Book Review: The Lost Fleet Dauntless

Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, #1)Dauntless by Jack Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ever since Battlestar Galactica went off air, I have been trying to find something that fills the void. Capt. Black Jack Geary and the Lost Fleet of the Alliance may just fill that void. Spanning the time of roughly a month we see the high speed pursuit of a butchered fleet as they attempt to return to their home space from deep within the Syndicate Worlds realm.

The book series is based heavily on an ancient Greek soldier, Xenophon and his army’s retreat after a failed siege. What the book captures best: key ideas of military life at war, leadership and it’s execution in the face of adversity by subordinates, bureaucracy and it’s balance within a strategic alliance, and the foundations of skill versus talent. Some reviews have graded it lower because of a high expectation of combat. I would disagree. Geary even makes it a point, late in the novel that a naval tradition is to hurry up and wait before a battle. Too many other novels try to fill the pages with anyhow after battle; when, in reality no fighting force has an unlimited amount of red shirts.

If you are also looking to read a great guide on how to rebuild a broken or failed group, this book is a great place to start. Geary’s poignant reflective moments give the reader an inside view of the challenges of leadership and command. I must admit that is the main reason I chose the book. The writing is heavy on the military and light on the scifi but it still holds up and I’m going to move on to book two, Fearless, asap.

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