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Dauntless (The Lost Fleet #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  13,772 ratings  ·  829 reviews
The Alliance has been fighting the Syndic for a century--and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is Captain John "Black Jack" Geary--a man who's emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized beyond belief. Now, he must live up to his own legend.
Kindle Edition, 308 pages
Published August 4th 2011 by Titan Books (first published 2006)
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Hey! It's a space story with Marines and no vagina plotlines! And I REALLY LOVED IT!

This is the first in a series of a hero brought back from stasis to save the universe. I loved the world, the space fights, the manly commanding of Jack, the idea of a mythical hero that is accidentally discovered and revived in space, and where the myth and reality clash. Dude is a bossy pants, but I enjoyed this a LOT! Good clean military space fun!
3.5 Stars

Dauntless was an enjoyable naval adventure in space that ignored depth and challenging complexity in favour of cool tech and massive space battles.

A hundred years ago the Syndicate worlds launched a deadly surprise attack on a small convoy of Alliance ships, igniting a terrible war. In command of the small Alliance convoy was Captain ‘Black’ Jack Geary. Under his inspired leadership the majority of the convoy was saved, however Captain Geary was lost with his ship. Remembered in the A
Mr. Matt
Dauntless was just what the doctor ordered. The last couple of books that I read were slow, plodding things - all about immersion and realism. All of that was great, but sometimes I want a book to reach out of the cover and slap me in the face with bigger than life action. Rest assured, Dauntless delivered.

Black Jack Geary is picked up by a passing Alliance warships. Frozen for a hundred years in deep-freeze hibernation, he was lost and presumed dead. He awakes to find the Alliance still locked
Ken T
Black Jack Geary, famed commander from the beginning of the Syndic/Alliance war is back from the dead only to find that a hundred years of war have left his beloved fleet a shadow of its former self. Thrust into command of the bulk of the Alliance fleet, cut off behind enemy lines, he sets out trying to live up to his legend and to bring the fleet home alive.

I started out pretty excited to read this book. It had received some decent reviews and appeared on a few Goodreads lists. Sadly, it did no
Mike (the Paladin)
Originally reviewed in 2011
updated in 2014

I like having an audio book on when I'm doing things that require little or no thought...of course I listen when I'm working on leather crafts. Could that explain the number of unfinished mistakes in that lower drawer??? Oh well, back to the subject at hand.

I recently finished the 6th Honor Harrington book and thought it somewhat of a "come-down" from the earlier ones...really. She seemed to be closing in on Super-Woman status. When I read the synopsis o
David Sven
Jun 09, 2014 David Sven marked it as started-but-didn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, audiobooks
No. Can't do it. Shelving this as unfinished after 25%.
The audio narration by Christian Rummel was bland. The dialogue was bland. And Captain John Geary didn't grab me.

The writing style reminded me a little of C J Cherryh's Downbelow Station. If you like her writing style and you like military sci fi then this may appeal to you.

I didn't care that much for Downbelow Station either but I persisted with it and ended up enjoying it well enough. But that was in another time - before I listened to my
Kat  Hooper
3.5 stars
Originally posted at FanLit:

John “Black Jack” Geary’s escape pod has just been rescued from deep space. He’s been in cold-sleep for a century after he single-handedly held off enemy spaceships while letting the rest of the Alliance fleet escape. Everyone thought he was dead, but his brave sacrifice went down in the history books and many people still whisper that Black Jack Geary will come back to save the Alliance in a time of great need. And so
Jan 11, 2015 David rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Returned heroes, RTS space combat gamers, fans of Battlestar Galactica
I have been hearing about this series forever. I'm generally somewhat indifferent to military SF — spaceship battles alone are not particularly compelling to me, unless I'm controlling the ships in a game. Much of Dauntless seems inspired by spaceship combat games, where you get to build a fleet, choose your weapons, select leaders based on their attributes, and so on.

The Alliance has been at war with the Syndics for a century now. Captain John Geary was in command during an early battle in that
This book inspired a whole new shelf on my goodreads bookcase. You can guess which one. I was intrigued when I saw this on the all time best military sci-fi books list and I wish I hadn't. I started cringing on the first page. The writing alone is awful! Who edited this book? There is SO much telling, no showing, bad stage directions, little detail of people and things, saying the same thing twice and three times in the same paragraph, I could go on.

The MC of this piece does little but mope arou
Well, I tried. Listened to 3/4ths of the book and stopped. Some folks love it, but it's just not my kind of space opera. Unlike The Vorkosigan Series, by Lois McMaster Bujold, or even The Liaden Universe, by Lee and Miller, there is insufficient character or relationship development. Instead, military protocols, jockeying for position, and battles.

