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Dauntless – The First Book of the Lost Fleet

Dauntless is a good way to describe this book.

DauntlessI look back at the reading and try to decide if I liked or disliked it. Really, I did like it, but found too many things to keep it from being an outstanding novel.

Spoiler Alert

We start off being introduced to John Geary, a captain of the alliance fleet who disappeared a century ago. It seems he was found in a life pod, and when brought on board, still alive. The fleet revived him, and kept him on board the flag ship, Dauntless, while it went to sue for peace with the Syndics. Sure, makes sense. After the fleet meets the Syndic leaders, the senior officers are killed, leaving John the senior officer and now in charge of the fleet. This is okay, but still a far-fetched idea. He’s been asleep for one hundred years and now in charge of the largest fleet of the alliance. Don’t think that would happen in any stretch of the imagination. Let’s say it did happen. Now, he commands a fleet a century more advanced than he’s used to. The problem is, all the current crew of each of the ships believes that charging guns blazing is the only way to fight. There are no tactics or a brain between them all. They would rather infight and chaise down an opponent than work out the best use of their resources. Nope. Having a hard time with that one as well. It’s like everyone lost the ability to read the basics of modern warfare. If your side is losing, figure out why and fix it. John brings the fleet together, escapes, and then runs amuck in the Syndic’s systems trying to get the fleet home.

So what’s wrong with that?

Besides the obvious, Jack Campbell does a good job at dragging us along. The only problem that comes to mind is the dialogue feels stiff when you read the novel. He tries to bring things about in an honest “I’ll help the old Captain out” sort of way. Each officer has to explain so much to the character that you forget he’s actually been a battle hardened commander for years before he was frozen. If you don’t mind awkward dialogue and the sense the main character needs everything explained to him you’ll enjoy this book (probably the series as well). The read is not difficult but I still think a better editing job could have been employed.

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