Dauntless (Lost Fleet Series #1)

Dauntless (Lost Fleet Series #1)

by Jack Campbell

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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The first novel in the New York Times bestselling Lost Fleet series!

The Alliance has been fighting the Syndics for a century—and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is a man who's emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized beyond belief....

Captain John “Black Jack” Geary’s exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic “last stand” in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance Fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance’s one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic “Black Jack” legend....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441014187
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/27/2006
Series: Lost Fleet Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 114,754
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jack Campbell” is the pen name of John G. Hemry, a retired naval officer who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis before serving with the surface fleet and in a variety of other assignments. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Fleet series and The Lost Stars series, as well as the Stark’s War, Paul Sinclair, and Pillars of Reality series. He lives with his indomitable wife and three children in Maryland.

Read an Excerpt

“Captain Geary, I wouldn’t blame you for wondering if you’d have been better off if we hadn’t found you. ‘Black Jack’ Geary, back from the dead to accompany the Alliance Fleet to its greatest victory.” Bloch closed his eyes for a moment. “Now I need to leave the fleet in the hands of someone I can trust.”

Excerpted from "The Lost Fleet: Dauntless"
by .
Copyright © 2006 Jack Campbell.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A slam-bang good read that kept me up at night.”—Elizabeth Moon

“A rousing adventure…the kind of hero Hornblower fans will love!”—William C.

“The best novel of its type that I’ve read.”—David Sherman, coauthor of the Starfist series

