I've recently been hugely entertained by Dauntless, by Jack Campbell. It is book one of the Lost Fleet series, but it is not the work of a first-time novelist; Wikipedia reveals that Campbell is a nom de plume of one John Hemry, whom I had never heard of.
A book like this is a bit of a commodity; "Hornblower in space" wouldn't be far off the mark, and if the idea of watching a rather interesting character navigate through a series of space-naval engagements while coming to terms with his own identity doesn't titillate, you're probably well served to look elsewhere.
But if you don't mind a bit of space opera, and want to stand shoulder to shoulder on the bridge as the right-thinking Alliance Navy clashes again and again with the evil, business-minded Syndic, well, look no further. Space Marines, escape pods, musings on total war, a hero come back to life - I feel like a lot of people on this friendslist would probably enjoy it.