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Hidden Empire Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1 2007

3.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1st edition edition (Nov. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316003441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316003445
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this stellar launch of a new series, bestseller Anderson (Dune spinoffs with Brian Herbert; X-Files and Star Wars books) delivers action, engaging characters and credible fantastic worlds in spades or ekti, the fuel vital for spaceships in the year 2427. The Terran Hanseatic League, in a heady rush of manifest destiny, turns Oncier, a huge gas planet, into a sun so its four moons can be used for colonization. In the process, the Terrans disturb the ancient but dwindling Ildirans, their uneasy allies, whose leader, the Mage-Imperator, suspects that Terrans are far too eager to take over the spiral arm. Still worse, by inadvertently destroying Oncier's hitherto unknown colonists, the powerful hydrogues, the conversion of Oncier sets off a catastrophic conflict that threatens the existence of all Terrans and Ildirans. The Earth Defense Forces of the Terran Hanseatic League, the Worldtrees and Green Priests of Theroc, the gypsy Roamers who mine ekti all must unite with the Ildirans to fight the alien menace. Book one sizzles with a fast-moving plot woven tightly with vivid characterizations: the space cowboys Jess, Ross and Tasia Tamblyn; the exotic Ildirans; the grotesque Mage-Imperator and his handsome Prime Designate son, Jora'h; Beneto Theron, his clan and the bewitching Nira Khali; the appealing and not-so-appealing humans, Raymond/Peter and Chairman Basil Wenceslas; and many others, all conspiring to make this fascinating future epic one not to be missed.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

An experiment in converting a gas giant into a star with the potential for transforming the former planet's moons into environments suitable for human colonies awakens a heretofore hidden civilization and plunges the galaxy into a war for the survival of humanity. The latest novel by the author of Star Wars: Darksaber and the coauthor (with Brian Herbert) of Dune: House Atreides launches a dynamic space opera featuring political intrigue and intense personal drama. Anderson's skill in delivering taut action scenes and creating well-rounded human and alien characters adds depth and variety to a series opener that belongs in most sf collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kevin J Anderson is an amazing writer. He can create a story similar to the genius involved in creating Avatar and Dune. The political, social and environmental background is very familiar to fans of those stories. I have just started this series and am willing to purchase the other books in the series, The Saga of the Seven Suns, if they are even half as good as the first. A real treat for both Scifi and fantasy fans. A must read.
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Format: Hardcover
Good SF should allow the reader to be able to indulge in what Tolkien called the suspension of disbelief: that is, to accept as "real" things that you know are really impossible. It should also have a good plot, strong characters, and be well written. This dreadful tome fails on all counts. It starts off reasonably well but quickly lapses into a series of short chapters that deal in turn with an array of uninteresting, wooden characters, not one of whom inspires the reader to give a hoot. Some are derivative, including a feisty hot shot female pilot - basically a Lucy Skywalker. There are people who live in what would seem to be giant mushrooms, turn green and communicate telepathically - and instantly, across interstellar distances - via .... wait for it .... trees!

If there is a plot it is not well presented or developed. Rather, it comes across as a series of short vignettes, few of which hold the reader in suspense.

The writing style is wooden and turgid. There are frequent "floating" sentences, in the middle of paragraphs, that should have begun with "I should have mentioned that ..." as they seem to have no actual link with the paragraphs in which they are embedded, but appear to be saying something that should have been said earlier. Was this thing edited by anybody?

To be honest, I made it about two-thirds of the way through this book, always waiting for something to happen. But nothing much did, and what did happen - for example, attacks on skymines by beings that live in gas giants - was described only in a cursory manner. At that point I simply gave up.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kevin Anderson has produced a conceptually interesting universe and plot but his unfortunate writing style and some internal consistency problems keep this from being an excellent read. That said, the book is enjoyable and story is interesting. As one might expect, the book has many characters and plot threads and some of these are better than others. Unfortuately, some of the intersting characters are shuffled to the background and the stereotypical characters take the foreground.
My biggest criticism is that it takes a half the book to get the characters introduced and the plot underway and then another quarter of the book goes by before the plot is really moving. Additionally, KA seems to find it necessary to constantly remind the reader of certain facts about his characters. C'mon, I was paying attention. Honest! This just draws out the book and highlights the clumsy composition.
All in all, I enjoyed the book and will probably invest the time in reading the sequel(s) but I certainly hoped for a little more. I'm looking forward to the writer that can produce a futureverse with the same depth and interest that George R. R. Martin has done for fantasy worlds. Unfortunatley, KA is not that author but has done a respectable job with this novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've just browsed through a few of the online reviews of this book, and although most of the things I liked and (mostly) disliked about it have got a mention, nobody seems to have mentioned the most astonishingly blatant idiot plot I've ever encountered. The powers that be decide to turn a gas giant planet into a sun. For no particular reason, just because they can. I bet that even NASA would wonder whether that was entirely ecologically sound, though they'd probably go ahead and do it anyway, but in this book nobody gives it a thought. Just as it explodes 3 gigantic, tremendously fast spaceship-like objects are observed to depart the planet in some haste, and hare off into outer space. Nobody gives that a thought either. Very shortly later human vehicles and factories orbiting other gas giants come under attack and are destroyed. this all happens near the front of the book. At page 550 (that's five hundred and fifty) everybody is still wandering around bewilderdly going "Why are they attacking us? What can we have done to offend them?" Duh.
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By A Customer on Nov. 19 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just had the unpleasant experience of finishing this book last night. It is without a doubt one of the worse sci-fi books I have read in a long time (of course I've been reading a lot of Greg Egan, so that is a fairly high bar to go against). I've never read Anderson before, but you can see that writing all of the star wars books have really killed his creativity. The book is long for the sake of being long, he introduces far too many characters to make the book seem more epic, and he gives the characters over the top personalities to differentiate them. None of these ideas are new (a half dozen other sci-fi books talk about gas giant dwellers), and frankly the softness of the science is simply too much (inter-species breeding, come on!). Plus the revelations at the end of the book are obvious after about page 50.
Read Peter F. Hamilton's epic (the reality dysfunction) if you want see the same thing done much better with a more creative enemy and much better characters. Those books make you hunger to finish them so you can get to the next book, this book make you hunger to finish it so you don't ever have to think about it again.
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