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Book Review

Book Cover

Stark's Crusade


Author: Jack Campbell
Titan Books
RRP: £7.99, US $9.95
ISBN: 978 0 85768 899 6
Available 09 September 2011

Having rebelled against incompetent leaders, Sergeant Stark has had to continually fight to keep his men safe from mercenaries sent by his own government and the competing, non-American, moon colonies. With supplies dwindling, Stark and his men face a greater enemy in the form of automated war machines being created specifically to destroy them. Rather than declare independence, for the moon colony, Stark and the civilian authorities hope that, by fighting for what’s right, their example will wake up the population back on Earth, to change the government...

Stark’s Crusade is the last book in this trilogy, written by Jack Campbell, originally under the name of John G. Hemry.

Like the previous books in the series Stark’s War and Stark’s Command, the book is at its best when detailing the minutia of battle and the conversations between the soldiers. This is to be expected as Campbell served in his country’s military.

Outside of that specific arena, the book is less successful. There are pages of laboured discussions about the characters current situation and various battles in history, I can’t help but think that Campbell intended the series to be read by a, mainly, teen audience, as much of the information would already be well known to any well-educated adult.

The book displays all the successes and limitations of Campbell’s writing: limited perspective, other than that of the central characters; great long meandering battle scenes, which rank as some of the most realistic I have read; and a lack of believable character development or well-rounded characters. However, if you’re a fan of his books, and there are many, then Stark's Crusade delivers pretty much what you would want from a book of military science-fiction for a late teen audience.


Charles Packer

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