Other Sellers on Amazon
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
Victorious Mass Market Paperback – April 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Enhance your purchase
Frequently bought together
About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“You’re not going to face a firing squad,” Captain Tanya Desjani reminded him. “You’re going to brief the Alliance grand council.”
Captain John Geary turned his head slightly to look directly at Captain Desjani, commanding officer of Geary’s flagship, the battle cruiser Dauntless. “Remind me again of the difference.”
“The politicians aren’t supposed to be carrying weapons, and they’re more afraid of you than you are of them. Relax. If they see you this tense, they’ll believe you really are planning a coup.” Desjani made a face. “You should know that they’re accompanied by Admiral Otropa.”
“Admiral Otropa?” Geary had literally been out of the loop for a century, so his knowledge of current officers was limited to those in the ships of the fleet itself.
Desjani nodded, somehow investing the simple gesture with disdain that obviously wasn’t aimed at Geary. “Military aide to the grand council. Don’t worry about the grand council trying to hand command of the fleet to him. No one would accept Otropa the Anvil as fleet commander in place of you.”
Geary looked back at his reflection, feeling nervous and uncomfortable in his dress uniform. He had never enjoyed briefings, and a hundred years ago he would never have imagined that he would be called upon personally to brief the grand council. “The Anvil? That sounds like a strong nickname.”
“He’s called the Anvil because he’s been beaten so often,” Desjani explained. “With his political talents far exceeding his military skills, Otropa finally figured out that the position of military aide to the grand council was risk-free.”
Geary almost choked as he tried to swallow a laugh. “I guess there are worse nicknames than Black Jack.”
“Many worse ones.” Out of the corner of his eye, Geary saw Desjani cock her head to one side questioningly. “You’ve never told me how you picked up the Black Jack name or why you don’t like it. Like every schoolkid in the Alliance, I learned the official story in your biographies, but that story doesn’t explain your feelings about the nickname.”
He glanced her way. “What’s the official story?” Since being awakened from survival sleep in a lost and damaged escape pod, he’d made an effort to avoid reading the authorized accounts of his supposed heroic nature.
“That you never got a red deficiency or failure mark in evaluations of yourself or any units under your command,” Desjani explained. “Your marks were always ‘meets or exceeds expectations’ black, hence Black Jack.”
“Ancestors preserve us.” Geary tried to keep from breaking into laughter. “Anyone who really looked at my records would know that wasn’t true.”
“So what is the truth?”
“I should have at least one secret from you.”
“As long as it’s a personal secret. The captain of your flagship needs to know all of your professional secrets.” She paused before speaking again. “This meeting with the grand council. Have you told me everything? Are you going to do as you told me?”
“Yes, and yes.” He turned to face her fully, letting his worries show. As commander of the fleet, Geary had been forced to project confidence publicly no matter how bad things got. Desjani was one of the few people to whom he could reveal his qualms. “It’ll be a tightrope act. I need to convince them of what we have to do, convince them to order me to do it, and not make them think I’m taking over the government.”
Desjani nodded, seeming not the least bit concerned herself. “You’ll do fine, sir. I’ll go make sure everything is ready at the shuttle dock for your flight to Ambaru station while you straighten up your uniform.” She saluted with careful precision, then pivoted and left.
Geary kept his eyes on the hatch to his stateroom after it had shut behind Desjani. He’d have the perfect professional relationship with Tanya Desjani except for the fact that he’d done the incredibly unprofessional thing of falling in love with her. Not that he’d ever openly said that, or ever would. Not while she was his subordinate. It didn’t help that she apparently felt the same way about him, even though neither of them could openly speak of it or act on it in any way. That should have felt like a small problem in a universe a century removed from his own, where the Alliance believed him to be a mythical hero returned from the dead, where an unwinnable war had been raging for that entire century between the Alliance and the Syndicate Worlds, and where the worn-out citizens of the Alliance were so disgusted with their own political leaders that they would have welcomed him declaring himself dictator. Sometimes, though, that “small” personal problem felt like the hardest thing to endure.
He focused back on his reflection, not able to spot any imperfections in his uniform but knowing that Desjani wouldn’t have dropped that broad hint about straightening up if she hadn’t seen something. Scowling, Geary moved a few things a fraction of a millimeter, his eyes going to the multipointed Alliance Star hanging just beneath his collar. He didn’t like wearing the medal awarded him after his supposed death in a last-stand battle a century ago, not feeling that he had really earned such an honor, but regulations demanded that an officer in dress uniform wear “all insignia, decorations, awards, ribbons, and medals to which that officer is entitled.” He couldn’t afford to pick and choose which regulations to follow because he knew that he had the power to do just that, and if he started, he had no idea where it might end.
