The Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell

I don’t think I have read a more cheesy science fiction book since I was a teenager reading early Heinlein novels. The Lost Fleet series is pretty simple, a legendary war hero returns from the dead (found in a escape pod after 100 years) to lead a fleet trapped behind enemy lines.

The setting is well put together, two large human space faring civilisations in a drawn out war where neither side can hold sway. Each book is a series of battles in various solar systems as the fleet fights to escape largely intact.

These fleet actions are some of the best I’ve read, realistic, using believable technology and science. They’re sweeping battles spread across light hours of space employing clever tactics and it makes for some good clean fun.

However these epic battle broken up by some weak intrigue with characters who for the most part a little more than cardboard cut outs. Apart from the main character you never get a feel for the other characters, the few there are and what characterization there is can be stilted and painful at times. It really holds back the series from greatness which it a pity as the kernel is solid and enjoyable.

3/5 stars

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