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4.3 out of 5 stars37
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2011
Ian Douglas likes the theme of humanity against a huge galactic empire where the American military by human ingenuity and flexibility overcomes both the aliens and the stupid civilian administration that tries to lead them astray. The civilians are not so over the top stupid this time but that is not to say they are smart.

Center of Gravity starts in the aftermath of Earth Strike and Admiral Alexander Koenig and his crew are officially the heroes that saved the day. The closeness of it all scares the political leadership so much that they want to pull more forces back to defend earth, a posture that would put the center of gravity of the conflict right on top of earth. Admiral Koenig knows a strong defense is futile against an aggressor with overwhelming resources. He has to take the initiative and bring the fight to the Sh'daar. He eventually gets a reduced task force he has to sneak away with fully knowing that an order to stay and bolster earth defenses is only hours away.

As usual in Ian Douglas series the focus is on the military actions with vivid descriptions of combat and what is happening with the people involved including the alien point of view. The humans are a bit bland compared to the aliens' interesting psychology. Ian introduces a few more races and starts to reveal more about the Sh'daar, the mystic race leading the galactic empire and their motivation behind the edict against transcendence technologies that started the war.

The humans all have their struggles beside the obvious military ones Alexander struggles with the death of Karyn Mendelson in the recent destruction of the synchorbital military base Phobia above Mars while Lieutenant Trevor Gray struggles both with prejudices against Prims and his feelings for Angela who he had to enroll for to pay for the treatment that saved her life but also made her another person, a person not in love with him.

Center of Gravity was all in all an enjoyable read but it is on familiar grounds. I hope Ian Douglas deviate more from the formula in forthcoming books. I still want to read the next book No Return when it comes out in 2012.
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on 8 December 2013
No warp drive, no mythical 'force', just plain hard theoretical physics! All the space travel contained within is well within the current area of accepted theoretical physics. It just makes the story more possible and believable. The characters are well rounded REAL people and Earth's "Back Story" all to believable as a possible future for us. Why not?

The story itself is very enjoyable; earth against 99% of the known galaxy. Of course we'll win..........won't we?

Am reading the fourth book now with the fifth pre-ordered. Can't get enough! Who needs Jedi knights and Klingons on the starboard bow? Not me, no Sir!
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on 5 November 2012
I have read the first two books and will definitely get the third when it is released.

However, I do cringe at some of the mathematical/physical/practical errors that occur. I would be the first to admit that they are few and far apart but for me at least they do briefly spoil my enjoyment when I encounter them. Mostly he has done very well at keeping his calculation and assumptions correct but the one that gets me every time is the velocity of the KK rounds from the fighters which he mentions several times as being 175m/s. My problem with this is that it is half the muzzle velocity of a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and a simple search of Wikipedia shows a US Naval test of a railgun firing a 3.2kg projectile at 5.4km/s "in the late 2000's". Surely in the intervening four centuries and with the vast amounts of energy they seem to have available they should be able to compensate for a shorter 'barrel' and keep the velocity to a useful level. Similarly the carrier can only launch its projectiles at the same speed as the fighters are launched as it uses the same 'barrel'. Surely they should be able to simply use the same energy and so fire a lighter projectile at a higher velocity?

Despite these niggles the plot and characters continue to develop and we are introduced to several new alien races.
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on 14 March 2013
Ian's take on infant technologies that exist now and their potential in a few hundred years are thoroughly believable, the nanotech stuff in particular. The battle dialogues are fascinating too but perhaps a little too detailed at times. Great storyline, wiith good character continuity. Whilst I appreciate he is successfully portraying how alien other life forms could be, I'm surprised there are no humanoid biped types somewhere in the mix. No matter, just got Singularity and looking forward to the continued story. Keep up the good work.
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on 19 June 2011
I purchased this book working on the principle that it's usually worth giving anything a second chance. (well, within reason). I had previously found the first in the series a bit of a drag. It was ok in everything, plot, writing style, everything. But that was it - ok. This one's a major improvement, pacier, more action-packed and generally a smoother read altogether. I don't want to reveal anything about the story but I enjoyed this one much more and all I can say is 'Roll on the 3rd'.
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on 24 February 2013
For me book two was OK with regards to the development and growth of the story line. However I have given it only two stars, perhaps a bit too tough, because there was a lot of copy detail from book one on the technologies etc. etc. I realise that in a set of books the author has to do some of this in case a person buys a book out of sequence. To me though there was too much of this. I will not be buying the next two books in the series.
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on 5 May 2013
Another great book from the Star Carrier series. The series by Ian Douglas is full of action and with thought provoking true facts linked in. I've not enjoyed a series quite like this before. Checking up on some of the facts that the author had included is quite interesting, like the type of travel characters use the drive system has been pondered for many years. Well worth the money, but them you wont be sorry.
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on 8 September 2011
I love the hard sci-fi in this and a lot of the issues to close to c combat and fleet action. The characters are a bit flat to be honest and smell of the 1980's; lots of top gun with all its associated clichés. Bar that it has some interesting ideas which are pretty well executed. The action is good and so is the build-up. I know it's trashy but it's a fun fast read. No regrets.
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on 10 February 2013
This book is a supriser, i just bought the first one to get me through the day at the gym and when im bored, but i ended up reading it pretty quick, and bought the rest of them, and they are great the only thing i can say is a fault is that the author repeats information a couple times through-out the books but other that that its great!!
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on 22 July 2013
This is an enjoyable read that concentrates on action from a space fighter pilot's perspective. The book is a good read but the repetitive explanations of the same technology in several places in the book can be jarring. The read is not totally immersive and some of the attempts to make social comment in the book fall a bit flat.
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