From: Snowflake, Arizona
I know opinions differ - of course they do, but I was kind of intrigued with the talk of this series so decided to check them out on Amazon...the first book, Dauntless, gets a few scathing reviews -
Firstly this book lacks anything that can be described as 'character development'. The main actor John 'Black Jack' Geary, the lost war hero, is one of the shallowest characters I have ever been exposed to. He is a most obvious manifestation of the author's ego, and the character's protestations to hate the demi-god status he enjoys are at best a fig leaf the author supplies to justify his self-serving creation.
The female characters are offensively two-dimensional, cast as either 'ice maidens' who melt before Black Jack's glory or naive youngsters who worship the ground he walks on. Whilst the male characters fall into two groups also, the idiots who oppose him, or the intelligent, vaguely developed characters that defer to his greatness.
The plot has one intriguing aspect (that I shall not mention to avoid spoiling the trilogy's few minor graces) but in all other ways is a particularly bland war story, page-turner is not how I would describe this book, 'can I be bothered to turn the page' is closer to it.
The battle scenes so praised are so obsessed with the concept of 'temporal distortion' that they become a lesson in the physics of theoretical space battles and descriptions of ship formations. Battle scenes in which the Alliance (goodies) loses barely a ship whilst the Syndics (baddies, as if it even needs stating) are annihilated to the last man. The Syndics are painted purely as 'bad guys' no attempt is made to discuss their motives or paint them as even vaguely human it is a morally 'black and white' universe worthy of George W. Bush.
If this is "As good as military science fiction gets" as the inappropriately ebullient praise on the cover states, then God help military science fiction. I have bought and will read the second instalment because its there, but the third? I wouldn't waste the £3.41.
This book bears no resemblance to the review that tempted me to buying it. About half way through the book I went back and checked if it was really marketed as an 'adult' book or a 'young-adult' book, it's so poorly written and seems aimed at a much younger audience. The characters are two dimensional and the whole story reads like a rehashed version of a Horatio Hornblower type book, the physics is a band-aid to the lack of story or ideas, thrown over the top to make it seem valid as 'sci-fi'. If the book was slightly rewritten you could easily imagine it as a lost fleet story of ancient sailing vessels, with all the accompanying saturday morning tv appeal. I'm amazed Black Jack didn't have a parrot on his shoulder.
As others have said, the characterisations really do follow some limp cliches, with the villains being stupid and the good guys all loving Black. Shallow, boring and so predictable.
I see the series has been extended, i won't be buying them.
This book is really really bad. The story is unbelievably predictable. Even the space battles are unimaginative. Dialog is simple, boring, unreal and in some points ridiculous. Characters have no depth. I felt while reading the book that it was writen by a 14 year old with no deep life experiences.
Now those are only 3 reviews out of 20...but of the 20 made
6 - 5 stars
6 - 4 stars
3 - 3 stars
2 - 2 stars
3 - 1 star
I've been reading the thread with some interest because I stopped reading fiction quite some time ago - last one was a Tom Clancy book I think. Anyway, my point was I was reading with interest to the point where I was willing to have a look at these - but the reviews kind of didn't reinforce the fact that I should make my way back into the fiction genre...
Just an observation really...I'm still kind of hoping one day to be persuaded to read fiction again - but I've yet to be persuaded by others recommendations as yet.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, of course, but more people enjoyed than panned it. Personally, when I see a book with mixed reviews I don't let the "this won't win a HUGO" crowd dissuade me from having a very enjoyable read anyway. If it had been filled with tons of intimate personality development I probably wouldn't have liked it as much. I read it for the battles and I don't consider that a band aid for limited character development or having only a rather straightforward plot line.
Sometimes you just want a fun book that you can't put down till the last page :) I'm sorry we haven't lured you back to Sci-Fi, Judge I'd still suggest you actually read "Dauntless" instead of going by what a minority of critics have to say.
I can say that this series dragged me right back into extensive Sci-Fi reading again like I haven't done in 40 years. I've read over 30 novels since August when I got my Kindle and The Lost Fleet was one of my first new series. I downloaded a couple of new ones last night, but haven't started any of them yet.
I might offer another suggestion though. Try Kenneth Robert's epic Revolutionary War series: "Arundel",
Rabble in Arms", and "Oliver Wiswell" - if you like the period, these books are an incredibly detailed and well researched novels about the period. They have only recently come back into print (sadly, no Kindle version yet) but I bought used hard-cover versions very cheaply on Amazon this morning.
I think you'd like this as it's about as close as fiction can come to pure history. I first read them back in High School and they made a huge impact on me. There was another Robert's book called "Lydia Bailey" that I also enjoyed, but that's not available yet.
Hope we can get you back into fiction Judge, I let myself drift away from it for far too long in favor of history, business, and politics (with an emphasis on business and politics over history).
Love & Peace,
Far Dareis Mai
My old Piczo site seems to be gone, so no more Navajo Nation pics :(