76 points, 4 stars
Warning: Cliffhanger (Status: I really, really hope that isn’t going to be how the entire series is modeled.)
Captain John “Black Jack” Geary is back, and now he is returned to his admiral status. The Alliance fears him and his potential to stage a coup and have the people follow him. So they have a job for him: take the fleet, and learn more about the mysterious aliens known as the Enigmas. That’ll keep him busy and far, far away from Alliance space.
“Meaning that neither the government nor headquarters knew what to do so they left you to deal with the hard choices. I am shocked. Shocked.”
I took my time to get to this sequel series to the Lost Fleet. There are multiple reasons, including that I had only planned on reading the original series before taking a break. The truth is, I couldn’t have read this so soon after the original series in the first place. I just wasn’t ready. However, Dreadnaught was as good as the best book in the original series, with the potential for so much more. I enjoyed this, and I’m really looking forward to where this might be going.
Yet, the break wasn’t smart, either. I probably should have gotten back to this a while ago. I only remember three people from this entire series, right now. The beginning of the book opens up almost directly after the events in the original series, and we’re in the middle of a big meeting with a bunch of politicians. And I don’t remember any of them. That is a more of a fact that Campbell doesn’t really make any of them stick out very well. And then immediately after this meeting, pretty much all of them go back to being completely irrelevant. Again. Just like everyone else.
The politicians and military have decided, though. Geary is to go out and take most of the fleet and figure out what he can find out about the mysterious Enigma race. And don’t come back until he has something. The implication is clear: go away, we don’t want you here, you’re too much of a threat to us, and we don’t expect you to come back anyway. So it is once again Geary vs. his entire government once again. Even though he says he would never take them over. At least this time he has the backing of all those under him. Even if that scares him.
However, Dauntless is also boring in some ways. Nothing really new happens across it. The interesting thing is the implications for what is to come. Geary has to try and outmaneuver his own government, again. He has to pick up prisoners of war which include a lot of people who could (potentially) challenge his authority, again. He has to travel through Syndicate space which presents hazards for him, again. It isn’t until fairly towards the end of the book that we even enter Enigma space.
Overall, I think I probably like this book more for the potential than the contents. But I was impressed that it was as good as it is. I enjoyed reading it, and am looking forward to the sequels to this.