“Military science fiction at its best.”—Catherine Asaro

Customer Reviews

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Dauntless (Lost Fleet Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 307 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While military science fiction is not usually my favorite SCIFI genre, I have in recent years become fascinated with it. I think it is because authors like Jack Campbell write such authentic, captivating stories. Mr. Campbell captures the current tone of a nation's military concerns, especially 'tradition'. Tradition isn't something that just pops up in the last generation, it is the bedrock of a civilization's moral standards, no matter how other people and countries act. The loss of history and the breakdown in tradition and the military rules of war make the strange actions of the Admiral and other characters plausible, even inevitable. One critical measure of a great book, especially a great SCIENCE fiction novel, is how easily the story flows. The Lost Fleet: Dauntless fits the bill nicely, as the reader enjoys the story without having to pause in the reading process. The author is very knowledgeable about the SCIENCE needed for the story. Jack Campbell's describes ship movements and tactical training in a most realistic manner. These scenarios draw the reader into the story to 'see' what was happening as the ships move through space and time. For instance, Jack Campbell's descriptions of the direction of the ships' movements as a blue or red shift was very impressive. The author explained the concept in a way that didn't intrude on the flow of the fast paced action narrative. It was part of the story. Also, the details of equipment, situations and people really pulls the reader into the story. Jack Campbell is a most thoughtful author who has written a compelling story that makes the reader a participant who looks forward to the next part of the journey home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The naval aspects of this book are excellent. Crew interaction, lingo, rhetoric, etc. Decent storyline. Not riveting though. I actually put it down and forgot about it for a while. With space there are those going for as much "real" as possible. For example, Battlestar Galactica's space battles vs. Star Wars' dog fights. Space is a friction-less place, Mr. Lucas. That being said, we weren't worried when Wedge had to bank his x-wing: in space. Or even when Starbuck pulls a 180 at high speeds. We just accept it and move on with the action and the story. Dauntless incorporates so much of light and the time that it takes to travel, it becomes distracting from the story. As I'm reading about an intense syndic cruiser approaching "Titan", suddenly we're discussing relativistic effect and distortion. This goes on throughout the book. It takes away from the story. Although we're going for realism, as science fiction readers we're okay if we overlook some science for the sake of a good story or battle scene. Also, Capt. John Geary isn't the character that tends to draw people in. Weak is the word I would use. He has no particular strengths and no particular weaknesses. When compared to some of the greats: Ender Wiggin, or Grand Admiral Thrawn he just comes off as ...bland. I won't be reading the rest of the series.
Majorcats More than 1 year ago
Decent series overall. It doesn't say but I believe this is more of a Young Adult type of series. The physics and space battles feel a bit simplified from what you might see in a really good book. Characters almost always take the obvious path, no real sense of passing time even though its mentioned many times...due mostly I think to long periods of time being entirely glossed over, where an action takes place that would take many hours to see the resolution of but then its done in the very next sentence, etc. Still, all in all a decent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't read much sci/fi, but I really liked this book. So much so that I signed on just now to see if the author had any other books. This book kept my attention and spark my imagination. What else can you ask from a book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I find a book I like I typically can not wait to go back to the book and read read read. Though I would recommend this book I was not jumping to pick it up - I didn't struggle through it. I am torn if I am going to pick up #2.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is on par with Card's Enders Game in the way it captures imagination and attention. I finished this book in a day, as I did the second in the series (Dauntless), and am eagerly awaiting the 3rd book. The 'harder science' concepts of space travel and combat are very appealing and more enjoyable than Weber's Harrington series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Alliance believes that they can finally win the centuries¿ old war with the Syndicate Worlds thanks to a traitor who gives them the Syndic hypernet key. They use it to travel to the homeworlds of the Syndicate hoping to take the enemy by surprise with a sneak attack and destroy their war capabilities. On the journey they find the space pod of Captain John ¿Black Jack¿ Geary who has slept inside for over a hundred years since he won a major victory that saved the Alliance and made him a legend.------------- When the Alliance vessels reach Syndic space, they face the might of their adversary¿s fleet. The Alliance fleet commander visits his counterpart¿s ship to discuss terms of disengagement, but first turns over command to Geary. If the Alliance is to survive, Geary knows they must escape back to their sector and turn the key over to the leadership. The only escape is through a series of dangerous slow space jumps. They make it to a place where they regroup led by Geary who teaches them honor before he leads them into mortal combat.--------------- Fans of Battlestar Galactica will enjoy Jack Campbell¿s military science fiction novel. The battle scenes are intense and intrinsically described enabling the audience to visualize the fast-paced action. However, the hero makes THE LOST FLEET a cut above most sub-genre works as he is mortified that he became a legend when others were as courageous but not recognized. He prays he can live up to his reputation as this is the Alliance¿s darkest yet bravest hour.