Imperfect Sword: A wonderful action-packed installment

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsImperfect Sword by Jack Campbell science fiction book reviewsImperfect Sword by Jack Campbell

After the last book in Jack Campbell’s THE LOST STARS series, I was really almost dreading Imperfect Sword. I felt like Campbell had lost touch with the meaning of Military Science Fiction and was wandering in the land of Science Fiction Romance. Well, fortunately I have been rebuked; with Imperfect Sword, Campbell delivers a wonderful action-packed installment and restores my belief in him as an author who knows when to blow something up with a plasma cannon or take someone down with a sharp knife in the dark. 

General Drakon and President Iceni have been up to their necks in intrigue since they broke with the Syndicate Worlds. Through a very, very fortunate series of interactions with Admiral Jack Geary, the hero of the LOST FLEET series, they have avoided being destroyed by the Enigmas and have held off attempts by the Syndicate Worlds to roll them back under their control. Things have often been pretty tense between the two former CEOs, and observing the efforts by Artur and Gwen to not only work together, but to actually trust in spite of the long cultural heritage of leaders betraying each other for position and advantage is a recurring theme that, while necessary, grows tedious. In Imperfect Sword those efforts prove to be what really staves off complete disaster. 

Colonel Morgan and Colonel Malin, mother and son though only he knows it, are still engaged in a rough game of competition for control and recognition by General Drakon. When an opportunity arises to take preventative action against an aggressive ruler of a nearby star system, Colonel Morgan volunteers to go as a spy/advanced force to gather intelligence and instigate problems within the system to make the battle less dangerous for General Drakon. This mission is basically a suicide mission, but Roh Morgan is one person who can take that on and win. 

As the forces of Midway move towards their conflict with Ulindi and CEO Harris, problems start to appear. Terrorist-like attacks on the forces still on Midway, communications changes on Ulindi, and traces of large formations of Syndicate troops above and beyond what Ulindi has all point to one thing: a betrayal at the highest level of the Midway leadership. The great thing is that we don’t have to wait until the last 50 pages of the book to get to the action! 

Imperfect Sword was a wonderful return to action-packed Military Science Fiction by Jack Campbell. I was impressed at how well he tells the story from multiple perspectives without leaving me feeling like I know the end before the beginning. This is the kind of book that leaves me hungering for another helping of Campbell’s space combat!

Publication Date: October 7, 2014. The wait is over. New York Times bestselling author Jack Campbell continues his action-packed spin-off to The Lost Fleet series as the Syndicate’s civil war threatens to spread even farther into the final frontier… President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon have successfully liberated the Midway Star System—but the former rulers of the Syndicate Worlds won’t surrender the region without a fight. The dictatorial regime has ordered the ex–Syndicate CEOs terminated with extreme prejudice and the system’s citizens punished for their defiance. Outnumbered and led by junior officers hastily promoted in the wake of the uprising, Midway’s warships are no match for the fleet massing and preparing to strike. But the Syndicate isn’t the only threat facing Iceni and Drakon. Another former CEO has taken control of the Ulindi Star System, the first calculated move toward establishing his own little empire. With Drakon’s ground forces dispatched to Ulindi, Midway erupts in violence as Syndicate agents and other, unknown enemies stoke a renewed revolt against Iceni’s power—leaving both her and Drakon vulnerable to trusted officers just waiting for an opportune moment to betray them…

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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