As he began to leave, his comm alert sounded. Geary slapped the acknowledgment and saw the image of Captain Badaya appear, smiling confidently and apparently standing before Geary even though Badaya was physically still located aboard his own ship. “Good morning, Captain,” Badaya beamed.
“Thanks. I was just about to leave to meet with the grand council.” He had to handle Badaya carefully. Although Badaya technically was simply commanding officer of the battle cruiser Illustrious, he also led the faction of the fleet that would, without a second thought, back Geary as military dictator. Since that faction made up almost the entire fleet by now, Geary had to ensure they didn’t launch such a coup. Since assuming command of the fleet, he had gone from worrying about mutiny against himself to worrying about mutiny against the Alliance itself in his name.
Badaya nodded, his smile getting harder. “Some of the captains wanted to move some battleships over near Ambaru station just to remind the grand council who’s really in charge, but I told them that wasn’t how you were playing it.”
“Exactly,” Geary agreed, trying not to sound too relieved. “We have to maintain the image that the grand council is still in charge.” That was the cover story he was using with Badaya anyway. If the grand council ordered Geary to do something the fleet knew Geary wouldn’t have chosen to do, Geary would feel obligated to follow those orders or resign, and all hell would probably break loose.
“Rione will help you handle them,” Badaya noted with a dismissive gesture. “You’ve got her in your pocket, and she’ll keep the other politicians in line. Since you say time is tight, I’d better let you go, sir.” With a final parting grin and a salute, Badaya’s image vanished.
Geary shook his head, wondering what Madam Co-President of the Callas Republic and Senator of the Alliance Victoria Rione would do if she heard Badaya saying Rione was in Geary’s pocket. Nothing good, that was certain.
He walked through the passageways of Dauntless toward the shuttle dock, returning enthusiastic salutes from the crew members he passed. Dauntless had been his flagship since he’d assumed command of the fleet in the Syndic home star system, the Alliance fleet trapped deep inside enemy territory and apparently doomed. Against all odds, he’d brought most of those ships home, and their crews believed he could do anything. Even win a war their parents and grandparents had also fought. He did his best to look outwardly calm and confident despite his own internal turmoil.
But Geary couldn’t help frowning slightly as he finally reached the shuttle dock. Desjani and Rione were both there, standing close together and apparently speaking softly to each other, their expressions impassive. Since the two women usually exchanged words only under the direst necessity and often had seemed ready to go at it with knives, pistols, hell lances, and any other available weapon, Geary couldn’t help wondering why they were getting along all of a sudden.
Desjani stepped toward him as he approached, while Rione went through the hatch into the dock. “The shuttle and your escort are ready,” Desjani reported. She frowned slightly as she examined him, reaching to make tiny adjustments to some of his ribbons. “The fleet will be standing by.”
“Tanya, I’m counting on you, Duellos, and Tulev to keep things from going nova. Badaya should be working with you to keep anyone in the fleet from overreacting and causing a disaster, but you three also need to make sure Badaya doesn’t overreact.”
She nodded calmly. “Of course, sir. But you do realize that none of us will be able to hold things back if the grand council overreacts.” Stepping closer, Desjani lowered her voice and rested one hand on his forearm, a rare gesture, which emphasized her words. “Listen to her. This is her battlefield, her weapons.”
“Rione?” He had never expected to hear Desjani urging him to pay attention to Rione’s advice.
“Yes.” Stepping back again, Desjani saluted, only her eyes betraying her worries. “Good luck, sir.”
He returned the salute and walked into the dock. Nearby, the bulk of a fleet shuttle loomed, an entire platoon of Marines forming an honor guard on either side of its loading ramp.
An entire platoon of Marines in full battle armor, with complete weapons loadout.
Before he could say anything, a Marine major stepped forward and saluted. “I’m assigned to command your honor guard, Captain Geary. We’ll accompany you to the meeting with the grand council.”
“Why are your troops in battle armor?” Geary asked.
The major didn’t hesitate at all. “Varandal Star System remains in Attack Imminent alert status, sir. Regulations require my troops to be at maximum combat readiness when participating in official movements under such an alert status.”
