A Nominee for the 2022 Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy
Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary must battle dangers both within and without the Alliance, in this exciting continuation of the New York Times bestselling series.
Geary knows that some political factions in the Alliance were just trying to get rid of him when he was assigned to escort a diplomatic and scientific mission to the far reaches of humanity’s expansion into the galaxy . . . and beyond. But he views his mission as both a duty and an opportunity to make things better wherever he can. And when a crippled Rift Federation ship tumbles out of jump space, Geary leaps into action. But the survivors’ story isn’t completely adding up.
As Geary investigates, he soon finds himself fending off spies and assassins while leading the fleet as it fights its way across space controlled by the mysterious and hostile aliens whom humans call enigmas. Challenges arrive at every turn, including an unknown alien species that invites the fleet to visit one of their star systems. With little information to go on, Geary must weigh the benefits of potential new allies against the possibility of a trap. The fate of the fleet—and perhaps even the future of humanity—will depend on him making the right decision.
If he can stay alive long enough to do that.
Where a famous western says to print the legend, this sincere military space opera, the second in Campbell's The Lost Fleet: Outlands series (after Boundless), prefers to highlight the honest truth of its star, Adm. John "Black Jack" Geary. Thawed out of suspended animation after nearly a century, Geary finds that his historic sacrifice has become the stuff of legend and feels forced to live up to an unearned heroic reputation. Thrust into command of hundreds of Alliance warships, he must also become a diplomat and a counterterrorist as his orders put him into close cooperation with former enemies and first contact with the alien Dancers. While working to understand the melodic Dancer language, Geary and his allies must also uncover a mutiny that threatens to destroy the developing human-Dancer entente and run the gauntlet in a test of honor when humanity's newest extraterrestrial contact, the Taon, invite Geary's armada to visit their home system. Thirteen volumes in, the Lost Fleet series maintains both its ability to put characters through the rigors of military action and to keep its central figure from losing his guileless outlook and unpretentious charm. This is another winner. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary.