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The Collapsing Empire Hardcover – March 21, 2017
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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"Provocative and unexpected." ―The Wall Street Journal on The Collapsing Empire
"Fans of Game of Thrones and Dune will enjoy this bawdy, brutal, and brilliant political adventure" ―Booklist on The Collapsing Empire
"Scalzi continues to be almost insufferably good at his brand of fun but think-y sci-fi adventure." ―Kirkus Reviews on The Collapsing Empire
“As much as Scalzi has the scientific creativity of Michael Crichton, he also has the procedural chops of a Stephen J. Cannell to craft a whodunit with buddy-cop charm and suspects aplenty–most of them in someone else’s body.” ―USA Today on Lock In
"If anyone stands at the core of the American science fiction tradition at the moment, it is Scalzi." ―The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition
“Plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable world-building, and a thought-provoking examination of disability culture and politics. . . . Yet more evidence that Scalzi is a master at creating appealing commercial fiction.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Lock In
About the Author
JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut, Old Man’s War, won him science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony; Fuzzy Nation; Redshirts, which won 2013’s Hugo Award for Best Novel; and Lock In. Material from his widely read blog, Whatever, has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
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Top customer reviews
The conclusion concludes nothing. The end is opaque and meaningless. He abruptly leaves the reader with a lap full of untied loose ends. Anticlimactic would be overly generous. Did I mention I am a big Scalzi fan?
It's an okay story, it moves, the universe he has created is interesting, the culture sort of interesting, But to my ear the characters sounded too much the same.
Like the last two Old Man's War books, this story takes place with a high scope. A forty-thousand foot view. This is not like "Zoe's Tale" or "The Ghost Brigades" where you knew one character intimately. And like the last two "Old Man's War" books, the story stays focused on politics and governmental milieu (although it's not a political thriller).
One negative is that it seemed the good guys win their obstacles a little easy. Like someone grabs the gun from Chekhov's mantle, but the security manager saw him bring in bullets, and they knew who was going to do it, so they replaced the gun with one of those bang flag things. Challenges were nipped in the bud right away so that the goal became how to make it so no one noticed they nipped the bud while finding out who grew the flower.
If you're not familiar with Scalzi's stuff, then this is a good jumping in point. It's closest to "Lock-In" for style and "The End of All Things" for content.
Hereditary feudalism is a terrible form of government. It has all of the faults of a dictatorship with the added dimension of inevitable incompetents who got the job simply because they were born into the right bloodline. There's a reason that there are few monarchies in the modern world. Now that few believe in the divine right of Kings (or Queens), feudal governments don't have the stamina to survive. The idea of a star spanning feudal government is pretty implausible. This said, the Empire of the Interdependency of worlds is a believable and well thought out world. The characters are fascinating and well drawn. There is a lot of suspense that is not resolved in this book.
In short, this is one of Scalzi's best books, but we're all going to have to wait impatiently for him to write the sequel. I suppose that, to paraphrase Neil Gaiman, we will have have to repeat to ourselves that "John Scalzi is not our bitch". Still, I wish that he'd drop what ever else he is doing and get to work on the sequel. I'm waiting!