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Hidden Empire Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765320045
  • ASIN: B0044KN2B6
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,307,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Card combines flag-waving, political diatribe and Christian fervor in this bombastic sequel to 2007's Empire. The young American Empire is confronted with its first major crisis since the Progressive War: the appearance in Africa of a highly communicable and lethal disease. America quarantines the entire continent, while pompous President Torrent dispatches an elite team of supersoldiers to help slow the disease's spread. Young Mark Malich is compelled by his Christian principles to volunteer to help the benighted African natives, but he winds up in a Nigerian hospital targeted for destruction by malevolent Sudanese soldiers, leading to questions about Torrent's true goals. An evil dictator is named Idi De Gaulle, the bad guys machine-gun live babies, and FOX News gets prominent placement, but the only people likely to pick this up are those who share Card's politics, rendering subtlety less necessary. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Card picks up the near-future launched in Empire (2006) a few years later, at first in Nigeria, where a 12-year-old monkey-catcher becomes the second victim and first survivor of a new, hypervirulent epidemic. Back in the post–second civil war U.S., President Torrent decides to quarantine all Africa and to send Empire’s surviving hero’s special-ops team to Nigeria to stop its government’s genocidal operation against its non-Muslim population, among whom the epidemic started. Before long, and at the conscience-prodding of her 13-year-old son, Empire’s nonsurviving hero’s widow, a top presidential advisor, is spearheading a voluntary effort to nurse the sick and train caregivers, starting at the plague’s ground zero. Such is the setup for an even more potent blend of high-tech military action, imperial politics, conspiracy, and practical philosophizing than Card whipped up in Empire. While the dialogue is often as cornball and Hollywoodish as before (particularly among the soldiers), the adult principals are sturdy, and in the African boy, Chinma, Card gives us a kid hero to rank with his sf immortals, Ender and Bean. --Ray Olson

More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.

Customer Reviews

I didn't even want to finish reading it.
elledent
This one didn't follow the trajectory I was expecting, but it was still an interesting story with some rather surprising twists.
TechDawgMc
I don't want to ruin it for anybody so I'll just say the ending sucks.
Nickolas X. P. Sharps

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Laurence Moroney on January 11, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll start this review by saying that I've been a fan of OSC for close to 25 years now, and have read just about everything that he ever wrote.

However, I've noticed that his latest books (maybe for the last 8-10 years or so), have really gone downhill, not in their craft, which is superb, but in their plotting and storylines.

Hidden Empire is no execption to this. It comes across (like many of the 'Shadow' books) as just another episode in a franchise, instead of as a work in its own right. I used to be amazed at how much epic story Card could put into 300-400 pages, but now I'm disappointed at how little he gets into the same amount, and it looks like Empire is going the same way and is going to drag out across many, many volumes, each of which advances the overall plot about as much as an episode of a TV series.

[Mild spoilers here]
Epidemic breaks out in Africa, USA quarantines unpopularly, Christians break the quarantine, Christians are attacked, USA defends them, and a little twist at the end of how some US soldiers respond to their president's action when he comes out smelling of roses.
[END MILD SPOILERS]

Don't get me wrong -- it's a *GREAT* story, and it is *BEAUTIFULLY* written, but it feels deliberately small so that many more books (and thus royalties) can be squeezed out of the story of how Torrent will repeat the history of the roman empire and take the USA from Republic to Empire.

Mr Card, if you're reading, take it from one of your readers who has followed you for years. You're losing me. When once upon a time I would be there on release day to pay $25-$30 for the hardback of your book, now I'm content to wait for it in the public library. I made an exception for Hidden Empire, as it was my second Kindle purchase (my first was a book that I wrote myself, just to see how it would look on Kindle! :) )

I don't think I'll make that exception for volume 3. Sorry.
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44 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Brydges on March 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've been an avid Orson Scott Card reader for years now, and am continually impressed by the sheer volume of great ideas he brings together in his novels. The Ender series, his short stories, and Alvin Maker series are among my favorites of the genre. Hidden Empire is no such thing. I had mixed feelings with the first Empire novel, due to the amount of time it spent bombarding me with political philosophies I disagree with. But that book made up for it with an incredibly interesting story, interesting characters, and OSC's usual terrific prose.

Hidden Empire had all of the bad of Empire, with none of the good. It felt more like an infomercial for Fox News and Christianity than a Sci-Fi thriller. At least three separate times he referenced Fox News by name specifically to favorably contrast them with their competitors. We were told that MSNBC thinks Christians are stupid. We were told that Fox got to interview the leader of a movement while the 'other' networks just found the craziest people they could find. Even if I agreed with that (I don't), and even if it were true (it isn't), it has no place in a novel like this. For a novel that claims to be against blind partisanship and political extremism, jumping into the ring to say which news network is superior is hypocritical at best, outright insulting to readers at worst.

As for the plot itself, it's almost non-existent. When I read books, I always come in to work the next day wanting to talk to friends about the details of what was happening. In this book, almost nothing happened worth talking about. The first 275 pages of the 330-page book were almost completely devoid of what anyone would define as an 'event'. There was a rescue from an embassy, and that was about it.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Eland on December 27, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The sequel to his recent book, Empire (Tor Science Fiction). Hidden Empire is a different sort of book than the previous novel was. While Empire dealt with an impending civil war in America along red-state / blue-state lines and the men pulling the strings behind the war, Hidden Empire deals with an epidemic in Africa and the social, political, religious, and military response to that outbreak. The conspiracy elements which gave the original novel so much of its power are much more subdued in this novel, though still present to some degree.

I enjoyed the novel, especially the parts involving President Torrent (clearly a favorite character of Card's), but I wish it focused more of its energy on conspiracies and/or politics instead of concentrating on efforts to fight a viral outbreak. I appreciated the chapter introductions, typically written from President Torrent's perspective, and the feel and depth of the characters.

As a Christian I appreciated Card's interjection of Roman history involving the plague outbreaks and the Christian response to those events, though parts of the book feel like Christian Fiction and I wonder how readers who do not share my faith will respond to these sections. It all fits with history and the comparison of Empire's America to Rome, but again, it's a different sort of book than Empire was.

The book is incredibly modern in its setting: references to modern-day Russian and American politics, culture, board games, military technology, and even the Kindle (which I read the book on).

Bottom line: I enjoyed the book, though not as much as Empire. I hope that the series will continue and look forward to reading more about Card's Imperial America.
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