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Dauntless by Jack Campbell
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's review
Mar 26, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: sciencefictionfantasy

The century-long war between the Alliance and the Syndic (Syndicated) Worlds has been going very badly for the Alliance. Now the Alliance fleet is badly outnumbered, and stuck deep in Syndic territory. But the Alliance has a reluctant ace up their sleeves named John Geary.

"Black Jack" Geary was famed for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war. He was thought dead, but was revived after a century in survival hibernation. He is totally disgusted with the absolute hero worship that has grown up around him during the century that he was in hibernation. He becomes the reluctant commander of the fleet when the former commander is murdered during "negotiations" with the Syndics.

In their present condition, any sustained battle with the Syndics would be a disaster for the Alliance. Geary takes the fleet into a nearby wormhole to another star system. They are able to replenish their supplies at a Syndic base before the Syndics show up. Mankind does not have faster-than-light travel (or communications); the most frustrating thing for Geary is having to deal with the communications delay. Geary takes the fleet into another star system by wormhole, not taking the route that would get them back to Alliance space the fastest. The Alliance has a couple of weeks before the Syndic arrival, so Geary drills the fleet on flying in formation and basic tactics. Some of the ship commanders are not happy with what they consider constant retreats; for them, the Alliance tactical plan can be reduced to one word: Attack!

First of a series, this book is really good. The characters, especially Geary, are real people, and not just square-jawed stereotypes. It has action, it has believability, it has a good story and the reader will not go wrong with this one.

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