May 6th, 2014

_The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast_, Jack Campbell SPOILERS RUN AWAY!

Spoilers AND this is crazy deep into a multiple arc series. So I honestly cannot imagine why anyone would read this review. If you're already reading the series, why would you spoil it for yourself? And if you aren't reading this series, it's not going to make a bit of sense.

As for why I am posting it, well, I frequently need a little reminder about things I read to get the rest of the memory back and these reviews help with that.

Black Jack and his companions are about to leave Earth. Tanya and Jack are finally going to get a little Alone Time when they learn that (a) they are about to be attacked and (b) two of their compatriots have been kidnapped. Oh noes. Their shuttle is further targeted on their hasty return, but they get through that okay, only to follow the kidnappers to quarantined Europe. They successfully use extreme measures to extricate their missing companions without contracting or spreading The Plague (or letting anyone else do same) and are then relieved to return home.

At home, they learn that Jane Geary was sent off on a mission, leaving Badaya in charge. Fortunately, Jack's efforts to convince Badaya To Behave were successful. Jane's okay, but Rione's husband is missing. Jack is sent off to deal with a refugee situation that turns out to be somewhat complex, but which is resolved successfully, all the while illuminating all the funding cuts and budget cuts that have occurred since the war is over. Upon returning home, the Dancers are in an Almighty Hurry to go somewhere else, so Jack and Tanya hastily follow with a few small ships. The Dancers are seen off at Midway, which is suffering from some unrest, but the Dancers emphasize the need to return home quickly, so they return to Indras which is mysteriously under attack. After detecting and resolving the official software changes that made these attackers invisible (not an enigma worm this time!), they follow the attackers to Atalia, where the "invisible" attackers are behaving in completely incomprehensible ways until Jack engages them, at which point they start working plays straight out of his playbook. Tanya saves the day (yay!).

The moral, as always, is really heavy handed: dude, don't build a big weapon/fleet and put an AI in charge. The cliffhanger has everyone chasing off to the jump for home. The assumption the team is working on is that the indiscriminate attacks are the result of malfunctions; I have more sinister suspicions.

Looking forward to more of the books from the Midway perspective, altho of course I love Jack and Tanya.