The lost fleet

portman

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
10
As I mentioned in my introductions thread, I've not read any serious Sci-fi for years - nothing that've been able to get into at any rate.

However, I was in my local Bookshop the other day and picked up a copy of Jack Campbell's 'Dauntless' - the first the the 'Lost fleet' series.

I put away four chapters last night, and I have to say I'm really getting into it - which makes a really nice change and might hopefully break my readers block (this place has helped inspire me too - thanks guys! :) ) ...

I was just wondering what your thoughts on this series is? Have you heard of it, is it quite popular and do you think its worth carrying on with...

My only reasons for asking are purely for starting a discussion

And please all - no spoilers :)

Cheers!
 

Zoe Mackay

Not all those who wander... Oh, actually, I am.
Supporter
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
484
Location
London
I'm not sure that Jack Campbell counts as serious Sci Fi, but he's certainly entertaining and there's nowt wrong with that. I've not read the lost fleet, but I've read Stark's War and JAG in Space (written under his real name, John G Hemry) and enjoyed them immensely.
 

soulsinging

the dude abides
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
2,323
I'm not a huge sci-fi guy, but I found that book very entertaining. Haven't carried on in the series, but I might some day.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Supporter
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
17,610
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
I got to the end of chapter three and that's it for me. Sadly, like so much sf out there, I like the tech and the feel but can't get past the lack of character experience. After three chapters of discussion between generals etc and not much happening, Geary has just felt anger and grief and that's me out. I do accept I am a rarity amongst sf readers, though, and think most would enjoy the writing which is polished and well thought out.
 

Fishbowl Helmet

Ask the next question...
Joined
May 14, 2012
Messages
954
I've had a hate-on for this book since I read it a few years ago. My position hasn't changed much since I wrote the following, so I'll let them stand:

"On recommendation from a poster on another thread I read Dauntless. If held to only make positive comments I would be forced to say Captain Geary is a likable character.

If permitted to be honest, I'd fill paragraphs noting how badly done this book was from the pacing, characterization, lack of suspense, lack of tension, lack of description, and mind numbing repetition of scenes that completely wrecked the book for me. Then there's the eternal question of if this is an idiot plot, or the plot of Idiocracy. I would only recommend this book as an example of what not to do when writing a novel. Aside from Geary being likable and the use or realities of combat at relativistic speeds and the vast distances of space combat, there isn't a single redeeming quality to this book."

Here's another thread on the first book: http://www.sffchronicles.com/threads/537203/
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,952
I got to the end of chapter three and... Geary has just felt anger and grief and that's me out.
He's just been thawed out from a century-sleep to find everything he's known is gone except the war he hates and that he's been placed in an impossible situation. The anger and grief is natural and not to be gotten over quickly. If you give it time, the anger and grief modulate and he comes to feel a great variety of other things including (an excess of) love and he eventually even lets his sense of humor come out and play. I mean, sure, if it's not working, it's not working but, if you liked the first three chapters okay, then I'd really encourage you to give it more time. Only if you didn't like it at all in any way, shape or form like somebody on this thread, then I'd say there's no hope. ;)
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Supporter
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
17,610
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
Ah sorry, explained myself badly. I have no problem that he's grieving and angry - I have a problem that the entirety of the line is that he felt anger and grief with nothing to show me this or bring me close to the character. I've been finding it too distant for a chapter and a half - that line and the telling nature of the emotions convinces me the character writing is not deep enough for me.
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,952
Okay, I see what you mean. I wouldn't agree that the characterization is thin or perfunctory or anything (compared to pure stick-figure characterization) but I don't feel that's what you're saying either - just that it's too thin or perfunctory for you - not your kind/depth of characterization. And, while the characters experience more and change (especially as Geary and Rione and Desjani rub off on each other (in various ways)) the basic approach to characterization doesn't change so, yeah, there probably isn't anything that reading further would do to change your mind in that. :)
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
7,668
Location
Scotland
I read the first three volumes and that was as far as I was prepared to go. There's just not enough there to justify the multiple volumes (six I think).
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
23,750
Location
Highlands
Enjoying this series - good light reading, but engaging for me.

One big criticism I'd give is that the fleet is just far too big to be able to care about losses. Many ship casualty lists are a list of unfamiliar names, so have little meaning. A smaller and more intimate fleet could have been much more emotive.
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
7,654
Location
Scottish Highlands
Although we might not have had spoiler tags then. I just picked up one from the library today, as it happens - Beyond the Frontier. I'll see how I get on. :)
I can understand your feelings Jo. These series do seem to arouse very divided opinion. However I'd just note that if you started with Beyond the Frontier that's actually the name of the second series, so it would appear that you have dived in half way through, maybe?

Enjoying this series - good light reading, but engaging for me.

One big criticism I'd give is that the fleet is just far too big to be able to care about losses. Many ship casualty lists are a list of unfamiliar names, so have little meaning. A smaller and more intimate fleet could have been much more emotive.
I think I'd agree with you on the fleet size, Brian. A smaller one would be much easier to engage with (pardon the pun). Too many ships to remember and too many captains.
 

Siberian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Messages
170
I liked the series overall although it felt Weber-light at times (captain fighting agains all odds, believable space combat with emphasis on tactics but less world-building and characters). It was a good idea with an occasionally faulty execution - the first six books could have been condensed into 3-4 without losing much.

I also disliked the catty behavior of the two main female characters - you'd think two high ranking professionals would be more civil to each other.

The highlight of the series is ship-to-ship combat - in this area Campbell truly excels (the other two authors I like are David Weber and Evan Currie).
 

ralphkern

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
1,154
This series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I just bought the rest of them (Beyond the Frontier and Tarnished Stars). I would find it difficult to write a reviews as there are two major things I don't like, which are the infallibility of the hero and, as mentioned above, the sheer size of the battle removes the personal touch from it. If I think back to which Honor Harrington books I enjoyed most, it was the first few which were more intimate in their combat scenes.

That being said, there is something about the books which keeps me coming back for more. Would I have paid full price to complete the set? No.

But at 99p a pop it was a no brainer.
 
Top