Lost Fleet: Valiant
Ace, Jun 24 2008, $7.99
Captain John "Black Jack" Geary knows his Alliance fleet is in deep trouble as they struggle to return to home base. He knows his numerous enemies from within Alliance want him to fail as his heroism and that of his unit allowed others to escape a death trap, which made him a legend embellished by his return from the grave generations after his peers and family died out. However, his predicament is that supplies are extremely low and an external foe is preparing to attack.
Desperate Geary chooses a Hail Mary strategy that he prays will get his force safely into the Alliance sector. His feint gambit works and it seems he has bought the time needed to escape. However, someone apparently wants Geary dead and collateral damage by destroying several vessels and their crew is acceptable.
This military science fiction tale will grip the audience as realism in terms of the vastness of space as communications and maneuvers take time and can be countered leading to the loss of ships and lives; this concept is critical to the story line. Black Jack is a fascinating hero; mindful especially in his decision making of Honor Harrington as both accept death as real outcome. His family’s descendents detest him as much as his jealous Alliance fleet leaders; several who choose betrayal to eliminate him. Fans will appreciate the fourth Lost Fleet tale, but to better comprehend how many light years Black Jack has traversed, this reviewer suggests reading the previous entries first (see THE LOST FLEET: DAUNTLESS, THE LOST FLEET: FEARLESS, and THE LOST FLEET: COURAGEOUS).