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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
If you haven't read Book 1 of this series, I highly recommend you read Earth Strike: Star Carrier: Book One first to make sure you are up to speed on the characters and their background as the author draws on a lot of the personal relationships, as well as to make sure just who the heck the bad guys are.

This book pick right up where the first one left off, and it is pretty much non-stop action with good character dialogue. I also like how he brings you along on the technological front, which makes the light drive systems more believable. You know you're reading an intriguing . thought-proviking book when you dream about some of the technologies like I did - I wouldn't mind having a replicator!

About the only drawback I have with the book is the different alien names as it was hard for me to keep them all straight. There is a lot of repitition to his other series with idiotic politicians and similar characteristics of the soldier heroes but it's not that big of a deal to me.

Bottom line is this is a good story - well worth the investment on my Kindle. Now, how much longer do we have to wait for the next book in the series?
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I like the book, and the series. It has been a fun read with characters that I can believe in their emotions and troubles. I also like where this book is going for the next installment in the series. You can definately see a much larger story being spun out.

What I don't like is the price gouging from the publisher. $7.99 for the kindle book, when I could get the paperback for $4? Come on. Get with the times. E-Books are the way of the future, and I will not be paying twice the price for the ebook over the paperback. I have now flagged the publisher I automatically skip over because of their stance on pricing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2011
Buy this book. Oh, and the one before it too. If you have not read the previous book, I envy you ;)

This book picks up right after the first one, "Earth Strike: Star Carrier: Book One". The story is complicated and should be read in order.

Set in 2404 AD, humanity has expanded into the surrounding stellar neighborhood with the farthest settlement some 60 light years away. Humainty is under attack by a near-galaxy spanning collective. They want humans to stop developing new technology or face destruction. Best guess is they dont want humanity to discover something we may be on track to find out soon, immortality, transcendence, panspora?

The story is fast paced with plenty of time for plot and charcter development. Well thought out realistic space combat and interesting depth into alien evolution.

Main technologies in use include nonotech, gravitics, FTL, and AI.

Enjoy!
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
I read the first book in this series and really thought Ian Douglas had set up an interesting universe full of aliens, advanced technology and desperate situations. Unfortunately the second book was a huge disappointment. I don't know if Douglas just banged the story out in three days to fulfill a contract or if he has someone else ghost write the book. Either was it is a huge mess.

To me what makes a space opera interesting is when the author chooses a universe very similar to our real universe with one or two changes. Like a hostile alien race that is in conflict with us poor humans. Then determine what advances in technology is needed to make such a story possible and interesting.

In the Star Carrier series the there are three main technological advances.

1) Advanced nano technology in the form of star ship hulls that can change shape, replicators that can create most anything from feed stock, and nano bots that keep humans healthy and alive for a very long time.

2) Artificial intelligence that is faster and smarted than human intelligence.

3) FTL spacecraft capable of travelling many light years in a few days and the ability to create artificial black hole singularities that allow small fighter space craft to accelerate at 50,000 gravities so they can reach light speed in about 10 minutes. This technology also allows humans access to practically unlimited energy drawn from the quantum vacuum.

Now this could make for some very interesting stories if the author spent a few minutes to figure out how these technologies would change the tactics of space warfare. And write stories that reflect that thought. Instead Douglas fights the space battles as if he where using aircraft carriers and fighter jets.

Even worse he changes the capabilities of the technology depending on what the plot needs at the moment. For example in one scene the human shield technology can withstand everything an entire enemy fleet can throw at it for several weeks while waiting for reinforcements to arrive. Then a bit later we have a situation where the shields are brushed away by a single ship with the first shot. This sort of hand waving is scattered throughout the book so frequently it completely disrupted my ability to accept any of the technology as real.

As for tactics, if you have a technology that lets you accelerate things to light speed in 10 minutes then all you need to do is send light speed missiles to impact the enemy home worlds and bases. Plus the enemy would do the same to us. No need to send a fleet of ships. Just one ship that can launch a few light speed rocks and you win. Anything approaching at light speed is by definition undetectable and unstoppable. Even worse the humans have the technology necessary to create artificial black holes and it never occurs to anyone that a black hole might make a pretty good weapon. Even when several human ships are destroyed by their own black holes when they take damage.

So the technology is inconsistent, poorly defined and in many cases completely ignored if Douglas thinks the plot needs a bit of suspense.

This leaves the character development of the aliens and humans to make the book interesting. Not in this mess. The aliens had huge potential from the first book. Then in the second book the aliens are all over the place. Sometimes they are given god like powers and then a few pages later they act like brain damaged apes. The humans don't do any better, they are all caricatures at best. Completely one dimensional, predictable and boring.

In summary - if you read the first book cut your losses, put this book down and move on to something else. I recommend the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2013
Accidently, I read this and Earth Strike out of sequence, so I had a little trouble wrapping my head around this author's style. Being a fan of science fiction, it is a complex but a very interesting story line. I think it is a treasure trove for those whose minds lean towards mechanical or military applications. However, it has intrigued me enough to follow this story line in Mr. Douglas's other books. I especially love the premise that we have no idea how alien an alien species could be.
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on November 26, 2014
Center of Gravity picks up shortly after the events of the previous book "Earth Strike: Star Carrier: Book One" left off. As such that previous book is very much required reading.

