This week I decided to review The Lost Fleet: Beyond The Frontier: Guardian by Jack Campbell. When the book opens the First Fleet of the Alliance has returned to human space, more specifically the Midway system which is in revolt against the Syndicate Worlds empire which controlled it. Admiral Geary has to escort the Dancers, the first friendly nonhumans humanity has encountered, and the Invincible, a captured alien super battleship, through Syndicate Worlds territory to Alliance space. Unfortunately despite the war being over, forces within the Syndicate Worlds that are officially renegades hound the fleet using everything from kamikaze attacks and commando raids to hit and run fleets and a planetary defense grid originally abandoned because when fired it destroyed both its target and the planet it was defending. Then, after reaching the Alliance, he has to deal with a near mutiny from crews belonging to Alliance allied nations who wish to return home. And finally commanding only his flagship Geary must lead the Dancers to the Sol System, more specifically to Kansas, but he must battle a fleet belonging to a new enemy to allow them to reach their goal.
I give the book an 9.0 out of 10. Some of the discussions of politics were very interesting, as were many of the combat scenes in Syndicate space. It also has some great humor scenes and I enjoyed the revelation of why the Dancers wish to go to Kansas was a nice touch. There were some good humor bits, including one of the most amusing bomb disarming scenes I know of, as well. Unfortunately, the final battle, while enjoyable, wasn't as much fun as I hoped. I would have preferred a smaller enemy fleet with decent crews and ships to the larger fleet of McHale’s Starfleet rejects with almost useless ships that was in the battle.