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Book Review

Book Cover

The Lost Fleet
Book 6 - Victorious


Author: Jack Campbell
Titan Books
RRP: £7.99, US $7.99
ISBN: 978 0 85768 135 5
Available 08 May 2011

Sometimes it seems like the fighting will never end. Even though Captain “Black Jack” Geary has brought his broken fleet home, the Syndics have still not been defeated. His standing with the fleet he saved threatens to make him dictator of all the Alliance world, Geary has to find a way to keep the fleet for two more fights, the first against the remnants of the Syndic hierarchy, the second against the mysterious aliens who had attempted to manipulate the whole of humanity in to mutual annihilation...

Lost Fleet: Victorious is the sixth and last book in the Lost Fleet series of books, written by Jack Campbell.

It must have been tempting for Campbell to leave many of the plot threads hanging in order to squeeze another book out of the series, so it is to his credit that, for anyone who has read the previous five volumes, he has tied up many of the plot threads to great satisfaction. That is not to say there isn’t an opening for more books about the exploits of Black Jack.

Having brought the fleet home, Jack is elevated to the rank of Admiral, making a relationship between him and Captain Tanya Desjani seem even more impossible. Although the Syndic fleet has suffered a great deal of losses, Jack knows that if he does not turn his fleet around and face them they will only grow in strength again. Of course, beyond Syndic space lurk the unknown and apparently hostile alien race, who have been trying to get humanity to destroy themselves.

With only two major engagements in the book, Geary has unusually little time to ponder the meaning of the universe, and the pace of the story picks up to the book's overall benefit. Although the battles remain true to their relativistic rules already laid down in the previous books, the number of pages devoted to the engagements has lessened as Campbell attempts to wrap the whole thing up.

Once again, the things which are the stories strength are also its potential weakness, depending on whether you like militaristic science fiction. Certainly, if you have followed the books so far Victorious should provide a satisfying ending. The supporting characters still don’t get a chance to develop and Campbell's desire not to explain too much about the technology, to stop the books from dating, has unfortunately extended to a dearth of description for the Alliance worlds. Likewise the love story remains the weakest element of all the books.

Still, having ploughed through all six books I didn’t feel cheated. In style and content the books remained true to themselves throughout. Well worth a look if your tastes run to military procedures and realistic space combat, though I’m not sure what a generation brought up with Star Wars will think of the pace.


Charles Packer

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