Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield

Author:  Jack Campbell.
Title:  The Lost Stars:  Perilous Shield.
Publisher:  Ace.
Copyright Date:  2013.
Pages:  406.
Price:  $26.95 (Hardback).

The Lost Stars:  Perilous Shield is the second book in Jack Campbell's third series.  The first two series set the stage for the third installation.  As the result of a galactic wide war, the Syndicate Worlds are falling apart.  There is a successful rebellion in the Midway system.  The newly liberated worlds surrounding Midway are the background for the novel.

The story centers on several main characters, namely Midway's President and her main general.  There are assassination attempts by the Syndicate internal security agents (or snakes), fleet actions, and rescue of prisoners of war.  The pacing is good and the story is easy to follow.  Jack Campbell was recommended to me by a writer friend who also is a librarian.  His writing style reminds me a late of David Drake's Hammer's Slammers with a naval twist.  Campbell is a retired naval officer who writes hard military science-fiction/space opera.

Being new to his universe, I got thrown into it with the second The Lost Stars book.  He developed characters from his previous novels to populate this world.  That's fine.  It just took me a while to get my bearings as far as characters go.  Alliance Admiral Jack "Black Jack" Geary is still an essential character in this novel.  There are also many subplots and turns that move the story along.  It's clear from the ending of the book, it's meant to be a long series.  Campbell has captured his target audience for Ace Publishing's cash cow (similar to David Webber's Honor Harrington universe).

I was looking for some of Campbell's writing earlier this year.  I just didn't come along to until I found a hardback copy of The Lost Stars:  Perilous Shield for 30% off retail at Barnes and Noble in late October 2013.  I then started reading this book at the beginning of December 2013.  Due a series of family emergencies, I didn't get to finish reading it until this morning.

Recommend for readers who enjoy David Drake type military science fiction.

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