Some cool scenes. Some good battle strategy. The author embeds a few navigational and tactical ideas about long-distance, time-relative battle plann
3.0 to 3.5 stars. Good, solid military SF. I liked the main character and the hint of a larger story in future novels as a result of the discovery of evidence of an "alien" civilization. Will certainly read the next book in the series.
Rob Phillips
A fairly poor attempt at a sci-fi novel, it's certainly aimed at a younger audience I would assume as they will be more forgiving for the terrible writing.

It's quite overwhelming where to start in the criticism for this, technically the picture Campbell paints is very threadbare with very little character development or descriptions of environments. The only mental generated image is generic ship / planet / space / male / female etc.

The characters are also incredibly naive and child like, with t
Neal Asher
There’s a whiff of antiquity about this book that reminds me of E.E. Doc Smith and other books I read at about the same time I read the Skylark series. This feels like WWII but with space ships and could easily have been written in the 50s. I felt momentary cringes at the name of the character ‘Black Jack Geary’ at the use of ‘hell lances’ and ‘grape shot’ and at crewmen being called ‘sailors’. The technology felt daft, as if the electronics aboard the ships might have employed thermionic valves ...more
Eric Allen
Book One of The Lost Fleet
By Jack Campbell

A Review by Eric Allen

Jack Campbell is the pseudonym for one John G. Hemry, a retired US Navy ship pilot. His long experience in this profession lends quite a bit of realism to his writings of large scale space battles and the way crewmen aboard ships work. After retiring from his career in the Navy, he set about persuing his lifelong dream of becoming an author, and that leads us to his Lost Fleet series.

John "Black Jack" Geary has been awakene
German Review on GosuReviews

I decided to do a review of the whole series(books 1-6) here, because all the books are relatively short.

These were the first books I read of John G. Hemry under his pseudonym Jack Campbell. He writes very gripping hard SciFi and I loved the enormous space battle scenarios throughout the book. Especially all the little nuances that get often times inadequately handled in other SciFi books. For example the time delay that orders take to travel within a fleet that is st
Nov 21, 2008 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Military Sci-Fi buffs
Shelves: sci-fi, 2008
Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell (the pen name of John Hemry) is a military sci-fi novel that revolves around the main character Captain John "Black Jack" Geary. Geary is war hero of historic proportions and the hero of the battle in the Grendel system. The Syndics (a human corporate empire) ambushed the Alliance at Grendel where Geary made himself famous with his heroic "last stand". Geary is thought to be lost in battle at the helm of his ship but a hundred years later an Alliance fleet finds Geary ...more
Melissa Proffitt
Sep 21, 2014 Melissa Proffitt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Battlestar Galactica and the Temeraire series
I like military fiction anyway, and this is some good military SF. You've got this guy, John Geary, who wakes up from 100 years of drifting in an abandoned survival pod to find that a) the war that had just begun back then is STILL going on, b) he was "posthumously" promoted to captain after his disappearance, c) in all that time, he's become something of a folk hero, and d) thanks to fleet rules about seniority, when the Alliance fleet's leadership is massacred, he's the senior ranking officer ...more
How does a war last for one hundred years when one faction has obviously come down with a case of the terminally stupids? No, really, how does that happen? This book attempts to offer an explanation of how we arrive at this situation, but I can't buy it. The level of idiocy displayed by some of the characters in this story is so great, that I can't help but believe that the enemy faction should have wiped out the guys we are supposed to be cheering for long before the start of the book.

The main
An Odd1
"The Lost Fleet: Dauntless" (Lost Fleet #1) by Jack Campbell is the flagship of the Alliance fleet that rescues the almost dead stasis pod of John "Black Jack" Geary, posthumous Captain, one hundred years after his final battle, in charge of three ships. That first enemy surprise attack has not yet been explained. (view spoiler) His last order then, suited for the particular circumstance in time, has become ...more
Craig Soffer
I want to compare this novel to the Brad Pitt film, Moneyball. With that film, if you like managers struggling to make progress against the old guard, against buffoons, and against every kind of red tape, and you happen to like baseball, then you'll love Moneyball.

The Lost Fleet series is exactly like that. If you can imagine a competent but in no way supernatural naval officer resurrected into a world that has fallen into chaos after a hundred years of war, forced to take command, and then doin
Michael Cooper
I'll admit, I don't recall all of the books in 'The Lost Fleet' series individually as I read them all in one shot. However, I enjoyed the series A LOT. Jack Campbell writes space navy in a really engaging way and makes the ship-board life and the challenges they face compelling and engaging.