How convenient. Geary glanced toward Rione, who didn’t seem the least bit surprised at the combat footing of the Marines. Desjani had obviously been in on this, too. But then Colonel Carabali, the fleet’s Marine commander, must have approved of the decision as well. Despite his own misgivings at arriving to speak to his political superiors with a combat-ready force at his back, Geary decided that trying to override the collective judgment of Desjani, Rione, and Carabali wasn’t likely to be wise. “Very well. Thank you, Major.”
The Marines raised their weapons to present arms as Geary walked up the ramp, Rione beside him, bringing his arm up in a salute acknowledging the honors being rendered him. At times like this, when he seemed to have been saluting constantly for an hour, even he wondered at the wisdom of having reintroduced that gesture of respect into the fleet.
He and Rione went through to the small VIP cabin just aft of the pilots’ cockpit, the Marines filing in behind them to take seats in the shuttle’s main compartment. Geary strapped in, gazing at the display panel before him, where a remote image showed stars glittering against the endless night of space. It might have been a window, if anyone had been crazy enough to put a physical window in the hull of a ship or a shuttle
“Nervous?” Rione asked.
“Can’t you tell?”
“Not really. You’re doing a good job.”
“Thanks. What were you and Desjani plotting about when I got to the shuttle dock?”
“Just some girl talk,” Rione said airily, waving a negligent hand. “War, the fate of humanity, the nature of the universe. That sort of thing.”
“Did you reach any conclusions I should know about?”
She gave him a cool look, then smiled with apparently genuine reassurance. “We think you’ll do fine as long as you are yourself. Both of us have your back. Feel better?”
“Much better, thank you.” Status lights revealed the shuttle’s ramp rising and sealing, the inner dock doors closing, the outer doors opening, then the shuttle rose, pivoted in place with jaunty smoothness, and tore out into space. Geary felt himself grinning. Autopilots could drive a shuttle technically as well as any human, and better in many cases, but only humans could put a real sense of style into their piloting. On his display, the shape of Dauntless dwindled rapidly as the shuttle accelerated. “This is the first time I’ve been off Dauntless,” he suddenly realized.
“Since your survival pod was picked up, you mean,” Rione corrected.
“Yeah.” His former home and former acquaintances were gone, vanished into a past a century old. Dauntless had become his home, her crew his family. It felt odd to leave them.
The journey seemed very brief, the huge shapes of Ambaru space station’s exterior structures looming near as the shuttle slid gently toward its assigned dock. Moments later, the shuttle grounded. Geary watched until the status lights indicated that the dock was pressurized, then took a deep breath, stood up, straightened his uniform yet again, and nodded to Rione. “Let’s go.” Rione nodded back at him, something about her feeling both familiar and yet out of place. Geary realized that Rione was exhibiting the same manner Desjani showed when combat loomed. Like Desjani facing Syndic warships, Rione seemed in her element at that instant, ready to do battle in her own way.
The dock was much larger than the one on Dauntless, but the first thing that Geary registered was that his Marine honor guard had deployed around the ramp in a circular formation, facing outward, their weapons in ready positions rather than at present arms and their armor sealed. Raising his gaze, Geary saw that on three sides of the shuttle dock the bulkheads were lined with what seemed to be an entire company of ground forces, all of them armed but none of them armored, the ground troops staring nervously at the Marines.
So Rione had been right. She’d warned him that the grand council might try to arrest him immediately and isolate him from the fleet, in the belief that he would want to become a dictator. Feeling a tight coldness inside at the insult to his honor, Geary stalked down the ramp to where a familiar shape waited. He’d never actually met Admiral Timbale, but he had received several messages from the man, every one begging off any conversation and completely deferring to Geary.
He stopped in front of Timbale and saluted, holding the gesture as Timbale stared back in momentary confusion. Then a light of understanding appeared in Timbale’s eyes, and he hastily sketched a crude return salute. “C-captain Geary. W-welcome aboard Ambaru station.”
“Thank you, sir.” Geary’s flat words echoed in the otherwise-silent dock.
Rione came up beside him. “Admiral, I suggest you disperse your honor guard now that they have greeted Captain Geary.”
Timbale stared back at her, then at the Marines, a drop of sweat running down one side of his face. “I . . .”
“Perhaps if you contacted grand council chair Senator Navarro, he would modify whatever your original orders were?” Rione suggested.
