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Centauri Dawn

(Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri #1)

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  11 reviews
After a forty-year journey from an Earth left teetering on the brink of nuclear Armageddon, the United Nations colonial Starship "Unity" reaches the lone habitable planet orbiting Alph Centauri's primary star, bringing with it the hope of a new beginning for the human race.

Hope turns to ashes when, on final approach to the new world, a mysterious malfunction damages the

Paperback, 292 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Pocket Books
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3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  97 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri remains one of the most critically acclaimed PC games ever, and was unusual for a 4X game in that it had...a story. Naturally, it had a backstory -- a colony ship divided by assassination, sorting itself into ideological groups in conflict with one another, all exploring an alien world --- but as the player progressed in the game, expanding his respective faction, he learned more about the planet, and specifically how its organisms were part of a collective consciousne ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I bought the Alpha Centauri PC game way back in the late 90s. The addiction that fueled more late nights than I care to admit echoes well after that last turn and I've played it at least once a year since. While I appreciate the great lengths the game went through to personalize the experience, the voiceovers can only carry you so far. On this latest playthrough - over 12 years after the game was released - I thought it would be fun to take the next step. Centauri Dawn does a pretty good job get ...more
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
I have never played the video game on which this book is based (Alpha Centauri) nor its more famous predecessor, Civilization. This probably hampered my enjoyment. Though you do not need to be familiar with the games to understand the plot, I suspect that anyone not obsessed with the game will feel much the way I did: meh. Basically, Earth is tearing apart itself with war so a colony ship is sent off to another planet. It breaks up in space and each pod, holding roughly one thousand people and o ...more
R. Kriatyrr Brosvik
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed it far less on this re-read than when I originally read it many years ago, before I had even played Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. The focal character, Pravin Lal's son, is entirely uninteresting, with no discernible character traits. I think the reader is supposed to identify with him, but.. I just couldn't, at all. You get a better story from playing the game. The author does a pretty good job at highlighting the horrors of war.
I didn't pay particular attention on this point, but looki
May 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, a lot. It was written by an acquaintance of my husband, based on a computer game that they helped make. This is the first of the trilogy, and I think the strongest. The central theme of this first book (apart from colonizing a new planet) was peace and family and personal stability. These are themes that I find strike very close to home for me. Ok, full disclosure: I was crying for the last 10 pages of the book, and probably a good 5 minutes after that, too. Maybe I'm j ...more
Koen Crolla
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
SMAC is still one of my all-time favourite games, and I'm sad it never got a proper sequel or remake. Video games never get good novelisations regardless of their own quality, though, and Centauri Dawn is barely mediocre at best.
Still, it works as a nostalgia piece, and if you keep your expectations low it fills an evening adequately. If I can find the other two books in this series for under £60 I'll probably pick them up, at least.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Centauri Dawn, by Michael Ely.
Everyone knows me to be a bit of a nerd. So when I heard there was a book trilogy based off one of my favorite games, I decided to check it out. There are only two parts I don't like: 1 It doesn't tell much about the alien ecosystem. 2 My favorite character doesn't really do anything.
That's just me. Everything else is great. I won't spoil the ending, but let me tell you, it's pretty good. A lot of people hated it, but I enjoyed the ending.
Aug 07, 2011 added it
Shelves: 2008
I thought the premise was good (which is why I decided to read the book) but I did get weary of the endless battle scenes. Since this book was based on a video game, it makes sense that there are a lot of battle scenes of course, just not quite my cup of tea. Also I thought that the character development was lacking - probably not the most well-written book I've read!
Feb 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. I quit about halfway through despite being a huge fan of the game. The writing was cardboard, the characters were vacant and the adventure was sucked clean out! I got it used on Amazon for $0.01 and want my money back. Do something else with your time.
E.S. Wynn
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Decent, better than I expected it to be, but felt a little rushed or patched up with game references in places. Neat to be able to read some of the backstory for Alpha Centauri.
Jerry Roys
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Despite (or maybe due to) being a huge fan of the game, this was a very disappointing book.
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Other books in the series

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (3 books)
  • Dragon Sun
  • Twilight of the Mind
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