Legendary war hero Captain “Black Jack” Geary fights to stay ahead of his enemies in the fourth novel in Jack Campbell’s New York Times bestselling military science fiction series.
Deep within Syndicate World space, the Alliance fleet continues its dangerous journey home under the command of Captain John “Black Jack” Geary—revived after a century spent in suspended animation. Geary’s victories over the enemy have earned both the respect—and the envy—of his fellow officers…
Geary has made many risky decisions as commander of the Alliance fleet, but ordering them back to the Lakota Star System where the Syndics nearly destroyed them has his officers questioning his sanity. It’s a desperate gamble that may buy the fleet just enough time to prepare for the Syndics’ inevitable return.
Even as he struggles to give the fleet a fighting chance at survival, Geary faces dissent from within. An unknown number of officers want a change of command, but Geary knows that the Alliance fleet must stand together, or else the Syndic forces will tear them apart…
“Sir, winning is usually a matter of making one less mistake than the enemy or just getting up one more time than you get knocked down.”
At times, Valiant felt like a rehash of what we have already learned. At other times it felt like a science fiction romance drama. But mostly, it was just one really, really long battle before continuing on our way home. There really isn’t a lot new in Valiant, unfortunately. We’re just getting a lot of the same things I have come to learn to expect from the first three books.
Courageous left us on the way back into battle. We had retreated, regrouped, and went back on the attack and it…ended. It was about time that Geary suffered a “loss”. It was necessary. But, now we’re back and not at all ready for battle. We’re outnumbered, we’re going to have to fight on two fronts. We’re low on energy and supplies. But, we have to win. This battle took the first half of the book entirely. Which is probably why the last book left off in the middle of things without finishing.
Like I said before, there was a lot of covering old ground. There is a lot that happens that is just more on the same themes we have already scene. More mutiny and treason, this time in the form of deliberate sabotage. More behind the scenes people arranging things to make it harder on Geary, because they think they know best. There is also a lot of explaining concepts introduced in previous books. Campbell uses the one person around that isn’t actually in the military force, who is a politician, to ask questions of Geary to get an answer out of him to explain what is going on. Just a lot of repetition this book.
That isn’t the only thing happening, though. We’re seeing a change in the way the Syndicate behave and think. Geary’s changes to the Alliance force have made a difference. I’m so glad for Geary, honestly and truly. Valiant felt like a game changer.
There is also this relationship from hell. Why was I never warned anywhere there would be a love triangle? There was absolutely no hint there would be a romance, let alone a love triangle that takes up so much screen time! It is all cattiness, too! Every single time the two women are in the room together, they’re just a hair’s breadth away from pulling out the others’ hair. This is just fueled by jealousy and anger. Every time I think they’re finally done, they go back at it. Round and round they go. When they’ll stop…god I wish they would stop.
We’re getting closer to home, and closer to the end of this series. Two more books left. Let us see where it goes.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Lost Fleet series page!