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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2013
First off I'm a big fan of Jack Campbell. I've read (and re-read) the Lost Fleet series, am reading the Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier series and now the Lost Stars series. Within those series there are some real classics but, to my mind, this latest addition is the best yet. It really does have everything. Firstly, it has some really strong lead and support characters - the action around President Iceni and General Drakon is excellent. Particularly the antics of Drakon's two closest assistants Roh Morgan and Bran Malin. There is also lots of intrigue as the former Synidic CEO's negotiate with Admiral John Greary (of Lost Fleet fame) and also a really fantastically written space battle between - which is an area Jack Campbell has always excelled.

Without giving away all the details this is a "must read" for any fan of Lost Fleet, military sci fi or anybody who is looking for a good story with strong characters, a powerful setting and rapid action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A military science fiction novel. From the writer of the popular 'Lost Fleet' novels, this is the second in a spin off series from those which shows events from a different side of the conflict.

There's nothing to bring any new readers up to speed, since it continues right on from the cliffhanger ending to the first of them The Lost Stars - Tarnished Knight (book 1) (Lost Stars 1). So it's not a jumping on point. Nor was that one for new readers. Who should start with The Lost Fleet: Dauntless (Book 1) (Lost Fleet 1).

Those who have followed these books, read on.

This volume runs for four hundred and sixty seven pages. It's divided into nineteen chapters. It is not the end of the series. Not by a long way.

At the end of book one, Iceni and Drakon, the two leaders of the rebel Midway star system that had just broken from Syndic control, were facing a double threat. A syndic flotilla determined to take the world back. And an alien one.

The initial thrust of this volume is on how they deal with that.

The viewpoint does mostly jump back and forth between Iceni and Drakon. But other characters will get a look in. Most notably Marphissa, who is having to learn fast how best to fight spaceship battles.

The usual well worked battles are here, as ever taking the laws of physics and relatively firmly into account in interesting fashion. There is a fair amount of tension to the early sections as a result of what's going on. And more great character drama as the two leads have to fight against all the instincts they've been raised with to not trust anyone to try and work together for the better of their world.

A lot of the action in this part does, since it involves the Alliance fleet from the lost fleet books, duplicate stuff you will have seen in there. But since you see all these bits from Midway rather than Alliance perspective, it offers an interestingly different take on things.

Then there's lots more for the leaders of Midway to contend with. At which point the real central theme of this one hits. Which is people who have been raised to be enemies having to come to terms with war being over, with the need to hate no longer being there, and finding that their former enemies are just as human as they are. At this point in the narrative a character who has been mentioned a bit in previous books does get involved and have a lot of page time, which leads to some superb scenes all centred around this theme. People getting to know each other. And unlikely but genuine friendships forming.

Iceni and Drakon do vanish for a lot of the final third, as Marphissa takes centre stage and the story goes off on a mission. But this section is as equally involving as all the rest of it. Throughout some tension remains as the 'snakes' the syndic agents, are still out there and you can never be sure when one of them might strike.

But where this really goes up from four star to five star material is in the last thirty or so pages. With some stunning twists and plot developments - all of which have clearly been set up right from the start - that end the book with the series far from done. Leaving you desperate to know what will happen next.

Book three is, at the time of writing, due out in October. I look forward to it very much.

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 October 2013
This, the second volume in the "Lost Stars" series, was a good and a rather exciting book, although I enjoyed it a bit less than "Tarnished Knight", the previous one, which it is preferable to read before.

Both books have very much the same ingredients. The story is told from the perspective of the former Syndicate system of Midway, a strategic hub with some eight jump points that has declared itself independent under President Iceni and General Drako, two former Syndicate leaders in charge, respectively, of its space navy and its ground forces.

Their position is somewhat unstable as they try to make the regime evolve towards something less totalitarian and (a bit) more democratic. They face multiple and unknown external and internal threats and do not know to what extent they can even trust each other, especially since they both originate from the ultra-competitive and murderous former elite of "CEOs". So suspicions, plots and intrigues, whether real or not, create an atmosphere of paranoia throughout the book where just about everyone suspects everyone else of being about to betray and murder them.

