Vanguard (Genesis Fleet #1) ★★★☆☆

vanguard (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Vanguard
Series: Genesis Fleet #1
Author: Jack Campbell
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 333
Format: Digital edition



Humanity is expanding to the stars and old Earth and the original Colonies are tired and are inward looking. Anyone with a dream can go forth. And so can anyone looking to fleece said dreamers.

This is the story of how the civilization we came to know in Campbell’s Lost Fleet series came into being.

A Geary is on Glenlyon and forced to protect it, understaffed and undercut by the very politicians who placed the burden on his shoulders. He must defend his planet from another star system that wants to claim jump and take over. He must also make an Alliance [yes, the beginning of THE Alliance] with another star system for mutual benefit and protection.

Mele Darcy is a former Earth Marine who is tasked with protecting Glenlyon on the ground. With a volunteer force, she must take over the enemies base and stop their incursion before it is too late.

Both are successful. And at the end of the book, given their hat, a pat on the shoulder and a “thank you but we no longer need your services” speech from the damnable politicians whose asses they just saved.


My Thoughts:

I actually had to put this down at one point because I was so pissed off at the politicians in the book AND the main characters. Campbell, a former military man, is very big on having his good characters play by the rules even when others are doing everything to bend or break those rules. Intended or not, it has always come across to me as “the rules are the rules so we keep them because they are rules” and not because of any deeper meaning BEHIND the rules. Laws are simply social constructs and outside of a few moral laws, I consider laws to be neither inherently good or evil. So when one group dismisses the laws, that contract is now null and void between me and them.

Example: Shooting someone is illegal. But if someone breaks into my place, they have broken that compact and I have every right to pull out my shotgun and shoot them. If I see someone breaking a window into my place and I yell out, “Hey, get the heck out of here” and they don’t leave, I have the right to shoot them.

Campbell argues, through his characters, that you don’t have the right to shoot them UNTIL they are fully in your house and pawing through your underwear drawer.

Obviously I am being a bit hyperbolic there, but it gets my point across. It makes for very ethical characters which is nice to read about but it can also be incredibly frustrating if your philosophy is different. I am a huge home defense advocate and am unabashedly an American Nationalist and should things ever go into space, I’d be a planetist 🙂 But that’s another discussion.

There was just as much ground pounder action as there was space fighting and I really enjoyed that. Campbell can write some engaging battles and it is fun to read. I’ll be reading the rest of the series as they come out but I don’t think I’ll be buying these. I’ve bought all the Lost Fleet, Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier and Lost Stars books but this one, it wasn’t good enough to buy.

I’m not sure if coming into this new or having the whole Lost Fleet under your belt would be better. I suspect having all of his previous books would make this a better read, as you’re invested in characters whose ancestors you’re now reading about in the Genesis Fleet books.