“Yes.” Backpedaling with ill-concealed relief, Timbale muttered into his comm unit, waited, then muttered again. Forcing a smile, the admiral nodded to Rione, then turned toward the ground forces arrayed along the bulkheads. “Colonel, return your troops to their quarters.” The ground-forces officer stepped forward, her mouth open in apparent protest. “Just do it, Colonel!” Timbale snapped.
The ground-forces soldiers pivoted in response to their orders and filed out, more than one of them casting awed glances toward Geary before they left. He wondered what would have happened if he had simply given orders directly to those soldiers. Would they have done what Black Jack ordered? The thought brought a tight sense of worry as the reality of what he could do, of what he might cause to happen if he didn’t handle things right, came home to him clearly.
When the last ground-forces soldier had left, Geary looked to his Marine major. Now what? Bring his escort with him? Bring some of them? What reason did he have to believe that more ground-forces troops wouldn’t appear and try to arrest him again as soon as he left the dock? Prudence dictated taking at least some of the Marines with him.
Which would also mean walking into the presence of the grand council with armed and armored Marines at his back. To anyone watching or hearing, such an action would scream two things: an imminent coup and a fundamental distrust on Geary’s part of the Alliance’s political leaders. The impact of those things could destroy everything he hoped to achieve and trigger the coup he feared.
But if he was arrested, the fleet would act, no matter his expressed wishes.
- Publisher : Ace; 1st edition (April 27, 2010)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0441018696
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441018697
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.19 x 0.92 x 6.81 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #372,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
About my reviews: I try to review every book I read, including those that I don't end up enjoying. The reviews are not scholarly, but just indicate my reaction as a reader, reading being my addiction. I am miserly with 5-star reviews; 4 stars means I liked a book very much; 3 stars means I liked it; 2 stars means I didn't like it (though often the 2-star books are very popular with other readers and/or are by authors whose other work I've loved).
Victorious is a worthy end to this series as Captain Geary takes his fleet to the Syndic home system to confront the mysterious aliens. His fleet has faith that if it comes to war with the aliens, Black Jack will lead them to victory, but Geary isn't so sure. He is worried about the firepower of the aliens, and just the strangeness of them, the fact that they don't think the same way as humans.
I like the attention to the little details such as the effect of light years of distance upon devising battle strategies, or even just communicating with other ships, and the need for auxiliary fleets to manufacture replacement supplies. In the Star Trek era, we've grown accustomed to thinking of space travel as fairly comfortable- luxurious even, but this series is probably much more realistic. The ships do run out of armaments, they don't have food synthesizers, holodecks, or transporter rooms.
In this book there seems to be a little more symbolism tied to politics on earth- the rapid crumbling of a super power as a result of the Alliance whittling away at their supplies and ships, and the internal rebellion against a totalitarian regime.
There's also the Alliance fleet, sent to fight a seemingly hopeless battle with ships that are poorly designed for war, because the politicians who approved the ships did not talk to anyone in the military about how they should be designed.
This is a terrific end to the series, and I can't wait to start the next series.
Geary has managed to get the fleet all the way back into Alliance territory, and he has managed to make use of the technology that the brilliant Captain Cresida invented, to stave off disaster with the hypernet gates. Now, safe for the moment, a lot of things happen very quickly, many of which were predicted by Geary's officers. But, once the initial political issues are dealt with (I won't say how ^_^), there are more immediate concerns.
[/end: spoiler alert]
Geary is tasked with leading the fleet back into Syndic space, this time with the aim of ending the war, for good. The fleet is given minimal time to repair the worst damage, resupply, and lick their wounds, and then sent out again. The Syndics are reeling, their fleets have been (mostly) destroyed, and the alien threat is looming large. Many of the Syndic star systems are in open revolt/civil war and everyone is looking to Geary for leadership and answers (poor Geary must be popping antacids like skittles at this point).
The story ramps up to a major confrontation and satisfying conclusion, then it takes a turn and provides a nice setup for the next series that continues where the Lost Fleet leaves off, the Beyond The Frontier series (see, because, they aren't lost any more). The ending of the book is especially nice, and long awaited. I highlighted like the last 10 pages of the book. Very sweet, and very satisfying payoff to a long-running story thread.
The Lost Fleet series is one of my favorite Military Science Fiction series, and frankly, it is one of my favorite series, period. It is a story told in the grand tradition of Star Trek/Star Wars and epic space operas in general. The Lost Fleet series is what got me majorly hooked on Military Science Fiction, which lead to me discovering other excellent series after that, such as the Man of War series by Honsinger, and the Frontlines series by Kloos, and the Shadowstorm series by Almasi. Read it, you won't be disappointed.
