Ascendant (The Genesis Fleet, #2)by Published 15 May 2018
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A young fleet officer and a Marine stand together to defend their colony in the continuation of the powerful and action-packed Genesis Fleet saga from New York Times bestselling author Jack Campbell.
In the three years since former fleet officer Rob Geary and former Marine Mele Darcy led improvised forces to repel attacks on the world of Glenlyon, Old Earth and the Old Colonies have continued to shrink their military forces.
But open warfare erupts once again when Glenlyon tries to force open a trade route. Isolated and alone, Glenlyon places its hope in informal agreements with other worlds also facing attack. But fiercely independent worlds settled by people who wanted to escape higher authority don’t easily agree to such commitments. While politicians try to bring some kind of formal alliance into being, Geary and Darcy once again find themselves fighting desperately to defend their world, hoping they can hold out until help arrives.
If it comes at all.
"Ascendant (The Genesis Fleet, #2)" Reviews
Quality military sci fi
Campbell/Hemry is a great story teller. He creates good sci fi without over the top science conjecture. His writing is intelligent, well constructed and carefully edited. This is fun stuff made very readable by a true professional who seems to enjoy his work and respects the intelligence of his readers.
Ascendant is the second book in a new series that is off to a great start. Campbell's past series were also enjoyable quality reads. If reading is your pass time and sci fi your guilty pleasure, you can't go wrong here. Take my advice and start with the "Lost Fleet"series first, it will make Ascendant even more enjoyable when you get here.
I had a fun time with this one. The first book was better, but this one wasn't bad. I only have two main gripes with it. the first is that Campbell is still struggling with multiple viewpoints and locations. In the first half of the book or so, he keeps jumping around between them at places that feel very jarring, which brings with it some rather severe pacing problems as well. But he did seem to sort of get the hang of it once the action starts in the second half of the book. Practice makes perfect, I guess. And the other gripe is that the first book had this really cool dystopian feel to it that I really liked. This one didn't. It felt more in line with one of Campbell's Lost Fleet books, and less like the colonists tired of overcrowding setting out to a new frontier and harassed by mad-maxian bandits and pirates. I still quite enjoyed the book, but again, the first one was a bit better, mostly, in my opinion, because of the cool dystopian feel to it. If you're a fan of Jack Campbell's work, you'll probably enjoy this one. If he doesn't do it for you, you're probably not going to like more of the same.
Rob Geary and Mele Darcy are called back to help. Once again Glenlyon is in danger after losing one of their two warships. This is military space opera as Geary and Darcy arrive in time to help defend their neighbor Kosatka from attack. While this victory is important all know that they are still in great danger. All of the important characters play a part in Ascendant. There is a very loose web being woven as the colonies realize that they need to work together of be defeated. Geary and Darcy get back home and the stage is set for the next round in the war. For fans of the Lost Fleet series look for the one sentence hint about how the war in that series came about.
I am a big fan of Jack Campbell's works. I am a bit disappointed that I will have to wait a large amount of time for next book in the series. It is possible this is the last book, but I seriously doubt it. As with all of Campbell's works, I found Ascendant captivating. I read it in two days. It follows several threads happening at the same time and Campbell does that with beautiful grace.
No doubt military science fiction is my favorite genre. In my opinion, Campbell is one of this genre's best writers, if not the very best. If you think all that Sci-Fi produces is Star Trek, Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica, I would invite you to pick any of Campbell's series to try to go into a whole new world.
In a universe of faster-than-light travel, humanity has rapidly expanded to new worlds. Most of the settlers are looking for freedom and peace and to leave behind past lives and past failures, but some of the new world powers instead seek domination of others. Three years after the colony of Glenlyon successfully countered such an invasion, Glenlyon is again threatened. Rob Geary, a former fleet officer, and Mele Darcy, a former Marine, lead a group of mostly untried recruits to defend their planet, but soon Geary has to decide if the best way to protect Glenlyon might be to help the colony of Kosatka, which is also under attack. Already at work to save Kosatka are their former allies Lochan Nakamura, a self-described failed politician, and Carmen Ochoa, whose early life in the crime-ridden anarchic colony of Mars had given her survival skills she had hoped never to need again. The future of their respective worlds depends on them.
There were more battles in Ascendant than in Vanguard, the first book in this series, which is not something I would normally consider a plus, but in Campbell’s hands even I enjoyed them. Jack Campbell is a Naval Academy graduate and retired naval officer, and his professional expertise lends a very authentic feel to his novels. The reader gets a vivid sense of the best of military dedication, ethics, and bonding, as well as the frustrations of dealing with the (mostly civilian) bureaucracy! The military tactics and battle descriptions are convincing and interesting, and I was especially entertained by some clever tricks the good guys pulled on the invaders.
What really makes me come back to Campbell’s writing, though, are his characters. These are real people, who react as real people do and cause the reader to care about them and the problems they face as they risk themselves to defend their families and their worlds. The following is a good example of Campbell’s blend of military thinking and genuine humanity:
“Carmen took a look back at the park, wondering how much longer those trees would stand. If the fight went on for long inside the city, the enemy would realize those leaves offered too much concealment. A single overpressure munition would strip the trees of leaves and bark and smaller branches, leaving bare trunks where a small, cultivated forest had once stood.
Somehow the thought of that bothered her more than the craters in the streets and the holes in some of the buildings.”
Although they are clearly part of their series, both Vanguard and Ascendant have natural and satisfactory conclusions, but I recommend reading them in order, both to avoid spoilers and because of the strong character development that begins in the first book. I highly recommend this series and look forward eagerly to the next instalment.
Stellar military SF!
My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an Advance Review Copy of this book.