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Hidden Empire: The Saga Of Seven Suns - Book One Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
However . . . it is nonetheless a guilty pleasure page-turner ne plus ultra that only the snobbish, jaded and grumpy could fail to be titivated by.
In attempting to grapple with the scale of the universe Anderson's macro-story necessarily reduces and homogenises civilisations to characters. Populating each world with individually credible and fully-fleshed, barked, icy, liquid and fiery beings would have required a series twice the already considerable length of the Seven Suns Saga.
This is a broad-brush, impressionistic work best appreciated by rapid reading without over-close inspection of the detail. By that measure, it's rollicking entertainment.
Pointless to waste keytime comparing it to any of a score of writers whose SF demands line-by-line appreciation or whose worlds teem with engrossing micro-detail: this is just a big dumb rocket of a thing that zigzags entertainingly enough through giant vistas.
As holiday reading, it's conveniently packaged to blitz a book a day on the beach and finish the saga on the plane home. Happy days.
Starting off with the good:
A lot of people complained about the short chapters - I don't mind them. I have kids so it's harder to get time to read and the short chapters make the book easy to read over your cornflakes in the morning, etc - 5 mins here and there gets you through it.
He has constructed a nice, if simplistic universe here - all the standard ingredients: human/alien empires/colony worlds/miner race (roamers) and mysterious artifacts & aliens. In the early books, the King versus Chairman thing is an okay interplay.
Okay I know I'm reading sci-fi so things don't have to make sense but the sheer amount of impossible things that happen beggars belief and will have you gnashing your teeth at times, and character depth just isn't there.
- Scale is way off. Planets are like villages in the wild-west. The average population of a planet seems to be a few hundred "hardy" colonists. If you land on a world, anywhere, you will soon bump into the colonists that are on it.
- Central characters keep getting weird and "wonderful" powers for no good reason. In this series, if you fall into a sun you are more likely to become some kind of a ridiculous fire-creature than to die. The plot seems to rely on impossible coincidences and outlandish magic rather than clever writing.
- Each member of each species is identical to each other. For example all the roamers have the same principles and beliefs.Read more ›
Set, as usual, in our universe but in the future. Based around the idea of humans and all their eccentricities with similar levels of tech to what we have, with the exception of interstellar FTL travel gifted by a benevolent alien race.
An usual mix of mysterious dead aliens, political intruiges and ominous portents arer building this up to be a rather good story.
Also, I've always been a fan of Andersons writing, but this is the first of his own concepts I've read, and I'm not dissapointed.
I guess the original premise has some merit but the execution is insulting.
There are gaping holes in everything - plot, characters, basic science, common sense (I know its sci-fi so we have to be somewhat flexible but there has to be a line drawn somewhere and it's a line that this author scarcely noticed in his rear view mirror)
The 4th book was so awful it was painful so I abandoned it with an irritation that I still feel to this day. I have read many hundreds of books and enjoyed all of them to some degree except these.
Do not under any circumstances buy this book. I have burned mine, buried it and salted the ground so nothing will grow there again.
Anderson starts off well. He has obviously put a lot of thought into the creation of his universe. There are some quite ingenious races and ideas: a race of humans ("Therons") who can communicate telepathically through a symbiotic relationship with alien trees; a race of aliens ("Ildirans") who have similar powers through their emperor. Other concepts are more mundane (not to say derivative), such as a dead alien race whose archaeological artefacts hold the key to some promising technological advances; mysterious alien robots who you just know are going to turn out to be bad guys and worst of all, comic-book, stereotyped space gypsies, the "Roamers".
There are numerous sub-plots. The archaeologists researching the dead race; the human political chairman manipulating events from behind the scenes, whilst the King is a mere figurehead; the Navy chasing pirates; Theron priests spreading their sentient trees to other planets. In it's multiplicity of sub-plots, Hidden Empire wears it's debt to Night's Dawn clearly on it's sleeve.
On the surface it all sounds good.
Sadly, where Anderson drops the ball is in his characterisation, pacing and dialogue.
The characters all tend to be two-dimensional. There are numerous races and factions, but every Roamer is painted exactly the same as every other Roamer - every Theron is a mirror image of every other Theron - every human-built robot is a C3-P0 clone (unsurprisingly, Anderson has written some Star Wars novels).
The subplots all seem to be very hurried.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
My god i lost some of my life I'll never get back reading this . New chapter every 2 minutes with a million different characters.Published 6 months ago by truthfull
I found this book in a pub. It came home with me and sat on my To Read pile for a few months, and when I picked it up I was hooked! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Emi Hirst
I've read odd books in the series from the library - so now I am going to start at book 1 and work my way through sequentially. I love this series.Published 14 months ago by NigeM
It's been a while since I read this series, so I planned to refresh my memory of the series by at least having a quick skim back through this first book, Hidden Empire. Read morePublished 19 months ago by J. Vickers
Space fantasy including alien encounters, written with imagination and a view to entertain . I am a big fan of science fiction built on facts or current theory; but sometimes a... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
There are no pretences with this book. It’s the first in a seven part space opera that seeks to give you enough sense of wonder and a galactic scale that will entertain and absorb... Read morePublished on 4 April 2015 by P. J. Dunn