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Center of Gravity (Star Carrier, #2)
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Center of Gravity (Star Carrier #2)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,118 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Center of Gravity is the second book in the explosive Star Carrier series by Ian Douglas—and a breathtaking new high in military sf, the strongest of the science fiction subgenres. Battlestar Galactica fans will adore this saga of ultimate war in deep space, as humankind risks its very future, battling a vast alien evil empire in order to achieve transcendence and become a ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Allen Massey
Apr 14, 2015 Allen Massey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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 had someone else ghost write the book. Either way 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
Star Carrier: Center of Gravity (Book 2)
So lets start this off by saying I rated Book 1 (Earth Strike) at 3.5 overall.
The overall story was VERY interesting when the two books combine (meaning read them both) however there were some major issues I had with it so lets get going.
Pros: Story, the way he keeps the story moving without you feeling bored or slowed down is very nice. When I was reading the book I found myself not wanting to stop as I loved the space battle combat and the way he desc
Fred Hughes
Jan 31, 2012 Fred Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 20, 2015 Conal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-sf
This review will be for the complete first three book arc of this series. This novel reminded me a lot of the Jack Campbell Lost Fleet series as there was lots of space battles with ship to ship action. In this series, humans are fighting multiple alien species and not other human groups and for the most part are behind them technologically but the author makes up for this in the tenaciousness of the human fighting spirit. The author also does a pretty good job in fleshing out the multiple main ...more
Bruce Carson
Sep 09, 2012 Bruce Carson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book we learn much more about the ancient alien race - the Sh'daar - that is trying to prevent Humans from achieving transcendence (aka the technological singularity). The book balances action with plot and character development. Sadly, we only get a brief glimpse of Commander Koenig's past and his motivations in this book. I'm looking forward to seeing further character development in the next book.

Ian Douglas does a good job of describing the physics and gets most of it "right". Obviou
Mar 12, 2011 Ove rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Earth Strikes back …

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 closen
BG Josh
May 11, 2013 BG Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I liked this book...

You know how when you watch a movie featuring giant fighting robots and every second not featuring giant fighting robots is a waste of time?

Ian, the author, is good at tech, excellent at warfare and excellent at alien aliens. And if you can overlook the terrible characters and ham handed social commentary you might like this book as much as me.

I recommend this book to people who like high tech space battles, cool actual aliens and high tech stuff enough to excuse the chara
Apr 25, 2016 Nathaniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a borderline 4-star book. It's very strong military sci-fi that checks an awful lot of boxes. But the politics are still distractingly weird to me. See my review of the first book in the series, Earth Strike, for more on that.

The weirdness crystallized a lot in this book. First, one of the major background themes became rather blatant:

"What is it that defines humans?" Koenig asked.

Talk about dialogue that is a little too on point. What's interesting, of course, is the explicit answer in
Apr 29, 2014 JMcDouges rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
So, for those of you have have read my review of the first book in this series, Earth Strike, there's not really a whole lot new to say here. If you haven't seen that review I urge you to read it before this one so I don't have to repeat myself. Speaking of needlessly repeating oneself, the author still does that with this book. In fact, it's even worse now as he feels the need to repeat things that happened in the previous books. This probably wasn't that big of a deal if you were reading the b ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Shiny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
50% into the book: Alright, I understand that the humanity managed to develop some pretty advanced technology, but do we really need the description of that to every minute detail? Multiple times? And even the most basic things, like speed of light communication lag is over-explained, sometimes twice on the same page. Why? Is this book aimed at people with serious memory loss problems? At some point I just started skipping paragraphs of text "oh, here's a description of first accelerating, then ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good military scifi. Just don't get bogged down in the info-dumps. Skim right through them. Also, never did quite buy into the conflict between Collins and Trevor ( the Prim, primitive ). I find it very hard to believe this woman ( Collins) would be able to constantly verbally attack the man ( Trevor ) who saved Earth and it's solar system with his unique use of weaponry, and get away with it. And if I am going to believe it, then why not just just challenge Collins to a refereed boxing match on ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Sherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Douglas imagines a well detailed, and scientifically plausible picture of the Galaxy. The story follows key characters in their search to find the shadowy Sh'daar, who are the proclaimed masters of the Galaxy. Most impressive are his images of the diverse Aliens. They like us are made up of the elements of their planets, those on a primarily gaseous planet, are huge gas bags. No more grey people who look like us only with bald skin and big black eyes, or giant earth - like insects. This is t ...more
Oct 07, 2014 Rex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, sf, ebook-kindle
I struggle between rating this a 2 or 3. I liked it, BUT it drags too much. The plot is good. I enjoy a good military SF story. My issue is while I like military SF, I do not want to get bogged down in the minutia. I like knowing that they use artificial singularities as a gravitational-based propulsion system, but I do not really want to get bogged down in repetitive, technical details. Each time the fighters were flying, too much time was spent, in my opinion, on the mechanics of how the ship ...more
Sep 25, 2014 Felix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Loved the story and the action. Book 2 takes off where book 1 ended. After the successful battle at Arcturus Koenig is at it again this time bringing the war to the hated Sh'daar and its numerous allies: Turusch and the Hrulka.

