Three flying saucers
This will be a brief review, as I recently posted about things I liked in Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series. As the Lost Fleet is one of my favorite science fiction series, why didn’t the latest book receive my top rating? My problem is with the structure of the book; to me, it felt like a couple of short stories followed by the first half of a novel, rather than a complete novel. Sure, the lost fleet took six books to fight its way home from behind enemy lines, and another four to escape from alien space, but I felt that each of those books did a good job of presenting a new obstacle to the fleet’s return which was then overcome in the final pages.
Steadfast isn’t a radical departure from the rest of the series; if you read it you’ll get several of your favorite characters, you’ll get your big space battle at the end, and you’ll get your fill of annoying orders from stupid/corrupt/evil admirals at headquarters.
I really liked how tension built up as the characters speculated about the location and motive of the Alliance’s mysterious second fleet, but I would have preferred more resolution. Similarly, the space battle near the end of the book was exciting, but its result was the enemy fleet in retreat and the lost fleet in pursuit, which wasn’t very conclusive. I would have preferred that some of the earlier crises be shaved from the story to make room for a more decisive ending, or even that the book be extended to incorporate such an ending.