----------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the premise and the characters are appropriate to the plot but a few lack real depth. For instance the character Co-President Rione appears to be Geary's main antagonist but the confrontations and arguments she puts to him are weak and by the third meeting I found myself rolling my eyes and skimming forward and wondering why Geary felt he had to explain himself to her at all. She kept threatening to pull her republic ships. I wanted him to say ok good luck defending yourself without the fleet. Another issue that weakened the book for me was the hurried leap to a "third party" intervention. So for me the drama was very weak. The action started late, there were long lines of inner thought to plow through and I kept waiting for some revelation about the last battle he was in that could make his mythic status dim, either in his own eyes or even some in the fleet. I hope the other books build more depth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The protagonist (Black Jack) remains undeveloped throughout this first book. Generally all the main characters are (cartoon) place holders and the storyline takes priority over texture and setting. The "enemy" is annoyingly superficial. The author assumes that the reader is a space opera junky and leaves far too much to the reader's imagination. The pace of the action (space battles) is superior and rational (for SciFi). Downtime between battles that should have been sufficient for supporting character development and interpersonal relationships are wasted on plot speculation (Aliens!). The book was only 229 pages long and blatantly planned as a series.
Brian Weir More than 1 year ago
No technobabble, realistic characters, and plenty of fighting!
Dimension29 More than 1 year ago
I received the first in this 6 part series for Christmas. It was on my wish list but I don't remember how or why it got there. It was recommended from some podcast or some "People who liked this, like that" List. I wish I could remember how it got on my list because I owe them a thanks. The story starts off great from the first page. You're not hit with 20 pages of "Get to know Me!" character development. That comes later and mixed in with storyline so it doesn't get tedious. The story is original and very interesting but the main character John Geary reminded me of Ender of Card's Ender series. I kind of wish this John Geary storyline (waking up 100 years later to the ongoing war) was how the Ender series playout. I'm not a fast reader but somehow I finished through Book 5 in mid January. Only to realize I have to wait until April for the 6th! That hurt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is hard to put this book down. You can't wait for the next one waiting to see when this fleet of ships will make it back.
Ryanxia More than 1 year ago
John Hemry (or Jack Campbell) lived up to his meticulous style of futuristic space warfare. The 'technical aspects' are very inventive, always finding new ways in his novel to do something other than mainstream sci-fi. This is an excellent read, I read it in about a day and will buy the second one next week.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just happened to pick this book up from a book vendor in the street and not expecting what I was getting into. I was totaly taken by suprise and didnt expect this book to be this good. I read alot of Sci-Fi and I cant wait to get the next book.
Anonymous 10 days ago
I enjoyed Dauntless. It strikes me as something on a Buck Rogers at war kind of story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes a bit too wordy. But overall, a good read with an interesting plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished book for second time. As good the second time as the first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good satisfying start
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun Excellent read
Bill.Bradford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I believe the correct term now is military science fiction, but I prefer space opera - and this is a good space opera which is not only fun but also raises some interesting points about how people become heroes.
shieldsk1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5+ stars if possible!
cabri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fast-paced military space opera. I like the protagonist who takes charge by virtue of the lost knowledge he retains. There are the first clues to a series arc so hopefully the later books in the series won't get repetitive. I like that his external "conscience" is a non-military (and hopefully not romantic) character.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: When Commander Black Jack Geary escaped from his dying ship in a survival pod at the end of a losing battle with the Syndic forces, he never imagined that he'd have to remain in hibernation for 100 years before he was picked up. And he certainly never imagined that during that time, he would become a legendary hero to the Alliance fleet that has been battered and broken during a century of endless war. He also never imagined that the Syndics, following a defeat of the Alliance in Syndic home space, would execute all of the leaders of the Alliance fleet, leaving Geary in charge of a fractured fleet. The Syndics are demanding surrender, but Geary knows that the fleet must make it back to Alliance space if they ever want to end - let alone win - the war. But they're deep in Syndic space, with a long way to go and the Syndics in hot pursuit, and Geary must find some way to hold together a fleet that seems to have lost all hint of the military knowledge and discipline that he'd taken for granted.Review: The good news? Dauntless reminded me a lot of Battlestar Galactica, which is one of my absolute favorite shows. The bad news? The comparison mostly just made me want to re-watch BSG. More good news? It's really obvious that the battle scenes and military strategy bits were written by someone with ample military experience. More