I've started to like Ian Douglas' writing style. Book 1 and book 2 of the Star Carrier series are pure sci-fi space opera! You'll read a lot about warp technology such as the "Alcubierre drive" and explanations of how to travel faster than light, how to coordinate battle s
Dec 19, 2012 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Interesting read, but not the best thing I've read (not in SciFi, not in Military SciFi, not even in Military fiction).

The story again focuses primarily on Trevor Grey (with some other side characters who help flesh out the world). Humanity, covering less than 60 cubic light-years of space, has been at war for 37 years with an alien star empire that occupies at least 1/3rd of the Milky Way Galaxy. The only reason humanity has not been wiped out is because the aliens move cautiously. So cautiousl
Hali Sowle
The second book in the Star Carrier series continues the story from Earth Strike with Admiral Koenig leading the battlegroup from the Star Carrier America and Trevor Grey still flying his starhawk but finally fitting in a bit better despite his prim beginnings.

The battlegroup is being feted at a party in one of the archeologies on earth after they saved the Earth from a strike by the Turasch. Grey meets up with his old flame Angela, who he lost to the "modern" world after bringing her in to a h
Aug 25, 2012 Gordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Stunningly imaginative and disconcertingly a possible glimpse of the future of humanity. Book 2 of the Star Carrier series delivers on all of the promises and continues the themes of book 1 while opening up a whole new can of worms.

The realistically portrayed characters and technological ideas of the previous book are continued here and beyond into the third. The idea of humanity exploring the galaxy only to find out that they are not the top dog by any means is a very different take to most of
Stephen Paul
Apr 11, 2013 Stephen Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the “Star Carrier” series by Ian Douglas. There is a massive galactic force toward the center of the galaxy, and it is bent on destroying the human race before we can develop our technology completely. They are known as the Sh’daar, a great empire spanning trillions of light years through unknown space, harboring untold billions of species and preventing them from technologically advancing. They fear “transcendence”, an idea that the humans do not fully understand. Som ...more
Steven Nosakowski
I would consider this a 'space opera' novel. The story is great, spaceships traveling to unknown worlds and a Galactic fight that spans billions of miles. One of the other aspects I really enjoyed about the story was that the aliens weren't expected and ranged from giant, intelligent slugs, to spiders to a jellyfish like alien.

The story focuses around several different primary characters, most of which are in the 'Space Navy' of Earth's forces although the primary character is one that came fro
Much like its processor, Center of Gravity tries to find as many sci-fi space opera clichés and jam them into one book (feckless, cowardly politicians that try to undermine the plans of the war hero/hyper competent space admiral who just wants to save humanity and can't stand playing politics to cite one example). But where these clichés would normally come across as heavy handed and a bit irritating there is something about Ian Douglas that makes them work.

