The Lost Stars- Perilous Shield A novel from The Lost Fleet Universe
Author: Jack Campbell
ISBN print: 9780857689252.
ISBN e book: 9780857689269.
Published: October 2013 Titian Books.
Paperback: 467 pages.
Following a successful coup, the leaders of the rebel Midway Star System are struggling to forge a government free enough to please its citizens yet strong enough to secure power. But in a world where former rulers have become new foes, an alien threat to humanity may turn old adversaries into allies.
Despite their mutual mistrust, General Artur Drakon partnered with President Gwen Iceni to overthrow the authority of the Syndicate Worlds, before the Syndicate could order their deaths. Now, with the enigma fleet endangering their hard-won independence, they have no choice but to join forces once more. But before confronting the alien advance, Drakon and Iceni must face hidden dangers closer to home: all too human threats that could jeopardise Midway’s freedom… and their own lives.
The Lost Star Series is Jack Campbell’s second spin-off of the Lost Fleet Series. This series takes the view point of the Syndicate Worlds and primarily, The Midway Star System. This system has been featured in a number of the recent books. This book is the alternate view point from the book ‘The Guardian’ from the Beyond the Frontier Series. The key players are President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon, head of the ground forces of Midway Star System. The last half of the book is new material relating only to Midway.
The story has lots of space action as well as intrigue, suspense and some humour. Commander Bradamount, the Captain of Dragon, a cruiser in Admiral Black Jack Geary fleet, is assigned to be the liaison officer to Midway and stays behind when the fleet leaves the system. Togo is President Iceni’s bodyguard and Morgan and Malen are General Drakon’s key assistants – these three provide a lot of the intrigue and suspense of the story. Bradamount accompanies the Midway fleet to Alliance Space to retrieve 5,000 prisoners of war. These highly trained spaceship crews are vital to the needs of Midway. There are about 1,500 of these that chose to go to their home worlds and some promise to get their families and come on to Midway. But are there SNAKES (Syndicate secret police) hidden in the POWs? Add to this the arrival of an alien fleet ‘the enigmas’ with sufficient force to wipe out everyone on the midway station and we have a set up for lots of drama.
This novel was very action packed and is a definite must for fans of Jack Campbell’s series, however, I found it rather erratic – it doesn’t seem to have a clear focus; there are lots of little side plots and side stories and so much double crossing and triple crossing it can get a little confusing. It is an intriguing story on the dangers of ambition, leadership and power.
Overall it is an interesting story but one only for people with previous knowledge of Campbell’s work.