Sunday, October 26, 2008

Review: Courageous

Courageous (kindle edition) is Jack Campbell's third book in his lost fleet series. The series is fundamentally an excuse for several 3-dimensional relativity-based fleet battles, and this book does not disappoint.

While the first two books show-case severely one-sided victories on the side of the Protagonist (John Geary a.k.a. "Black Jack" Geary to the rest of the fleet), this novel introduces an enemy that seemed to have learned from the previous defeats. At the same time, Geary seems to have decided that he had done enough running and that the next most unpredictable move would be to head straight home. The result is a series of set-piece battles that are entertaining with regards to time, location, multiple deployed fleets, and of course, 3D topography. Half-way through this book though, I wondered if these concepts might have been better introduced through a video-game with timing controls than through a novels --- I started to consider that Campbell should include diagrams of fleet formations along with his descriptions of the set-piece battles.

The character development is handled as clumsily as is usual for science fiction. Seriously, don't read this book for a good look at character development --- the characters seem to regress to pre-puberty kids as far as that's concerned. Nevertheless, I'm well and sucked in now, so I will buy the next few books like the zombie that I am. Recommended, but perhaps you should read the entire series at your library, eh?
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