The first part of the book is similar to "Tarnished Knight", with the events seen in the corresponding "Lost Fleet" volume (which are part of Guardian) as Admiral Geary ("Black Jack's") Fleet comes back to Midway on its way home to Alliance space after having encountered (and defeated, of course) a couple of nasty alien species and allied with a third. The same story is, again, told from the perspective of the Midway leaders, with the same events unfolding. This was both well done and interesting as it showed a rather different point of view and perception. It did, however, have a strong sense of "déjà vu" and was therefore not as original.

The rest of the book is about the efforts of Iceni and Drako to ensure the independence of Midway, with the help of the Admiral Geary's liaison officer, amid plots and multiple assassinations attempts. Two of the book's strong points here were to show the challenges in having to work with the former enemy and the disorientation (to put it mildly) suffered by former prisoners of war freshly released after years of captivity.

One of the book's original features was the way the combat scenes were dealt with. There are no major battles this time, either in space or on the ground. There are however a couple of fire-fights, both part of assassination attempts (of which I will say no more) and a prolonged attack of a Midway space convoy by a Syndicate squadron (and the corresponding defence of the convoy by its escort) which, in my view, largely make up for of the lack of "big battles".

A relative weakness of this book, in my view, is that the author has felt obliged to finish it with a somewhat implausible "coup de theatre" (the last 15 pages or so) when explaining the bitter rivalry between General Drako's two main lieutenants. Despite a conscious effort to suspend disbelief, this did not work very well with me.

If this had been possible, I would have rated this book slightly above three and a half stars (perhaps 3.6). Since fractions are not possible and a three star rating would have been a bit too harsh in my view, I will give a somewhat generous four stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2013
Moves on the story of the Syndicate worlds after Black Jack's victories recounted in the lost fleet series. Think: break up of Soviet union, re-emerging democracy etc. and you hsve the bssic picture.

This series runs in parallel with the Beyond Frontiers sequels.

The scenarios are a bit simplistic and very stereotyped but there are a few interesting twists. There are clearly about 5 books planned so the story lacks pace and I felt it was being stretched over about four books too many.
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on 5 November 2013
While Tarnished Knight appeared slow and sometime lacked direction, Perilous Shield certainly makes up for it.
It can be argued that Tarnished Knight merely laid the groundwork for Perilous Shield (and possibly the following). The political machinations surrounding our two unlikely good guys are perhaps not groundbreaking, but they do make the story flow very well. And despite wanting more space battles, or even ground battles, the overshadowing darkness of both the Syndicate Worlds and the Enigmas make for a very frontier feeling. Sometimes I had to remind myself that Midway is a fairly populous world, and not just a single city with a port.

Unlike Tarnished Knight the pace is kept up with new developments all the time. Even if they are ultimately not very big I didn't feel any of them were out of place.

The only significant downside is that the people are generally very simple in regards to the other gender.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2013
Held me gripped from start to finish.
Classic space opera with a belter of a twist in the tail.
Top job, get a move on with the next one !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2014
A little slow to start but worth the read. Shows the different thinking from the Alliance people, a scary way to live but interesting nevertheless. Surprising ending, so can't wait for the next book. Should be interesting reaction from Iceni.
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on 27 January 2014
I wasn't certain if I wanted to read this series as they are related to the former antagonist from the Lost Fleet. I also wasn't too keen on leaving been the Lost Fleet series either.

To my surprise this and the book 2 in the series are very good. They are different to the Lost Fleet and a little slower in patches but the twists and plots make up for this.

If you enjoyed the “Lost Fleet” (which means you will have crossed paths with the main characters of these books previously) then this series is worth reading, it will also add perspective to the Lost Fleet and Lost Star series.

The potential to continue this series exists, might be interesting to revisit them say 10 or 20 years further into thier time line.
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on 14 February 2014
The man cant put a foot wrong. a bit of a King Midas with a word processor. He interweaves the politicking and machinations of the goodie and baddies across human space to the "Enigmatic" alien races.
You can almost feel the tension between the president and the general and he describes their lonlieness and paranoia. after all who can you trust in system built on mistrust?
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on 26 February 2015
I've read all previous books by Jack Campbell including the Jag books. This one got too tied up in the two main characters feelings for each other. It started in the first book in this series and I'm afraid it's going to go right through the third, I hope that I'm wrong and I can give it four or five stars.
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