Centers of Gravity - more military action in this excellent series.

Posted by Lore on Sat, 10/15/2022 - 02:48

This series started a little slowly 9 years ago with Terms of Enlistment, but it has been going strong since then and rarely disappoints. This one picks up right where the last one left off with the NCS Washington stranded in a sunless system deep behind enemy lines. Winding up here was an accident and they have no way back home, so the first order of business is establishing a source of water and then a source of protein. There is a promising source of water, but protein is likely to be a more difficult proposition. So Major Grayson takes his special tactics team onto a moon with signs of life in the hopes of discovering a source of food, and not a Lanky presence. Of course, this is a military Sci-Fi series so Grayson's hopes are shattered when a substantial Lanky presence is discovered on the moon. Then one thing leads to another...

This one has a lot of action and eventually things turn really dire after the humans alert the Lankies to their presence. The NCS Washington is a single ship 900 light years from home and there is no way they can survive for long with limited food, ammunition, and supplies. It is a fun ride and you never know how it is going to turn out, but rest assured the story is wrapped up and not left hanging. Perhaps it was a bit predictable but there was a little twist at the end that made it satisfying nonetheless. It felt like a solid closure to the story started in the previous book, Orders of Battle.

When it was over I wondered where the story was going to go next, and that's when I discovered this is intended to be the series finale. That makes me reflect upon it in a different light and I now find myself slightly unsatisfied with it. The story is mostly focused on Andrew Grayson and Halley doesn't play a central role which is not ok for a series finale. Both characters have been with us from the start and it would have been more fitting for them both to be involved throughout this entire book. Halley does have a key role at the end, but as a series finale I have to state that it was not enough. Not to mention that the main story arc is left unresolved, so I hope this eventually turns out not to be the last book in the series. It feels like an appropriate time to pass the torch to a new generation of characters and drive the main arc to a proper conclusion, so I will keep hoping that comes to pass.

Eric G. Dove does the narration again and I think he has done a decent job since taking over from Luke Daniels. You should know that many Audible reviewers don't seem to agree with me on this. While I acknowledge it is never ideal to switch narrators, I think they are just being whiney.