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Review: Center of Gravity: Star Carrier, Book Two by Ian Douglas

Center of Gravity: Star Carrier, Book TwoA decent follow-up to the first novel in this series. Center of Gravity: Star Carrier, Book Two by Ian Douglas continues the human push against the Sh’daar and their proxy warrior races in battles between the stars.

I reviewed the first book in the series a few weeks ago and I had the follow up waiting on the “to read” pile. There are no surprises here. The main characters continue to fight. The aliens continue to press against humanity. More explosions. More space battles. Some character development. Except this time, the humans take the fight to foreign territory. Overall I was a little let down though. Maybe it’s because I have been reading too many books in this genre for quite a while. But, parts of the story just seemed to be out of focus. For humans to be so near transcendence, they still come across things that wow them.

And here is another example: there is a scene where a couple of characters are speculating on why the Sh’daar want to block the GRIN technologies: “Maybe part of the Sh’daar has transcended and those left behind are mad about it” (in so many words).  And sure enough a few pages later, we get some hints from the alien side that that is exactly what has happened. Really? We humans are so smart. Okay.

I guess I am becoming a much more discriminating reader. I want deep intrigue. I want something to twist my mind around. I guess that’s what Inception has done to all of us. With all of that said, if this is a trilogy, I will be reading the next one.

Review: Day by Day Armageddon, Beyond Exile (Book 2) by J. L. Bourne

Day by Day Armageddon, Beyond Exile (Book 2)The first book in this series is another book I finished just before I returned back to the helm of GC. And the first novel had me riveted. I am a big zombie fan and I was struck by the diary style telling of the death of the world. Beyond Exile, Book 2 continues the story of our daring and ever lucky protag in a world being dominated by a zombie outbreak. “Ever lucky?” you say…

Yes. As much as I liked the first entry, the second was not as good. In the first, the escape scenes were real and daring. Believable. In this edition…Well let just say Al Qaeda. Really?

I made it about halfway through the book before I turned on the fast forward. This was partially due to the cross-country dodge and evade scenes which dominate the 2nd half of the book. I could only take so much of the close calls and the hours long watch and wait scenarios whilst the protag looked for a safe place to sleep.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If this were to happen for real, then life would probably line up with this book at 95%, minus the “ever luckiness”. Each day would be a struggle between staying quiet to avoid the zombie love and finding food, water, and resources to stay alive. For a book, it just got sort of boring.

If Mr. Bourne writes a 3rd book to complete the trilogy (which the ending leads me to believe), then I’ll definitely be reading it. I’d love to see how the story wraps up.

And let me say this too, for a web serial that turned into a novel and possibly a trilogy, I wish Bourne all the best. It’s stuff like this that will break writers out from under the publishing worlds discriminating embrace. Be sure to visit his website: http://www.tacticalunderground.us/.

And one final thing. The protag wondered about the fate of the crew on the space station at the start of the outbreak. I wondered too…

http://ficly.com/stories/24993