Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Empire Hardcover – November 28, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The somewhat lurid cover of Empire--and Card's name--led me to pick the book up from the new books section of my local Barnes and Noble. I really looked forward to several enjoyable hours in Card's universe, thinking, perhaps, that it was a prequel to the Ender novels.
I always give a science fiction author my willing suspension of disbelief when I start a story. To do less is to imply that I already know all about the story line. But this participation by me as a reader is fragile, and depends on the skill of the author and of me as an educated reader to keep alive.
Sadly, that belief died an excruciating death during the first few chapters, and never recovered. Card has complained that Empire is viewed as good or bad depending on the political views of the reader. That may be the case but as an independent voter, leaning toward Libertarian, I am not wedded to either the far right nor the far left. I find them both equally odious.
I enjoy Atlas Shrugged as well as more liberal stories such as Brave New World (liberal in the classic sense that the state knows best). In Empire, Card tries to paint both sides as evil, with the liberals in the most evil column and the conservatives in the "maybe-a-little-evil" position.
Fine. I can live with this when it is skillfully woven into a story line. I didn't see that in Empire. CNN = bad. FOX = good. Red states = good. Blue states = bad. Again, if it is a given, I can accept that in a story. But Card seems to have forgotten that editorializing through characters is a thin film to base a book on.
There are other problems with Empire, such as the unexpected and unsupported actions of various characters. Without giving anything away, an example is "minor character stepping out of place to affect major character and then being tossed aside". Sure, people can act irrationally, but if they do so in a story, more than a couple of paragraphs are needed to explain their actions. If not, the action reeks of Deus ex machina. Worse, this problem occurs several times during the novel.
Empire must reflect the views of the author, else it would be a story and not an apologia. In the end, it robs the reader of money and time, supplies little entertainment, and illustrates how a writer--any writer--can fail when stepping outside their expertise as a story teller.
Empire is a great disappointment. Do yourself a favor and don't let it be one to you, too. Think fondly of the Ender saga and hope the next book returns to Mr. Card's otherwise excellent output. Harry Turtledove could have handled the story very nicely, but then I wouldn't have the chance to complain about Mr. Card's amateurish venture.
The problem with Card's take on the subject, is that he feels the answer to the problem is to accept Conservative ways and reject Liberalism.
Key points in the world of Empire
-99.99% of the armed services are noble and honorable Conservatives
-100% of Liberals loathe all members of the armed services
-Liberals are so ignorant and gullible (because they believe in things like global warming), that they would be easily manipulated into triggering a civil war
-Liberals are so inept at the art of fighting (since there are no Liberal soldiers, of course), that they would need to rely heavily on insanely advance technology to even come close to matching the skill and heroism of Conservatives, and yet they still lose, badly
-Conservative soldiers would pine and feel an intense burden at having to fire on fellow Americans, while Liberals would gleefully slaughter anyone standing in the way of their mad agenda, especially members of the armed services
-The heads of the Washington Post would openly discuss with the Conservative soldier, how they're intending to spin his story to the Left and smear him and the military, while Fox News takes great lengths to provide a truly balanced forum for unbias reporting
Card continued to imply thoughtout the book that both sides were to blame, and a lot of people giving this a 5 star review say we missed that point. To them I ask, find me one Conservative villian in this book. Liberal bad guys were everywhere:
-The staff of the Washington Post
-The main character's secretary
-The general pretending to be a Conservative, and threatening a coup, to make Conservatives look bad
-The soldiers and Mech drivers who invade New York
-Canada (they encourage us to accept the Liberal takeover)
I can't think of one single Conservative bad guy in the book. In fact, the only good Liberal in the book is the wife of the main character, and she's really the Colmes to every other character's Hannity. Her purpose there is to show that a truly wise Liberal would know deep down that Conservatives are right about everything. That doesn't scream 'non-bias' to me.
Card's very obvious tilt toward the Right aside, the story is so horrible as it is.
Mech suits and hoverbikes?
Seriously, mech suits and hoverbikes?
The whole concept of the book, with the 'neutral' character manipulating his way to being the unopposed candidate for president is laughable. You're writing a story about the division between our politics, and you think, even after a civil war, both sides would start falling all over themselves to work together to ensure that the same guy gets elected president
Plus, the Mech suits and hoverbikes, never forget them.
All said, one of the worst written stories I've ever read.
The thing the Blue staters seem to forget is, we are the ones with the guns. I expect it to be a very short civil war.