Books Military Science Fiction Space Opera

Steadfast: This series is loosing steam

SteadfastSteadfast (The Lost Fleet: Beyond The Frontier #4) by Jack Campbell
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Geary and the crew of the Dauntless have managed to safely escort important alien representatives to Earth. But before they can make tracks for home, two of Geary’s key lieutenants vanish. The search for his missing men leads Geary on a far-flung chase, ultimately ending at the one spot in space from which all humans have been banned: the moon Europa. Any ship that lands there must stay or be destroyed—leaving Geary to face the most profound moral dilemma of his life.

To make matters worse, strains on the Alliance are growing as the Syndics continue to meddle. Geary is ordered to take a small force to the border of Syndic space. But what he finds there is a danger much greater than anyone expected: a mysterious threat that could finally force the Alliance to its knees.

As Geary spearheads a desperate battle to protect the Alliance against a shrewd and powerful enemy, he’s left with just one question: Who are they?

Unfortunately it is my opinion that this series is loosing steam. The original series, The Lost Fleet, had a purpose and a goal. Every book advanced the story towards that goal and they were generally quite enjoyable to read. This follow-up series, Beyond The Frontier, started well enough but already the second book felt like it was going downhill and the previous book in the series was not all that impressive. Unfortunately this one follows the same trend.

As I wrote, the book is not really going anywhere. It is just one problem for Geary to solve after another and all of them are created by various more or less intelligent (usually less) political manipulators and career hunters. Geary has recently come back after having discovered not one but several civilisations, all of them travelling the stars but not all of them friendly. Even the dumbass politicians in these books should start to get concerned by this. But they continue with their political machinations as well as trying to cut corners and costs for the military.

To constantly read about these dumbass politicians, their screw-ups, the constantly failing hardware and Geary having to wade through this swamp of political nonsense seeing his fleet gradually being whittled down is tiresome and not at all fun reading. It is really a shame because when the action starts it is quite good. The fleet action is among the better ones around. So are the characters, at least the ones that are not in the political dumbass camp.

I really hope that this series will be shaping up and that the next instalment will bring not just be another string of screw-ups for Geary to solve, tone down the political BS and bring back some focus on a larger goal, preferably involving some of the aliens.

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