Monday, July 12, 2010

BOOKS: The Lost Fleet: Victorious by Jack Campbell

Any writer will tell you that the ending is the most difficult thing in writing the book. Sure, you know WHAT is going to happen (well, most of the time). And the beginning is usually easy, because THAT was the idea you had that engendered writing the book. But executing the ending is a tough slog.

A good book, a good series, can stumble on a poorly executed ending. Thankfully, Jack Campbell has pulled off a great conclusion to the six-volume The Lost Fleet series with Victorious. Black Jack Geary got his lost fleet home to Sol and the end of the fifth book. In this tome, he puts the finishing touches on the human victory over the Syndicate Worlds, gets the girl and sets the stage for another series built around a war with the aliens who've secretly been setting the humans and syndics against each other.

And he does it in the same style that has marked all the books in the series. There's a very creditable space warring system, with huge amounts of time setting up micro-seconds worth of shooting as the opposing forces flash past each other. Given the time taken in the set up, there's lots of moralizing, strategizing, scheming and wringing hands. Geary and Desjani battle against the ethical constraints on their relationship and I'm happy the loophole finish creates an end to that particular line of whine.

Ultimately, if you've read the prior books, this is an absolute thumbs up recommendation. If not, this would obviously not be the first book in the series to read. Dunh! But my real recommendation is to go out and get all six books and give yourself a solid month of military SF reading.

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