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.
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This is the second installment in the "Star Carrier" series. It carries forward both the strengths and the weaknesses in this series. This continues to be a considerable work of imagination in which the author successfully produces a dazzling view of humankind's future. His technological prognostications are creative, plausible, and intelligent. From iPhones and Google Glasses today, to mandatory implants and on-board implanted artificial-intelligence computers tomorrow as the author predicts in this series, it all makes sense. The conflict between Earth and the aliens is interesting and made to seem plausible in this second installment.

This novel, in common with Book One, suffers from a lack of character development and an over-reliance on technobabble. The author is quite capable of spending an entire chapter describing the technology of a given class of star fighter, how warp drive works, etc. It all could have been shortened without harming the storyline one whit. On the plus side I will say that the author writes intelligently about how a future warp drive and other technological advances of a similar nature might work. But in this novel the author continues his trend of over-reliance on such long explanations and the reader often feels as though he or she is essentially wading through this to get to the real purpose of the novel. To the credit of this series, the character development in the second novel is a little better, but only a little. The protagonists are still pretty one-dimensional, and one really gets the feeling that the author is not interested in developing these characters -- he would rather explain for the upteenth time about warp drive, artificial intelligences, and other staples of the series.

Despite the above criticisms, this storyline continues to hold my interest and I am off to book three in the series. RJB.
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A deep space probe from Earth enters the Arcturus star system to spy on a former Earth Confederation station that was captured by the Sh'daar warrior race of the Turusch. The system is now occupied by numerous enemy ships that swarm around a gas giant planet and its Earth sized moon. Scientists were terraforming the moon, Jasper, into a habitable planet for humans. The Turusch had destroyed the Confederation naval task force and captured the orbital terraforming base. No one knew what had finally happened to the over 6,000 humans on board the orbiting station.

During its fly by the probe was detected and fired upon by multiple enemy ships. Its flying speed of nearly the speed of light made it difficult to hit and it was gathering data when a massive ship emerged from the atmosphere of the gas giant. A near miss from a high energy beam weapon destroyed parts of the AI intelligent probe. It knew that it could not return to Earth in one piece and it knew that the data it had gathered was critical for the humans on Earth to get and analyze. The AI committed the equivalent of suicide by splitting into multiple pieces with only one part on a path back to Earth. It was the only way the data would survive and arrive safely. The massive alien spaceship also split into multiple pieces and each one followed a section of the probe along its path to determine the source of the probe. It leads them back to Earth and the home world of the humans. The giant H'rulka would provide the information to the Sh'daar about the spy mission....

Rarely does a sequel to a good Sci-FI book equal or excel the first book. This story is an exception where the second book is every bit as good if not better than the first. Admiral Koenig has just turned down the offer to become the President of the Confederation and has received partial orders to begin his master plan to take the war to the enemy instead of reacting to losing a colony or a base or playing defense and waiting for the final attack on Earth. He quickly goes rogue as he suspects that the Confederation Senate will stop his plan. He knows that the Sh'daar has transcended and those that remain will do anything to stop the humans from accomplishing transcendence, even if it means killing them all!

I liked this book a lot and the science and creativity of the author is outstanding. If you like Sci-Fi then you should look into this series. The author does go into deep technical discussions about the science involved in the technology but I enjoy this type of story over a supposed Sci-fi story written by someone who doesn't understand basic space flight. I enjoyed this book and I believe you will too!
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on August 9, 2011
If you haven't read the first novel yet, stop, go back, and read the reviews for Earth Strike: Star Carrier Book One. This novel is more of the same. It's good, I enjoyed it. It continues the themes and storyline of the first. There's a bit of a transition from the first volume, which was mostly defensive in nature, to this volume, which is primarily offensive. The protagonists take the battle to the enemy. Lots of space fighter pilot stuff happens. You get the drift.

My criticisms remain similar to the first volume. The tech involved seems so overpowering that it would be easy for both sides to annihilate the others' planets, so I'm not sure why they don't. It seems the obvious tactic that isn't pursued (on the other hand, it would make for a rather short unexciting story as both sides would be rapidly obliterated). I'm not sure relativistic effects are properly considered in the combat tactics (see Jack Campbell's 'Black Jack' series for a compelling lesson on combat tactics when operating at a significant fraction of the speed of light). Humans seem to be the benefactor of dumb luck all too often, or the aliens make absurdly dumb decisions. Dumb aliens may actually be a plot element, we'll have to see where the third volume takes it.

To the fellow who complained about the kindle price, $7.99 is the new norm for ebooks. For a real travesty, see the latest Jack Campbell volume which is priced at $12.99 ebook edition. A huge portion of cost to the publisher is eliminated (no supply chain management, no shipping, no inventorying, no paper, no printing, etc), but the ebooks remain very expensive, often costing as much or more than paperback editions. It's unfortunate but seems to be the trend. The most we can do is vote with our wallets.
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on January 31, 2012
This is the second book in Ian Douglas's new series. It is along the same lines as his triple trilogy Galactic Marine series.

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.

STORY ATTRIBUTES:

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
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