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4.4 out of 5 stars74
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 March 2007
You've been stranded in space, locked up and kept in stasis in a rescue pod. Then there's a fleet, picks you up, welcomes you on board as a legendary hero. Obviously someone didn't keep his mouth shut when they left you to die in defense of their retreat... But had they known you would have survived, they might not have mythologized you quite so much. Anyway... All command officers are executed by the enemy and you have to sort it out.

This is the second book. In the previous one, you save your fleet from annihilation. In this one, you start pounding away at the enemy.

What is rather strange is that it's quite difficult to stop reading. It's not written terribly well. There's too many long monologues. There's not quite enough actions. The space battles sometimes makes you think of the early books of R.A. Salvatore, losing himself in descriptions of fights of which you knew they wouldn't end with the death of the hero. There's not much psychological development of the main character (or actually, of any of the other characters). There's a little too much omnipotence of Jack Geary (obviously, because the author Jack Campbell sees himself as a Jack Geary in real life).

So. This story is really a tale of morals on why the military has the rules it has (discipline, order, military justice etc. etc.). The enemy is the bad guys mainly characterized by the fact that they aren't good military (i.e. don't have any honor, mistreat prisoners etc. etc.).

And yet... It's not really bad either. And quite difficult to stop reading. I think I'll have to buy the 3rd book in this series as well.
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on 25 July 2007
As reviews for the earlier book the writing though simplistic does draw you along. Sometimes I feel in the mood for an action film, in the same way a book like this can be a fun read. Do not try to analyse how the ships work just enjoy the ride.

One of the plot elements is expanded upon and just might start to explain why the war has lasted so long and why technology does not seem to have moved on much in a century. The love interest was predictable though not as in a review of the first book.

I will probably buy the next one, they are cheap enough after all.
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on 30 June 2007
Cees Jan Mol's review below is spot on. The story line is good, but then you would expect this of any tale based (even loosely) on the Retreat of the Ten Thousand. However, the writing itself is strangely immature and I had a real stuggle with myself in justifying the puchase of book 2 after reading the first book. The story though is compelling and no doubt I will purchase book 3 to follow the fleet's fate. So mabye John G. Hemry (writing under the pseudonym of John Campbell) knows what he is doing afterall. One question remains, given Mr Hemry's reputation in the field of military science fiction, why the pseudonym?
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on 29 March 2011
I really enjoyed the first Lost Fleet book, Dauntless, and thought the series had a lot to offer with the premise that was set up. I jumped straight into Fearless wondering whether it would be more of the same, or whether Jack Campbell would give further reason to continue reading about the journey to Alliance space.

Fearless continues straight after the events in Dauntless with no break in proceedings. This works extremely well in showing that this is one big story, allowing the break between the first and second volume to happen when it feels right rather than being forced. As the Alliance Fleet enter Sutrah we're immediately reminded of the sheer stubbornness of some of the fleet captains who ignore orders and take their ships on charging runs at the Syndic ships. Of course, this leads them to the inevitable trap lying in wait for them, but also shows that Geary has a lot to do before he can get his officers to understand the futility in all-out charges at the enemy. It's a topic that much emphasis was put on during Dauntless and continues to be the case throughout Fearless.

The Sutrah star system has a surprise for Geary and the Alliance fleet - a prisoner of war camp on one of its planets. We see the discussion between the fleet over this and the reaction of certain officers to Co-President Rione becoming involved with negotiations to save these Alliance prisoners, once again going to show the differences between Geary's time and now where the military has no respect for government involvement in their actions, either directly or indirectly. Campbell is able to play these tensions out well between those opposed to Geary's every decision and Geary himself. Even his supporters are hesitant on Rione's involvement at Geary's request.

With the Alliance personnel rescued yet another surprise is delivered to Geary - Captain Francesco 'Fighting' Falco, an arrogant yet charismatic 'hero' of the Alliance. His history shows neglect for any of his subordinates during battles, sacrificing ships in order to claim a great victory for the Alliance. His nature of honourable all-out fighting means many officers believe him to be the rightful leader of the fleet, but Geary is not letting that happen and the conversations between him and Falco are some of the best in this book. However, Falco's return prompts many officers unhappy with Geary to conspire against him, ultimately leading to a mutiny of forty Alliance ships heading on their own course regardless of Geary's orders.

We once again get a good amount of development of Geary's character, how he is adjusting to this time and the mentality of the fleet. This also leads to a physical relationship with Rione, the one person in the fleet he can have such a relationship with. This also means that Rione has more page time and development, and seeing the two of them come together is not entirely unsurprising and it helps explore both characters a little more. I also really like some of the other captains in the fleet, Duellos and Cresida being the main ones, while others such as Numos and Faresa are just as frustrating and annoying as ever. It's good to see the fleet conferences that Geary holds just for the discussions that go on and they're one of the best aspects.

The military approach that Campbell employed in Dauntless is present once again here with battles carried out in superb technical detail and the descriptiveness employed giving a really good overall look at the situation. Geary employs different tactics in Fearless, mixing in a little caution and a little boldness, but his reasoning is as sound as ever in the hopes to avoid a major conflict with the Syndics. It makes you wonder just how long this will go on for before he finds himself in the situation he's desperate to avoid, but I can't fault any of the decisions he makes or how he performs. It all just works.