bad news? The same is true about the characterizations.Basically, Dauntless had a ton of really cool potential, and the story itself was solid, but the way it was executed was just not to my taste. I really like the idea of an average guy, coming back from the dead (essentially) and finding out that he'd been turned into a legend in the intervening time. (Side note: are there other books that use this same basic premise? Particularly with King Arthur, who Campbell notes as an inspiration?) But Campbell's handling of Geary's mental and emotional journey lacks depth, and rarely reached beyond the obvious reactions. There's not much help to be found in the secondary characters, either, most of which are pretty one-dimensional, and whose relationships with Geary are perfunctory at best.I think the main problem is that I prefer my sci-fi with a minimum of space battles, but space battles seemed to be most of what was on offer here. Granted, they were mostly well-thought-out space battles, and I did appreciate the obvious attention to detail concerning how the speed of light would affect the tactics of battle on an interstellar scale. That's not something that I'd seen addressed in sci-fi before, and it added a very unique element. But even so, listening to a battle scene that is essentially the commander barking out maneuvering orders for ten minutes is not really my cup of tea, and the periods between battles are mostly spent discussing either past or future battles, or other bits of military tactics.I was also not particularly enamored of the audiobook production. All of the secondary characters seemed to have accents, none of which were indicated in the text, which is a big pet peeve of mine. There were also no noticeable breaks or pauses between sections, with the result that the story would jump forward in time by hours or days, and leave me wondering if I'd accidentally skipped a track. Overall, while neither the story nor the audio production were ever bad enough that I wanted to give it up, never were they ever good enough that I got excited about listening to more. 2.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: If you like your military science fiction super-heavy on the military side of things, you might have better luck with this book than I did. If you're more interested in the characters, though, and just want the military as seasoning, I'd point you towards The Vorkosigan Saga - particularly The Warrior's Apprentice - instead.
Hiromatsuo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Alliance and Syndics have been at war for over a century. During the early days of this war, Captain John ¿Black Jack¿ Geary made a heroic last stand and was presumed KIA. However, in reality, Geary survived and was in stasis for 100 years¿until now. The Alliance has recovered Geary and over the past century, his story has become the stuff of legend. Now, stranded in enemy territory, he must lead the fleet home.That is the premise of ¿The Lost Fleet: Dauntless¿, book 1 of the series. Jack Campbell (real name John Hemry), a retired naval officer and graduate of Annapolis, has written an interesting science fiction/Rip Van Winkle story of a man who awakes in a time where he has been elevated to near messianic proportions and must deal with those who idolize him and those who despise him. The story itself is easy to follow and is largely a leadership study set against the backdrop of a war. Campbell's military background allows him to really capture the naval culture well. The book isn't chock full of silly military cliches, but is more accurate in portraying the fleet as a collection of individual Captains, each with their own motives. Geary must turn the fleet around, both literally and figuratively. Over time, the officer corps has attrited and their tactics have become sloppy. Geary, by virtue of his knowledge of long-lost tactics, must teach them to fight again.The action itself takes place on a very macro level. (On a side note, it¿s very weird that all the U.S. covers show Geary as some kind of infantryman, when all the action happens between ships). Don¿t expect lots of gunfights and individual acts of valor. Campbell writes the action as seen from the Geary¿s perspective, that is, the view of the fleet commander. In this respect, the ships and their Captains become the characters rather than purely the individuals. This is both good and bad in my opinion. By keeping things on a macro scale, the action remains easy to follow. However, characterization suffers a bit. We don¿t learn much about the protagonist (other than regards to his leadership skills) and the supporting characters seem rather flat. It¿s not terribly done, but the story could benefit from some deeper characterization. All being said, the book thankfully doesn¿t have a cliffhanger ending and actually made me want to continue with the series (the second book being Fearless). It¿s a quick read and is easy to follow, but don¿t expect any Pulitzer Prize literature here. Think of this book as a popcorn flick, it¿s not super-deep and thought-provoking, but it¿s entertaining, rather in line with John Scalzi¿s ¿Old Man¿s War¿ in terms of writing. I¿d give it 4 out of 5 because the lack of deeper characters holds it back a little.
BruderBane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lately I¿ve found myself brushing up on a number of sci-fi novels and genres I had left to atrophy to realize that I have missed a few gems. One of these ¿The Lost Fleet: Dauntless¿ by Jack Campbell is definitely a fine stone mined from the search engine of both Amazon and Librarything. Mr. Campbell¿s novel, while military sci-fi, takes on the bold and daring qualities of a number of the nautical adventures of recently perused. However what makes Mr. Campbell writing and style stand out is that his character is not only literally out of place in his time ¿by one hundred years- but also his mores are so incongruent to his allies¿ that he often finds himself butting heads with his contemporaries. This juxtaposition of morals, time, three-dimensional characterization, hard science and gritty action make for a great read. I will definitely be picking up the next edition when I hit the bookstore.