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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 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...
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VINE VOICEon 21 June 2012
Having read the rest of the 'Lost fleet' series I coudn't wait for this to be released. This book takes a few unexpected twists and more aliens are discovered (no moer spoilers i promise). More plot development in this one than action although it flows along nicely and there is a decent amount of combat. I have really enjoyed everything I have read by Jack Campbell, at first glance they appear to be lightweight even throwaway books but I have found that they are well written, I do like the military black humour and as ever the annoyance at politics perverting the military. I will be purchasing the rest of this series as they become available and look forward to the day that i can read the lost fleet and beyond the frontier back to back. Looking forward ot he next one.
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on 28 June 2017
The usual gripping read with engaging characters and believable storylines. I have reread the original Lost Fleet series as a lead-in to this one and I am finding them hard to put down! Highly recommended to all action SciFi readers.
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on 10 September 2017
Great Book
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on 3 November 2017
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on 6 September 2017
arrived on time without any problems
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on 12 October 2017
Good book and good series.
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on 28 May 2017
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on 26 August 2017
Space Opera received a much-needed boost when the late lamented Iain M. Banks began his Culture series. It was well written, seriously stylish, irreverent, and fondly overturned most of the long-running cliches of the genre. It kick-started what had been a fairly moribund genre, giving opportunities to new authors such as Jack Campbell, author of 'Invincible.' Campbell's work is much more straight ahead sci-fi and his original Lost Fleet series was a most enjoyable read, without breaking any boundaries - pretty much Hornblower in space (not surprising given the author's navy background). That set the scene with hero Jack Geary being found floating between stars in an expiring escape pod after having his ship shot from under him during the vicious war between the humans of the Alliance and Syndic spaces. He'd been floating in limbo for a hundred years while the war raged and the Alliance leadership built his myth as 'Black Jack Geary', hero and example to lesser mortals. The original series built a coherent future universe of Geary taking command of a disastrous Alliance invasion and turning defeat into victory, ending the war - which doesn't go down well with various factions of the Alliance government who found a dead hero much less politically-threatening than a live one. 'Invincible' is the second entry in his follow-up series, The Lost Fleet - Beyond The Frontier where Admiral Geary and his space fleet have boldly gone where no man has gone before, aiming to contact and hopefully build relations with the previously unknown alien species, the Enigmas. Unfortunately, it looks like this species played a key role in secretly starting the war between the humans of the Alliance and Syndic blocs, so things don't look too rosy. Geary suspects his fleet has been sent on a one-way mission, especially after finding that factions of the Alliance leadership are secretly building a new fleet with black funds to consolidate their power. But Geary is loyal to the democratic principles of civilian rule. He obeys his orders - and then the fun starts.
Mr Campbell introduces not one but three alien races. The Enigmas are exactly that. No one knows what they look like. They communicate with other species using computer-generated avatars (human in Geary's case) and they are homicidally paranoid - the reason they secretly started the war between humans. Eliminate the competition. Geary has to battle his way through space controlled by this species only find a hitherto-unknown second species called the Kicks. They look like adorable teddy bears. But they are the ultimate herbivores, killing every carnivore/predator they meet. And to them, humans are just the next set of meat-eaters for the chop. Geary and his rapidly-wearing fleet has to fight them to a standstill. I like what Mr Campbell does with the third species, the Dancers. These are everyone's idea of horrific slavering alien monsters - like a cross between a wolf and a spider, yet they are the only ones offering peace to the humans as well as having beautiful aesthetics in everything they do (hence Dancers). That's probably the strongest social comment in the book, along with the hero's idealised sense of duty. It all works out in the end setting up the continuation of the series. Criticisms? It follows much the same pattern as the original Lost Fleet series with Geary's superior fleet handling (he has skills and tactics lost during the war) winning the space battles. There's an almost quaint lack of sex or swearing in Mr Campbell's world (unlike the late Mr Banks) and sci-fi authors such as Neal Asher achieve a darker tone which I personally prefer. But like the comparable (excellent) novels of James S. A. Corey, Mr Campbell achieves what he sets out to do while keeping the reader interested and buying. Good stuff.
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on 26 May 2012
As a print book, see:
The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier--Invincible (Lost Fleet Beyond/Frontier 2)

As a Kindle book, see:
The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier - Invincible

Following on from, and a bit better than, "Dreadnaught", Invincible sees Admiral Geary and his fleet learning that if they discover a second intelligent alien species, their governments actually want them to make it home with the news. They discover a second -and a third. (Which may have been studying humanity, in a completely neutral way, for much longer than the meddling and interfering Enigmas.)

There has recently been a bit of a debate in the real world about the likely nature of any intelligent alien species we might meet, so this book is topical as well as entertaining.

with Jill Tarter suggesting that any alien capable of interstellar travel would be far too advanced to be anything other than highly liberal and enlightened, and Dr Stephen Hawking suggesting that contact with such an advanced culture would be likely to end very badly for us, as the less advanced culture.

Without giving too much of the plot away, Jack Campbell's thesis is that the way aliens would react to meeting us, would depend far more on what they had evolved from, than the level of technology or spiritual enlightenment they might have attained in order to travel between the stars. That's an idea worth looking at and thinking about, so I have no hesitation in recommending this book even to those who normally shun space opera in favour of thoughtful science fiction, because it is a thought.
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