reviewed by Pam Guynn
Tension, protection for a diplomatic mission, and alien species kickstart an excellent book by Jack Campbell: Implacable. Admiral John Black Jack Geary’s Alliance fleet has been sent to protect a diplomatic mission to the territory belonging to the Dancers.
The Dancers are called that due to their movements. They resemble spiders with a wolf’s head and their intentions are unknown. When another alien species with superior technology arrives, the mission becomes even more complicated. However, the most serious danger comes when Admiral Geary is presented with orders that he believes are contrary to the ideals of the Alliance. Will he obey them or risk tearing apart the Alliance and endangering his fleet?
It was amazing to see Admiral Geary respond to events as they occurred. His outlook on the Alliance as well as the fleet he is responsible for is always clear. He is viewed as a hero by many, but some of his actions in this novel are questioned by some of his fleet officers. Many characters brim with personality. But which of their agendas are for the good of all and which ones are self-serving?
This book is the third one in The Lost Fleet: Outlands series. There are several other subseries in the The Lost Fleet collection as well. Since this is the first book I have read by this author, it took me a short while to get into the story and understand who was who. There are many characters in this novel, but several have been in prior books. If you’ve read them, it will likely be easy to reconnect with old friends.
The plot is twisty with harrowing scenes, plenty of layers, thought-provoking instances, and a larger-than-life protagonist. The multiple conflicts and the diplomatic challenges move the story forward rapidly. Relationships, power, knowledge, and understanding others who are different play varying roles in this tense science fiction thriller. A new threat seems to lurk around every corner. Trying to understand the fallout from the actions of Admiral Geary, aliens, and other Alliance officers expanded the story and kept me turning the pages. While many of the threads in this story line are brought to a satisfactory conclusion, there are some things left to be revealed in the next book in the series.
Overall, this is a tense and exciting science fiction thriller that kept me on an emotional rollercoaster. It was engaging, atmospheric, and suspenseful and did a great job of keeping me hooked. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I recommend reading this series in order. Enthusiasts of space exploration science fiction thrillers will likely enjoy this novel.
Berkley Publishing Group – Ace and Jack Campbell provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for July 04, 2023.
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