero portrayal.Geary s great nephew could have been used to develop rich characterization and relationship butno dice.Giant step back for religious diversity The text implies a fleet wide ancestor worship Everyone shares the same belief system, with a crew manning 200 ships an intergalactic crew, from a variety of planets See reading updates for specific comments. Dauntless was just what the doctor ordered The last couple of books that I read were slow, plodding things all about immersion and realism All of that was great, but sometimes I want a book to reach out of the cover and slap me in the face with bigger than life action Rest assured, Dauntless delivered.Black Jack Geary is picked up by a passing Alliance warships Frozen for a hundred years in deep freeze hibernation, he was lost and presumed dead He awakes to find the Alliance still locked in a desperate struggle against the Syndicate and himself as a kind of iconic war hero archetype Black Jack finds himself abruptly thrust into a leadership position and forced to deal with a severe case of hero worship Fortunately, Black Jack is than up to the challenge and he promptly whips his fleet into shape, first escaping the Syndicate trap and then defeating a pursuit force Dauntless does what it does very well The action is quick and well crafted I love the fact that these star fleet books are basically ships of the line in space I love big ship to ship battles where grapeshot fills the air along with smoke, guns and cutlasses My college physics is a little rusty, but I felt like he did a good job of handling starship battles at relativistic speeds yet the story kept the flavor of the ships of the line I also liked Black Jack s emphasis on the rule of law and playing by the rules of civilization not barbarians Good for all of us to ponder in this day and age.A couple of odd things about the story First, the religion felt very generic and sterilized The alliance fleet pretty much exercised a form of ancestor worship That combined with sayings like the living stars kind of fell flat with me I felt like the author wanted to have some sort of belief system in the story but didn t want to show favoritism to anyone faith Not a big deal, but it felt artificial to me Next, some of the story line felt very formulaic I can t say that I was surprised about anything that happened expect for one revelation towards the end of the book That predictable story line isn t all bad The book is good enough on its own merits It was a very fun read.Four broadsides out of five. Originally reviewed in 2011updated in 2014I like having an audio book on when I m doing things that require little or no thoughtof course I listen when I m working on leather crafts Could that explain the number of unfinished mistakes in that lower drawer Oh well, back to the subject at hand.I recently finished the 6th Honor Harrington book and thought it somewhat of a come down from the earlier onesreally She seemed to be closing in on Super Woman status When I read the synopsis of the next it was just than I could bear Maybein a few months, after I ve recovered a bit from the last Anyway, in the meantime I wanted a different audio book and Audible had an add for one of Jack Campbell s a pen name of John G Hemry Lost Fleet books So, being me I went to Audible and found the FIRST of the series.Great bookespecially considering the last space opera I listened to was long winded, converted it s protagonist to into a Mary Sue , and devolved in places into a treatise on the love life of tree cats I enjoyed this book and plan to get the next from Audible as soon as I finish the book I m listening to now.This book takes its inspiration from a couple of places The general or main idea the author says came to him inspired by Anabasis The Long Retreat of Xenophon Thus we get the overall plot A fleet of ships from the Alliance falls into a trap They are in the midst of enemy space, out numbered and in disarray Now we come to the other key plot inspiration The sleeping hero What Campbell asks would happen if a great sleeping hero really did awaken in a time of trial, as when his people need him, as in King Arthur, waiting on Avalon etc The fleet is pretty much doomed and it s the bulk of the Alliance s entire fleet Discipline has broken down long ago things look dark EXCEPT THAT, the fleet found in suspended animation, floating in space in an escape pod John Black Jack Geary When the Syndicate Worlds had made their first unprovoked attack on the Alliance it was Black Jack Geary who fought a heroic last stand and died in defense of that Alliance He s the hero every boy on every Alliance World looks up to, he s the model for all space navy officersbut he didn t die It seems also that Geary was promoted to captain posthumously and awarded the highest military award in the serviceand that was over a hundred standard years ago Now with the admiral dead,having left Geary the hero in charge of his fleet and with his time in grade over 100 years as mentioned Geary has the job of getting the fleet back home They have to get back home through the huge enemy fleet and since they can t use the Hypernet as the enemy controls it and would be waiting at each gate they have to go the long way with light speed jumps With the commanders under him divided into basically 2 camps those who see him as the mythical hero out of legend and trust him almost implicitly and those who hate and distrust him and with an annoying to me anyway politician watching over his shoulder constantly threatening to withdraw the ships of her people from his command, Geary sets out to get them home, alive, intact and possibly to the good a bit I like it I find it better than most of the space opera I ve read lately and plan to follow it up I hope I continue to like them4 stars. No Can t do it Shelving this as unfinished after 25%.The audio narration by Christian Rummel was bland The dialogue was bland And Captain John Geary didn t grab me.The writing style reminded me a little of C J Cherryh s Downbelow Station If you like her writing style and you like military sci fi then this may appeal to you I didn t care that much for Downbelow Station either but I persisted with it and ended up enjoying it well enough But that was in another time before I listened to my inner rabbit, donned the hood, and went all Donnie Darko on my TBR HMS Dauntless, meet HMS Ruthless There s no room for bland in the Bunnies Creed stars. Sagas wouldn t be interesting if terrible things didn t happen to the people in them Captain John Black Jack Geary won his accolades after defending a convoy of Alliance transports against an attack from the Syndicate Worlds Believed killed in action, he was given the rank of honorary admiral, and subsequently declared a war hero and an example