Hidden Empire by Kevin Anderson

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Book Information  
AuthorKevin Anderson
TitleHidden Empire
GenreScience Fiction
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Sarah 
(Mar 06, 2011)

This had the promise of being a good story, but it's let down by a fatal flaw - Anderson apparently can't write. The characters are one dimensional and not believable. The scenes are as wooden as the people who inhabit them, the pacing is all over the place and Anderson treats his audience as if we are as stupid as his characters. Every point is laboured over and over and over again and yet, for all its length, Anderson never manages to evoke more emotion than a bored station announcer on a drizzly November morning.

Added to that, the book keeps being annoyingly implausible. The combined intelligence of the human race is mystified why aliens who live in GAS GIANTS and who were seen fleeing from a GAS GIANT that the humans ignited into a star, and subsequently arose from the depth of GAS GIANTS to attack human mining facilities might be upset with the humans after they destroyed a GAS GIANT. The star drive fuel is "an allotrope of hydrogen" (failure to understand basic chemistry), one of the aforementioned gas giant mining facilities features an open air observation deck where humans are able to walk around and breathe unaided, rather than dying instantly from inhaling a toxic cocktail from hell, and so on and so on. Towards the end of the book, a sentence about something "echoing in a silent vacuum" or something equally bad just summed the whole book up for me; I don't think his heart was in this and it reads like it was written by a child.

The story is OK. If you can get past the fingernails-on-blackboard writing style, and don't mind the cast of wooden characters with all the reasoning power of a deceased goldfish, you *might* get something from this book.

But there are six more, and I really don't think I can subject myself to that much pain.

Submitted by Tom Capey 
(Sep 20, 2005)

Written like a Mills & Boon in space.
Good story/plot lines but gooey & over-written when it comes to the characters & their relationships.
Journeys across the galaxy are like a trip to the corner store. Fuel must be cheaper then rain water in the Amazon & noone seems to age whether they have been travelling at light-speed or sitting at home.
So, forget the science label if you can & enjoy the fantasy. To avoid disapointment....borrow it!

Submitted by Thomas 
(Oct 19, 2003)

From the backcover the book sounded fascinating; exactly the awe-inspiring literary space opera I like so much in the Ian Banks tradition. However, although there are certain interesting aspects to the novel like the Klikiss torch the characterisation seemed superficial and vaguely irritating. There is no depth to the novel and frankly I didn't enjoy the novel much and I am certainly not buying any of the sequels.

If you like a quasi-Hollywood casual read in the Star Wars space opera tradition by all means go out and buy Hidden Empire, if you want a novel witch is deep, poetic and addictable, I would recommend buying something else.

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