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The Hidden Worlds Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2007

16 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Hidden Worlds Series

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441015115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441015115
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,526,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. Nevitt on June 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My one word description of THE HIDDEN WORLDS? Tense.

The novel starts when a ship is lost at sea, thus dooming Linnea's village that depends on it for its survival. Linnea and her family evacuate the village, going to an overcrowded city where jobs are scarce. Then, Linnea's sister tells her of a family secret in the form of a mysterious cylinder. Linnea takes the secret to a government bureaucrat with whom she has become friendly, and together they hatch a scheme to use the secret as leverage against the Pilot-Masters to compel them to renew a trade contract with her world.

In short, she wants to bribe them.

Well, it turns out that the government bureaucrat has just the thing she needs to get to Nexus, and it has been waiting for someone in her family to claim it for years. It is a labor contract. With Iain. Who has no idea of its existence.

By the end of the novel, I was still not sure of the motives behind the labor contract storyline. But then, neither does Linnea, so I can hardly quibble with that.

I found Landon's prose utilitarian, in keeping with the gritty story. Her writing was entirely transparent and her dialog flowed effortlessly. I would call it a character-driven story, except that term usually relates to the protagonist and his or her motivations. The characters who drive this story are definitely the villains. Throughout much of the story, the protagonists seem like driftwood in a maelstrom, almost powerless to resist the forces around them. Through the self-sacrificing actions of those around them, they finally find a way to prevail, at least in a small way.

Some nits: the Pilot-Masters live under a set of birth restrictions that I found unrealistic.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Kane on July 4, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
What a joy discovering this book was! I enjoy good science fiction, but frankly it is hard to find works in this genre that don't come off as shallow and/or formulaic. The Hidden Worlds is most definitely neither! It is very rare to find a science fiction story that provides real insights into the human condition, but Kristin Landon has done so in spades. All the characters are three-dimensional; even the villains have levels and depth to them. The hero, Iain, is flawed but noble; appealing yet frustrating. But it is the heroine, Linnea, that really holds your attention. There are no trite happy endings here, and yet the reader is left with the sense that Linnea represents the triumph of the human spirit over all odds.

What is really remarkable is that, for all that depth, The Hidden Worlds is a page-turner of the highest magnitude. I lost several nights of good sleep because I just HAD to find out what happens next. Indeed, I still feel that way, and I greatly look forward to what Landon comes up with next.

Finally, I have to give big kudos to Landon's imagination. It is not easy to invent worlds that seem vivid and real, particularly worlds in the future. So often when reading science fiction these days the reader is left with the sense of "been there, done that." Believe me, you will not feel that way while reading The Hidden Worlds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lexie VINE VOICE on November 12, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When I originally picked up this book I thought it was a sci-fi romance. I didn't realize that really it was a science fiction novel, with some romance that had a cover (that while pretty) didn't accurately portray the contents at all.

Linnea is a feisty heroine with a plan that may or may not be the stupidest idea she's ever had. Really depends on your viewpoint. She wants to save her planet at all costs--even that of her family ties and respect. Iain is rather the opposite--he'd give up his family pretty quickly all told (some of them are...disturbing to say the least.).

When I first read the book I didn't have any problems with how it was written--its more or less a two part story in one novel. The first part is Linnea's daring plan, making an ally of Iain and uncovering a lot she really shouldn't have. The second part is the consequences (for them both) of uncovering that terrible secret. On a second (or third I forget which this is) read through it felt a little more disparate.

Then also Landon has homosexual relationship between men as the norm for Iain's society--its almost as expected of a man to take a male lover as a female lover. Women are more or less ornaments in his world, used for breeding purposes to create better pilots. Unfortunately the Pilot-Master society is ruthless and it leads to the disturbing person that is Iain's cousin, Rafael who uses sexual abuse against both Linnea and Iain.

I don't think this is necessarily a novel for people who don't like a whole lot of dark in their reading--the end is...less than hopeful for a variety of reasons. The 'evil' of the series in general (The Cold Minds) turned my stomach a bit. Even still I recommend this to fans of suspenseful science fiction books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 9, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The thing that stands out the most for me in this book was the underdeveloped character motivation. She's brought to his home as (essentially) a slave, sleeps with him, and then suddenly there's a bond so strong they'll sacrifice all that has mattered to them up to this point in order to share an uncertain future. There was plenty of action/activity, but emotionally, there was no build-up in between to get us from Introductions to Self-Sacrificing Soulmates. It felt like there was a huge chunk missing.

The characters' ages also struck a discordant, inconsistent note for me, in particular Iain. He was surprisingly passive, dependent, and naive for someone in their mid-30s. I couldn't see why she'd be interested in a guy who seems a little high-maintenance. And at 19, she seemed like she'd be a little young for him, so it also felt a little...uncomfortable.

Since this is the only book of hers that I've read, I'm guessing that some of the undescribed details of this dystopia (like the Cold Minds) are explained elsewhere in another book. Sadly, this book didn't leave me motivated enough to find out.
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