So, Fearless is another page-turner adding a more to the series and getting the fleet that little bit closer to home. There is a sense of wonder involved, but also a sense of isolation, and with the action and intelligent plotting going on there's no doubt that I'll keep on reading. Sterling stuff.
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second in a trilogy of books [dauntless, fearless, courageous] about the exploits of the lost fleet. in a space war between the good alliance and the nasty syndic, a fleet belonging to the former is lost behind enemy lines. their only chance of getting home? captain john 'black jack' geary, a man rescued from suspended animation a century after the first battle of the war. he's become a legend in the meantime. can he live up to it? deal with mutinous subordinates? scheming politicans? and get the fleet home?

this is not really a trilogy to come in on the middle of so start with volume one first. the writing in both of them is much the same. It's not great literature, but it's a little better than average and not as bad as it could be, and it does try to give depth to it's characters and explore strong themes of duty and what people become during wartime. All these books are a little under three hundred pages so they're short and easy reading. the space combat tries to be realistic and within the laws of physics.

And when reading this, you know what I kept feeling? the desire to know what would happen next. so the writer has done their job. entertaining pulp science fiction
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on 7 June 2014
Having read book one and being left with a suspicion that I have just been conned out of my money by a hack, I thought I'd press on into the second of the 3 I bought in the hope that the writing might improve. It didn't. Full of passages that smacked of word count bolstering and lazy writing. I grimaced each time the female officer on the "Dauntless" grinned as she spewed out redundant dialogue, and cringed as the politician made her "The Graduate" style seduction of Geary. I soldiered on as far as page 200 before my faculties could no longer tolerate being drained by this nonsense. It seems I will get 25p back from Amazon for each book, and it will be worth it to get these travesties out of my sight.
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Ever read a bloated 1000-page doorstopper inside of which was a lean 400-page story just dying to get out? Ever been bogged down in a multi-volume story that has gone nowhere for years? Then this is the novel for you, if you like (or are willing to try) military sci-fi.

Captain Jack Geary is a legendary hero rescued from cryosleep 100 years after his apparent death, and must now lead a beat-up fleet home using his wits against not only the enemy, but also his own ship captains, who reflect a military ethos vastly different - and less effective - than that Geary learned a century ago when the war began. There are space battles and internal rebellions, strategy and self-doubt. Geary is having a tough time of it, and is deeply drawn in certain areas, and thinly so in others. This is a character study of command and power, and how it is used by various people. Outside of his role of fleet commander, we know comparatively little about Geary: but by the same token, he has a lot on his hands, so the story does not lack for missing out on childhood reminiscences of boyhood antics.

The mysterious alien third party in the background is further hinted at here, and this creates some additional depth - and level of worry - for Geary, Captain Desjani, and Co-President Rione.

This isn't Aubrey-Maturin - hell, it may not even be Hornblower - but its pretty damn fun, and there are some interesting hints to think about as well in between watching the fireworks.
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on 19 August 2008
Think of this as a swashbuckler with spaceships, rather than mainstream sci-fi and you'll know what to expect.

In this, the second book in the series, Jack Geary atempts to get a more firm grip on the Alliance Fleet. He is slowly transforming the way the fleet fights, turning it into a more effective fighting machine, while he still needs to work carefully to remain in slightly tenuous command.
Into this unstable mix drops another 'lost' alliance hero; Captain 'Fighting' Falco. Falco's take on alliance tactics gives Geary a lot of new problems.

What I especially like about this series, is the way Campbell blends the actual laws of physics into the space battles he portrays. Unlike most sci-fi writers he manages to take the vast distances and the speed of light into account, while still keeping it entertaining.

The descriptions are precise and the action goes at a good pace. There is a bit of less than brilliantly written relationship stuff in the book, but nothing that I couldn't accept. This type of writing doesn't appear to be Campbell's forte.

I finished the book in just under 24 hours, (and would have done it faster, but my boss said I had to go to work) so it's quite an easy read, but well worth the money it costs.

You get your money's worth...what else can you ask for?
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on 4 July 2010
Like the other books in this series,the writing isn't amazing but the story is good and keeps you interested all the way through,there is a simplicity to the characterisation and battle sequences which allows you to become riveted whilst at the same time letting your mind reach further into the universe,for sci fi fans and especially fans of Enders game its well worth the read.
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on 18 April 2015
Can't believe that it has taken me so long to write this review, as it took me only a couple of days to read Fearless! If you've read book 1 - Dauntless - then you'll know what to expect: exciting space battles, an expansive conflict between two human species, and the hint of an alien race...

Fearless follows in the same vein as Dauntless, continuing Black Jack Geary's crusade across the Syndicate Worlds towards the Alliance. Black Jack might be the voice of reason, but this time he faces dissent from within the fleet - specifically, a challenger to his leadership. Jack Campbell handles this well, and I ended up feeling some sympathy towards the usurper. There are also more hints of possible alien intelligence - but no direct evidence just yet! - so I'm definitely planning on reading on for more on this.
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