Sure, I always roll my eyes when I co
Christopher Toon
Jan 02, 2015 Christopher Toon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The adventure continues as we head into enemy territory planetary space with our new erstwhile heroes. More alien species are encountered with even more bizarre and fascinating traits. I love how the aliens aren't just one dimensional constructs but have their unique and distinctive characterstics woven into the plot. Once again we are treated with incredibly detailed space fights which I always imagine in my head with Star Wars music soundtrack and pew pew sound effects. Onward to book 3!
Tufty McTavish
Jul 07, 2013 Tufty McTavish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fair enjoyed the pace and scenarios encountered in this book. The author tends to repeat himself, even within the book and over and above refreshers for folks who haven't just finished book one - re-describing how his technology works for instance. But fortunately there isn't an over-reliance on disposable dialog, repetitive padding or obvious politics (I'm thinking of the Lost Fleet series here). The characters (on both sides!) are interesting and different. The space battles and action scenes ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I continue to be interested in this book. The overall story is moving along nicely, and it's very interesting. The individual details of Gray's life and etc is kind of repetitive and not very special. It's alright, but it feels like filler. If I read about how "Fox One" indicates a smart missile launch and it harkens back to the good old days of an air breathing navy, I'm going to "Fox One" this book right out the window.
There exists a war between humans, led by Admiral Koenig on board the 'America', and the species Sh'daar, who are making an assault on the Earth's solar system. In close combat, often at speeds nearing the speed of light, warships do battle. Douglas writes a dense descriptive prose dripping in scientific terminology, creating a futuristic setting that may be aimed at students of astrophysics.
Wilhelm Fitzpatrick
Slightly better than Book 1 in the series, although still fairly tepid writing, with a strange compunction to constantly repeat the same explanations regarding various bits of future tech and jargon that you've already three for four times previously. The main virtue, that of some really interesting nonhuman aliens (both physically and psychologically) continues, with several new species being added to the rosters. The human characters continue to be pretty cardboard though. I was also bemused b ...more
Mar 03, 2016 FRED rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another pretty good read, keeps you interested

Nice read only a few misspellings , But it will keep you interested in the story line. I have bought a number of his other books in paperback, to read as way cheaper and I can still hold a book, and I already bought 3 , waiting on delivery of real books
Man I love Ian Douglas's books. The science he writes about is far out enough to be real "science fiction" yet it's still plausible enough to be believable. His military portrayals feel authenticate and his books are page-turners.

If you've liked any of his other books this series is a must. But remember this is a new series and not related to his other series...

If you like the science fiction of David Weber, John Ringo or David Drake you'll like Ian Douglas's books...
Kevin Milligan
Jan 12, 2013 Kevin Milligan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes military sci-fi
Shelves: sci-fi
Unlike the first novel this one started out a bit slow. Being that I do not suffer from ADHD I can deal with a slow moving plot that further introduces characters into a trilogy. These characters in my opinion very much add to the story from the first novel which seemed to be mostly science and background. This does not mean that Center of Gravity has none of this, no it continues right where the first one leaves off. The carrier group finally launches itself into enemy space and begins to assau ...more
Feb 09, 2012 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was a good book though a little short. The action is pleasant and all the "science" seems to work inside the context of the book. The war being fought is almost 40 years old and it doesn't seem like the pace of their scientific research or military production is improving much. The species they are fighting seems to be concerned about how advanced humans are getting and how quickly but there seems to be no evidence of it. Hopefully the next book will see some human progress in addition to just a ...more
Devon Aguirre
Oct 31, 2015 Devon Aguirre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book in the series is better than the first first. While much of the story is taken up by vivd descriptions of battles, that is what gives this series its charm. The story moved along much more in this novel than in the first so I am excited to see what comes next.
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hard sf 4 22 Nov 13, 2013 04:32PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Star Carrier (6 books)
  • Earth Strike (Star Carrier, #1)
  • Singularity (Star Carrier, #3)
  • Deep Space (Star Carrier, #4)
  • Dark Matter (Star Carrier, #5)
  • Deep Time (Star Carrier #6)

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“We humans are a technic species. Our technology, the pace of our technological advance, is a part of us, a part of everything we do.” 3 likes
“the Arcturus system six weeks ago. Data is raw,” 0 likes
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