hankrules2011

Book reviews, health, hockey, publishing, music

A Review of Fearless

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 19, 2016

Fearless (The Lost Fleet, #2)Fearless by Jack Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fearless is the second book in Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series about Captain Jack Geary who has been revived and recovered from 100 years of cyrosleep just in time to try to save the Alliance fleet from total annihilation by the evil Syndics. The first book in the series, Dauntless, was pretty good, but I gave it only three stars because the weaponry used was so insanely stupid, mainly “grapeshot” and “hell lance spears,” both of which sound unbelievably stupid when compared to similar military sci fi space battle weaponry and also when simply considering simple space battle physics. Nonetheless, many soldiers in the Alliance fleet think “Black Jack Geary” is a hero returned from the dead to save them and the Alliance. To many of these, Geary can do no wrong, and they’re willing to follow him virtually anywhere as he tries to find a way home to the Alliance. Other fleet officers, however, resent Geary’s attempts to instill discipline in a military that has become undisciplined over a century of war. These idiots are causing too much trouble and when they find someone new to follow, Geary faces a mutiny. There’s another sub-plot that’s interesting. Mysterious and often hostile Senator Victoria Rione finally warms up to Geary, to a limited degree, and they become lovers, at least part time, and on her terms. Where this will lead, no one knows. But it’s Geary’s first romantic relationship in over 100 years and as we find out, it’s her first relationship since her much loved husband was thought killed by the Syndics and, as is found out, was captured and now lost in the system. Which really screws her up.

The fleet finds some Alliance prisoners and frees them, one of whom is a famous captain who immediately tries to relieve Geary of command. Geary has to verbally slap him around to put him in his place. This guy is so narcissistic, he thinks he IS the Alliance AND the only person who can possibly save the Alliance. Jerk. Captain Falco is way too over the top and two dimensional, as is many of Campbell’s characters (characters aren’t his strong point), and he ultimately leads a mutiny of 40 ships away from the fleet, fleeing away toward a different system. Geary is incensed, but there’s nothing he can do. He’s convinced they’ll be decimated.

My thoughts about the first book remain for this book. Geary is a great character. His flagship captain, Captain Desjani shows signs of growth and is a wonderful character. Rione remains mysterious and I can’t figure out whether I’m supposed to like her or be annoyed as hell with her. Perhaps both. Most of the ships’ captains are either over the top annoying or forgettable. The tactics are decent, but the weaponry remains unbelievably stupid. I can’t get over how, what, 30th century or later ships use 17th Earth century pirate ship ball bearings for close encounter ship fighting. And the ships, close enough for that type of engagement, don’t get close enough to brush each other and blow each other up. Unthinkable. Beyond stupid. I know I compare most military sci fi writers to David Weber, but he IS the standard and his ships are usually, what, millions of kilometers apart from each other when they engage. The very notion that they could even be close enough to touch each other, let alone doing so without blowing each other to hell, is beyond laughable.

It’s an intriguing story though. It’s good enough for me to keep reading the series. I want to see Geary, a good character, win over the officers and get the fleet home. I want to see how he gets his undermanned, injured fleet home from deep in enemy space while being pursued by a bigger enemy fleet. But meanwhile, I’ve got to put up with these annoyances. Oh well. So, I want to give this book four stars. And I’m tempted to. Yet, because of the weaponry alone, I want to give this book three stars, again, like the first book. So, what should I do? Well, Geary has to overcome this mutiny and win a big battle minus 40 ships, all the while having to deal with a confusing new romantic relationship and the rumors around the fleet surrounding that and the insubordination of various officers. I guess I can try to overlook the stupidity of the author over the weapons due to the decency of the rest of the book. So, a grudging four stars. Somewhat recommended, but only if reading the series. I’m continuing reading. Not too bad, if you can get past the unrealistic crap and concentrate on the story.

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