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What is Rendezvous with Corsair?

Jack Campbell’s New York Times bestselling The Lost Fleet sci-fi adventure series has transported legions of fans out of this world and into the heat of battle. Now, readers will discover how it all began—not only for John “Black Jack” Geary and his descendant Commander Michael Geary, but for those who fought and sacrificed so much alongside them.

Spanning from before the Alliance/Syndicate war to the devastating initial conflagration that would lead to decades of unremitting conflict and beyond into full-blown war, from the Geary’s own epic heroics to where their surviving compatriots found their own fates, this volume reveals the triumphs, tragedies, and life-altering events that made these warriors living legends in their universe.

Packed with high-stakes military action and drama as well as humor and humanity, this volume explores the foundations of The Lost Fleet series as well as past exploits of its most popular characters—and also includes the novelization of the Lost Fleet graphic novel Corsair, which was praised as “a Tom Clancy thriller in space” (Publishers Weekly).

Review

RENDEZVOUS WITH CORSAIR by Jack Campbell is supposedly an anthology set in the Lost Fleet universe, but I am going to argue it’s actually 75% of a novel with some bonus short stories. This makes reviewing it something of a difficult prospect as I am by no means an unbiased source. You see, I *LOVE* The Lost Fleet universe.

The adventures of Jack “Black Jack” Geary are my comfort food. Captain Kirk plus Paragon Shepard is the best fleet commander the galaxy could ask for and he does so by abiding by the rules of war as well as not being a military maverick. It’s almost unprecedented in the history of science fiction. They were an influence on my books (Space Academy Dropouts) and I devour them like candy.

Most of this book is actually an adaptation of another character’s adventure, though. Michael Geary, Black Jack’s great-great-great nephew was captured by the EVIL Syndics (Boo! Hiss!) and ends up having to escape with a beautiful rebel, Destina Aragon. Who, contrary to what her name sounds like, is not a Harry Potter character but someone that probably would be cast with, “Basically the Black Widow from the MCU. Give her a sexy foreign accent too.” Seriously, my reviews of these books always get silly.

This is a story I’m already familiar with because it was told in the Titan comic series, CORSAIR, but is now being adapted to prose. I really enjoyed the comic but can understand if the author thought most of his readers would be unfamiliar with it. The story flows exactly like you expect it to with Michael being the fearless paragon of Alliance morality while Destina suggests the pragmatic ex-Syndic renegade choice. Smoldering sexual tension but they are from different worlds! Etcetera-etcetera.

Then the story ends before its climax and tells us to go buy THE LOST FLEET: BOUNDLESS to get the rest of the story. Seriously, Jack? What the hell? I’ve already read Boundless, I wanted to hear the events of that book’s ending from Michael’s perspective as well as maybe go a bit further. Get some more steamy time with the main characters (or any at all really). It’s incredibly annoying and knocks a star off the book that really would have been better as a complete novel.

The rest of the book is short stories and they’re fine. Just fine. We get to find out how Black Jack got his nickname, we get to see his fateful mission that sent him 100 years in the future like Buck Rogers, a story about one of his old crew mates mourning him, plus a short story that shows plucky second in command Tanya developing into the officer we know and love from the main series.

They’re fine, really, but Corsair is what I was really enjoying and can’t help but feel cheated by the denial of a proper finish for. As mentioned, Boundless is from Black Jack’s perspective and it’s essentially like reading 75% of a Captain America comic and then switching to the story being resolved from, say, Spider-Man’s perspective. Which has happened before and is always annoying.

Available here

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