The main character, Captain Black Jack Geary, is a great character and while some might call him flawed, I think he fits quite well with how a man thrown into his position would behave. His insights into the
I am going to say right now that this was one of those books that was not super great overall, but it came at a good time for me. The whole thing distinctly had the feeling of being an early season Star Trek TNG episode, where there is a very linear plotline and a very clear mission and every character has exactly one personality trait which makes them either a) GOOD or b) BAD. There is also a lot of moralizing on the part of the main character, who is not the brightest star in the galaxy. I kep ...more
I feel I should note that my mockery of this book is not because it is bad so much as because it is mockable.

Right, so Captain John Geary gets into the lifepod, after having stayed behind to cover everyone's retreat, and initiates suspended animation to pass the time until he's picked up. He gets out of the lifepod, and its a hundred years later, mid-battle in the same war, still being fought. Somehow, his defense of the retreating ships is remembered as one of the war's first acts of heroism, a
First book in a great space opera series. Blurb by William Dietz says "A rousing adventure...the kind of hero Hornblower fans will love" and that really says it all. If you like your heroes so noble it kinda hurts, Black Jack Geary's the one for you.

As a young soldier he's assumed killed in a particularly valiant military action at the start of a war. One hundred years later that war's still going on and his cryogenically frozen body is recovered from a "life raft". In a fast change of circumst
May 24, 2009 Henry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military scifi gearheads
Military science fiction can be hard and cold. You can be detached from it about as quickly as Star Wars fans decided they didn't like Jar-Jar Binks. But Campbell writes a fast-paced novel that forces you to use your head. The subtle psychology of leadership in the book is a good detour and a continuing theme that continues to impress me as much as Orson Scott Card's work in the Ender series. There isn't endless talk of weapons, ships schematics or technology (sorry to the Star Trek and John Cla ...more
Very much enjoyed this one, as I found the premise intriguing, the characters engaging, and the military 'stuff' very exciting. The protagonist, John Geary, suddenly finds himself commander of a fleet that has changed in numerous ways (not one of them for the better, in his opinion) during the 100 years he spent in a survival pod. 100 years spent by the rest of them fighting the same war which nearly killed him. He has become a legend during that time, but while he may own the heroic part, he do ...more
Jan 07, 2013 Robert rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
There are some glaring issues I have with Dauntless. These inconsistencies have hampered my enjoyment of the later half of this novel.

Here goes, if Greary has this knowledge that was lost in the relentless war efforts wouldn't computers have them too. I mean if they had his maneuvers from his battle, why wouldn't they have simulations as well. It's half explained as due to attrition but even now, everything we have is recorded in videos or in text. Unless the entire galaxy had devolved in one ce
This is pretty solid military SF, compelling enough to keep one turning pages to see how the fleet gets out of the scrape this time. Geary's PTSD is a background issue which I'd like to have seen dealt with head-on -- but that'd get in the way of the pace Campbell's trying to invoke.

Ultimately, though, this seems like a rabbithole of a long series. I didn't feel attached to the characters, and while it's competent enough, it's not as compelling to me as, say, the Honor Harrington books. It doesn
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
Okay, I enjoyed this book. I like the view of space battles from inside the ship and formation steaming. Somebody actually found a skill I have, or have had. I still feel like I jumped into the middle of the story, not the beginning, but I'm getting used to that. The unsaid part of Jack Geary's past is almost like another character in the book.

I kind of like "co-vice president Rione" She's a smart one. Things blow up. No sex, but hey... maybe they'll get around to it. Things blow up, always a
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Sci Fi Aficionados: * March Random Read: Dauntless 31 78 Jul 24, 2012 06:04AM  
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Jack Campbell is a pseudonym for American science fiction author John G. Hemry.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

John G. Hemry is an American author of military science fiction novels. Drawing on his experience as a retired United States Navy officer, he has written the Stark's War and Paul Sinclair series.
More about Jack Campbell...

Other Books in the Series

The Lost Fleet (10 books)
  • Fearless (The Lost Fleet, #2)
  • Courageous (The Lost Fleet, #3)
  • Valiant (The Lost Fleet, #4)
  • Relentless (The Lost Fleet, #5)
  • Victorious (The Lost Fleet, #6)
  • Dreadnaught (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier, #1)
  • Invincible (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier, #2)
  • Guardian (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier, #3)
  • Steadfast (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier, #4)
Fearless (The Lost Fleet, #2) Relentless (The Lost Fleet, #5) Courageous (The Lost Fleet, #3) Victorious (The Lost Fleet, #6) Valiant (The Lost Fleet, #4)

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“I need to stop getting into situations where all my options are potentially bad.” 67 likes
“There are things we don't do. From this moment forth, let us all ensure our every action reflects well on us and our ancestors. Let us live to the highest standards, lest we win this war only to find ourselves staring in the mirror at the face of our late enemy.” 23 likes
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