for future generations of Alliance sailors to live by But a hundred years later, Alliance warships pick up an escape pod in outer space, and find a body who s been lying in stasis since the beginning of the conflict.Geary awakens to see a galaxy that has been torn apart by total war The Alliance fights an endless struggle against the Syndicate Worlds, until a daring strike at the enemy homeworld is attempted But the Alliance fleet is led into a trap, all its commanding officers are killed, and slowly all the remaining captains realise that the only man with the rank to take command of the lost fleet is Honorary Admiral Geary Inspired by Xenophon s legendary The Ten Thousand, this series is a tale of a fleet stranded in enemy territory with no option but to fight its way back Through book after book, John G Hemry aka Jack Campbell brings us along on a journey across a whole galaxy, from space battle to space battle, from the viewpoint of a man who according to the author was inspired by George Washington.I ve been reading these books for quite some time now, and there s no hiding that they go under the category mindless entertainment Despite intricate technical descriptions and a few other things The plot, the characterisation, the writing and the setting are all very simple But the books are entertaining to read, and if that s what you re looking for, they re perfect They even have humourWhat are you going to do for fun if you can t devastate planets any I ll have to find another hobby, I guess Despite having a great number of weaknesses, the series also has quite a few important strengths First of all space battles I ve never been a fan of military science fiction, but I do enjoy a good space battle every now and then And the space battles here are both suspense filled and much better written than for instance the ones portrayed in the Star Wars Expanded Universe Campbell brilliantly describes complex tactics and fleet manoeuvring, and gives the reader a great impression of how he imagines these devastating encounters.While battles and war used to be one of my favourite aspects of fantasy and sci fi when I was a bit younger, that role has now been taken over by political intrigue and this series has that too Not nearly everyone accepts Geary s role as admiral and acting commander, and the lost fleet is filled to the brim with plotting and politicking And not only that, but in secret, the governments of both the Alliance and the Syndicate Worlds are crumbling, with ambitious politicians and ruthless military leaders seeing their chances appear in front of them The single biggest weakness in this series is its setting Viewed by itself, it is almost pathetic Compared to Star Wars, Dune, Hyperion Don t make me laugh Neither of the two warring factions have any depth, and none of the planets you read about are fascinating in any way The series does have potential, and Campbell utilises it and as it progresses, but early on the setting is just remarkably uninteresting.However, even the setting does have one very interesting aspect religion It s quite rare to find a military sci fi series where all the characters are deeply religious, and while not exactly heavily developed, this is by far the best part of Campbell s worldbuildingFrom the stars we came, and to the stars we returnThe Lost Fleet itself is currently a six book series, describing Geary s mission to lead the fleet through enemy lines and back home to the Alliance Those six books definitely make up the best part of the series, but if you read those and find yourself wanting , Campbell is currently working on a series continuing Geary s adventures, called The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier and also a spin off series set in the Midway star system, called The Lost Stars.Overall, this is a great series if you re looking for something light and easy that can be great fun to read while not having much depth to it I don t think there s a book in this series I spent than a day reading These are certainly not the best books out there, but they definitely have my recommendation. Black Jack Geary, famed commander from the beginning of the Syndic Alliance war is back from the dead only to find that a hundred years of war have left his beloved fleet a shadow of its former self Thrust into command of the bulk of the Alliance fleet, cut off behind enemy lines, he sets out trying to live up to his legend and to bring the fleet home alive.I started out pretty excited to read this book It had received some decent reviews and appeared on a few Goodreads lists Sadly, it did not live up to the hype The premise is forced a long lost hero thrust into command of a trapped fleet but I found that I could actually accept that part of the story It was the premise, unlikely but once you got past it everything should have been fine But it wasn t Campbell continues to build up Geary s reputation as a famed commander throughout the book and that is a problem Geary fought in the first engagement, a relatively minor one at that, of the war and distinguished himself Why should such a figure stand out so much that he became a totem for the fleet a hundred years later Did no other heroic figures emerge in the many, many subsequent battles that followed Granted, this is a quibble, but having accepted the forced premise I found the constant references to Geary s heroic status as a bit too much to ask the reader to accept.I tried to put these concerns aside to enjoy what I expected to be some nice military scifi, but I was a bit disappointed there as well The amount of action is rather low and described in a cursory manner Descriptions in general in the book are rather bland, so much so that I cannot recall any particular physical characteristics of the characters even though I just finished the book ten minutes ago The ships a key in military scifi are given similarly short treatment They are described by their classifications heavy cruiser in simple terms like big or slow, nothing Instead of devoting time to space battles or description, Campbell devotes a great deal of time to discussions of how a century of war have changed a Fleet full of honorable sailors and marines into a bit of a rabble This discussion is actually the book s strength, but Campbell spends so much time on it returning to the topic repeatedly that it forces the reader to consider the problems of the improbability of the premise and Geary s insanely heroic status Campbell is trying to do something worthwhile here He considers questions of honor, how war can affect a society and or military, and even basic humanity But the premise and structure that he uses to address these questions are so patently forced as to make them artificial, academic exercises than part of a thriving narrative.