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Black Jack and the Aliens
on 12 April 2013
To a large extent, "Beyond the Frontier" volume 2 (Invincible) continues in the same line as all of the previous Lost Fleet episodes, with the same ingredients being used. Accordingly, "fans" of the Lost Fleet (including myself) will get what they are used to: the usual "bantering" between Black Jack and his two closest female associates, the usual bits of intrigue and "complex" relationships between him and some of his captains (his niece, in particular) and the usual (and rather impressive) space battle.
Although I very much liked Tarnished Knight, largely because it was different, I just could not help feeling a strong sense of "déjà vu" and a certain lack of originality when reading this book and it left me a bit disenchanted. I recognize however that this subjective feeling is somewhat unfair in two respects. As a first new element, the author introduces us to three alien races, so two more in addition to the ones already meet in "Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught". Secondly, as Black Jack and his worn out Fleet rush back to defend human space, the threads come together between this book and "The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight". Note however that both books can very well be read separately.
Even then, however, and although I still liked and enjoyed the book, I was not exactly "carried away" anymore, as I had been with some of the previous titles. Nor did I like it quite as much as Tarnished Knight. Maybe some of the previous "magic" has worn off a little, as each "Lost Fleet" book (there are six of them) and now each "Beyond the Frontier" (currently two with the third volume due to be published shortly) book tends to contain the same or very similar ingredients. After a number of volumes, this tends to get somewhat repetitive even if still enjoyable...