The Lost Stars – Imperfect Sword. Book Review

lost starsThe Lost Stars – Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell
Titan, p/b, 432pp, £7.99
Reviewed by Martin Willoughby

The latest adventures of the star system Midway are as enthralling as the others. Well written, fast paced and you never know who’s going to die. Although I haven’t read the previous book to this one, that didn’t matter as any relevant detail is dropped in to the plot as needed to explain the story. Nor did I have to have read the Lost Fleet series to know anything about the background. In short, this a thoroughly good read and one that will keep you entertained.

Midway has survived clashes with the Enigmas and the Syndicate, but trouble is brewing in the surrounding star systems and on Midway itself. Rumours are being spread about the stability of the government and that they are about to start enforcing Syndicate style dictatorship. No one knows who’s spreading this disinformation, but it’s getting dangerous.

In other systems the Syndicate is planning to retake worlds that have fallen into disorder while Admiral Jack Geary and his Alliance fleet are keeping a watchful eye on everything, especially the Enigmas.

Gwen Iceni, the President of Midway and commander of the mobile forces, and Artur Drakon, Vice-President and head of the ground forces are still distrustful of each other, but not so distrustful that they are vying to remove the other. They meet to discuss the situation on Midway and the growing problems in the Ulindi system. While other systems may have fallen into disorder, Ulindi has been taken over by CEO Haris who wants to turn his rule into a new empire and take over the surrounding systems.

Before they can take action, they have to deal with a Syndicate fleet lead by a CEO nicknamed Happy Hua, whose only happiness comes from killing and torturing those she discovers, or believes, to be traitors. Not the most skilled of star commanders, her fleet is defeated, but she escapes to fight again.

After that, Midway turns its attentions to Ulindi and this is where the book really takes off. Bluff, double bluff and several twists and turns later the story comes to a satisfying conclusion.

The only downside is the amount of time Campbell takes to wind things down at the end, fifty pages of summary that does leave you with an anti-climactic feeling by the time you’ve finished it. That said, it’s still a cut above most SF of this type and I can easily recommend it to anyone.