Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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This is Jack Campbell at his best. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest romp in his Lost Stars spin-off series. The characters are all fleshing out nicely – sympathetic and believable – the action, both space and planet based is fast, exciting and never too drawn out. In fact I think this is possibly Campbell’s most balanced book that I’ve read so far.

The Midway system continues its efforts to evolve from Syndicate totalitarianism towards a free democracy. There’s still a way to go but the steps forward as well as the setbacks, the reluctant trust and sometimes equally reluctant restraint from the old ways is all very credibly handled. Probably even better in this volume than in the previous ones where these aspects tended to be a little too front and centre, too in-your-face, whilst here they have been allowed to settle down a little, giving space for other motivations to come to the fore.

These books are not great works of literature but they are good, intelligent military science fiction and, unlike some successful authors of this sub-genre, Campbell is keeping these books tight; they are easy fast reads with little or no padding and they do not seem inclined to start drifting towards four figure page lengths for which I am very grateful.

4/5 stars
 
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