Reviews of Centauri Dawn (2000)
Review by Cesa (2003-06-25)
So, a science fiction novel based on a computer game, shouldn't be too good huh? Well, actually it is, in fact it's great! But one thing at the time.
I picked this up because I really liked the story in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. The game had a good - though not very original - storyline, but more importantly it had a great atmosphere. And Michael Ely's greatest accomplishment was to contain that athmosphere in the novel. From the trouble on the ship, the fight to survive on the new planet, to the end of the story I personally feel present on the planet, and it feels much more personal than the game ever did.
The story revolves around the peacekeeper faction, their struggle to develop the technology to survive on the planet, and to find and convince the other factions that they should work together. Something that especially the Spartans are not very willing to do.
The science part of the book is reasonable, if not as likely as for example Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, far from the space opera of for example Star Wars. I find the novel to have a good mixture of science, politics and action.
I read a review of someone who didn't like the book, he claimed it was only about the destruction of war and nothing we haven't seen before. Well I disagree, war is destructible, and there is not many other ways to picture it. But more important the book has more to offer, a good storyline, interesting characters and more.
I can definately recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction, whether he/she have played the game or not!
I have not yet read the last two books of the series, but I have high expectations!