Book Content Guide For Parents:
Sex & Nudity: [1/5] sex is discussed in the book but not described, and it is all past-tense. There are minor romantic interactions, such as kissing.
Violence & Gore: [1/5] fairly minimal-- almost all of the story takes place aboard the space ships, so any violence is via naval space battles, which do result in the deaths of people, but they are never described, so feel very abstract.
Profanity: [1/5] minimal, not nearly as much or as often as you might expect from a military science fiction story.
Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: [1/5] minimal. No smoking or drug use, and only minor alcohol use.
Frightening/Intense Scenes: [2/5] the ships and crew are in mortal danger pretty much all of the time while behind enemy lines but nothing like a character being chased down a dark hallway followed by a homicidal maniac.
Top reviews from other countries
6 books of will-they-wont they. SIX. BOOKS. And when it FINALLY happens , its over in like a page, there is no amazing lovemaking scene, or anything YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME.
On to the Enigma race...i'm just going to assume there is another series addressing them as otherwise why introduce one of the main protagonists in the plot just to end it there?
Despite exposition to bring readers up to speed at the start of this volume are you really going to begin a series by reading the final book? Start with Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, Book 1) to see if this series is for you.
So what can those who've followed this all the way expect from the final volume?
It runs 331 pages and is divided into twelve chapters.
After a little bit of exposition at the start we're then into political discussions between geary and the alliance leaders. These are pretty good and the pages fly by as you read.
Then the fleet has the mission that the end of book five set up for them to do. The battles that result are different from the ones before because the syndic is now facing lost resources and political infighting and how they respond to this becomes quite interesting. It can also result in a good amount of tension.
This section does lose a little bit of pace in it's second half though, but it's all resolved in a rather realistic manner.
The alien threat is also dealt with well, giving them a decent amount of page time, keeping them nicely enigmatic, and not dispatching them too easily.
Which just leaves the love triangle. It's been obvious from the end of book five how this will go, but will the two of them manage to get together, especially when one keeps putting their foot in it? Let's just say that the final chapter is pure hollywood, but It made me react in the same way as the characters who watch these scenes unfold do. And it also made for a very satisfying ending.
This really does wrap up the whole story nicely, but it does keep a few little doors open for possible future stories in this setting. And on the basis of this, I'll be back for them. A good final volume to an enjoyable series.
The books are about a fleet, trapped in an alien start system that is at war with the one the fleet comes from. A captain, John Geary, who was in the first battel of the war a hundred years before has been rescued from a suvival pod. The commander of the fleet and other senior officers go to negotiate with the enemy and the commander nominates Geary as his successor because of his seniority of rank, The commander and he officers are murdered by the enemy and Geary takes command.
Over the hundred years the fleet tactics have degenrated into mad charges regardless of casualties.
Using his experience and training Geary turns the fleet into a lethal tactical force to fight their way back to their own star system.
I did wonder how such a story could be stretched so far without becoming boring hwoever it never did.
With the various threads of the constant battles, the varying threats, the internal conflicts betwen the various factions and personal relationships on board the flagship the story never lags. Here we have real space opera and a good human story all rolled into one.
In fact I enjoyed it so much that I ordered books one and two of "The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier" before I had finished this set. I can say that that is a continuation of the story but going even further. Not only that I have been ordering other books by the same author. He is great.
I confess that I bought the first book in the series purely out of curiosity, and really not expecting too much. To my surprise, I quite enjoyed it, and kept coming back for more, until here I am, at the last. They are undemanding reads with two good female co-stars, strong, if somewhat repetitive, characters. Mr. Campbell does a good space battle, and is especially good with the distances and times involved (the fact that light takes time to cross distances in space, and that therefore things can only be seen sometimes hours after they happen). There is also a refreshing absence of "technobabble" - it is a given that there is the ability for spacecraft to "jump" from one star system to another, and that there are (unstated) fuels that can somehow drive these ships. These things don't exist, and probably never will, but, hey, who cares? Just assume they do and enjoy the ride.
One annoy ance is a poor standard of edit ing. It's quite comm on to find breaks in words that act ually don't have breaks. This hap pens to a surp rising extent.
Story is simple but well written, yes it's predictable but in the same way a Bond book is. Good addictive story telling.