- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager (Feb. 22 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780061840265
- ISBN-13: 978-0061840265
- ASIN: 0061840262
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 200 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Center of Gravity: Star Carrier: Book Two Mass Market Paperback – Feb 22 2011
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From the Back Cover
In the evolution of every sentient race, there is a turning point when the species achieves transcendence through technology.
The warlike Sh’daar are determined that this monumental milestone will never be achieved by the creatures known as human.
On the far side of known human space, the Marines are under siege, battling the relentless servant races of the Sh'daar aggressor. With a task force stripped to the bone and the Terran Confederation of States racked by dissent, rogue Admiral Alexander Koenig must make the momentous decision that will seal his fate and the fate of humankind. A strong defensive posture is futile, so Koenig will seize the initiative and turn the gargantuan Star Carrier America toward the unknown. For the element of surprise is the only hope of stalling the Sh'daar assault on Earth's solar system—and the war for humankind's survival must be taken directly to the enemy.
About the Author
Ian Douglas is the New York Times bestselling author of the popular military science fiction series The Heritage Trilogy, The Legacy Trilogy, The Inheritance Trilogy, The Star Corpsman, and the ongoing Star Carrier and Andromedan Dark series. A former naval corpsman, he lives in Pennsylvania.
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In this adventure we start out several months after the Earth Star Fleet has defended Earth against a xenophobic race called the Sh'daar who launched meteors broken out of orbit towards Earth. They are determined that humanity should not evolve technologically enough to challenge their rule of the Universe as they know it.
Rear Admiral Alexander Koenig has been ordered back to Erath to attend a special meeting with the Senate. This involves bringing the flag ship America back to Earth.
The Senate has a special offer for Admiral Koenig but Koenig is convinced that the answr to the war with the Sh'daar is to take the fight to them. Something they would never think humanity would do. The element of surprise would certainly be in the Earth's Fleet benefit.
However Earth is still paranoid about another attack being launched on the home world by the Sh'daar so while Admiral Koenig will get to undertake Operation Golden Arrow it with a very small fleet of ships.
Can the Earth Fleet prevail ? Is Admiral Koenig's first target important to the Sh'daar or just a minor player ? What other weapon technology do the Sh'daar have in their arsenal ?
There is great character development in this story along with great tactical manoeuvres both individually and fleet wise. Lots of action.
ORIGINALITY (standard, high, stellar) - HIGH - Ian Douglas has a vivid imagination
ACTION (none, some, lots) - LOTS - aliens aliens and more aliens to kick but
SEX (none, some, lots) NONE
PROFANITY (none, some, lots) NONE - no time
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This series is great, fun to read not just for great writing but for following real science and physics. In this universe ships can warp faster than light but communication is limited to light speed. Radio signals from that distant star tell you the enemy had a base there 72 years ago. Ships can warp between stars but have to drop out of warp at the outer edge of a star system. From that point fighters and kinetic weapons accelerate to .99 c and ships to .50 c so once the light of your arrival warns the enemy your fighters and kinetic rocks are five minutes behind. The fighters have to fight for nine hours until the ships arrive. Most of the kinetic rocks will miss since their targets try to move. Ships and fighters can fly sideways and backwards to aim their weapons. Unusual tactical situations allowing unusual ways to use weapons do not feel contrived.
And what fighters! Carrying dozens of nuclear missiles, sandcasters, particle beam weapons, and cannons firing uranium slugs, one fighter can wreck several warships. If it survives.
People ARE the story. The admiral still has to deal with knowing that his every order means the deaths of some of his ships and people. Pilots who grew up in uncivilized ruins in Middle Ages lawless conditions have to struggle against the prejudice of comrades who grew up with computer implants and downloaded college degrees.
Aliens are people too and the alien characters are fully developed people not cardboard cutouts.
In the previous book we learn that in the future Earth and its handful of colonies are losing a war against a vast interstellar empire. In the last book our heroes barely repelled a large scale invasion of our home solar system. Now in this book our heroes mount a daring large scale offensive operation, taking a fleet of ships deep into enemy space to try and shift the fighting further away from Earth. If the fleet fails the Earth will be left with dangerously few ships to defend itself with.
With the stakes set we finally get to see our heroes taking the fight to the alien invaders. Despite the large amount of world building done in book one, Ian Douglas finds a way to shed even more light on the universe he has created. Detailing a great deal more about the culture of this futuristic Earth as well as their alien enemies. On the down side however there are many explanations and details that are recycled and repeated from book one. This is obviously done for the benefit of new readers, however I found myself sometimes skimming over entire pages of repeated technical information for stuff I already read about.
In terms of the plot the author does a good job of keeping things largely fresh, although it does feel at times that our heroes are doing surprisingly well for a military that has up to that point been largely losing the war.
Overall the book continues to be a very compelling saga that really stands out from the usual crowd of sci-fi works. Its only real flaw is that it can get a tad overwhelming with the amount of detail the author provides about various topics.