- Series: Empire
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (November 28, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765316110
- ISBN-13: 978-0765316110
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 324 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,661,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Empire Hardcover – November 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Right-wing rhetoric trumps the logic of story and character in this near-future political thriller about a red-state vs. blue-state American civil war, an implausibly plotted departure from Card's bestselling science fiction (Ender's Game, etc.). When the president and vice-president are killed by domestic terrorists (of unknown political identity), a radical leftist army calling itself the Progressive Restoration takes over New York City and declares itself the rightful government of the United States. Other blue states officially recognize the legitimacy of the group, thus starting a second civil war. Card's heroic red-state protagonists, Maj. Reuben "Rube" Malek and Capt. Bartholomew "Cole" Coleman, draw on their Special Ops training to take down the extremist leftists and restore peace to the nation. The action is overshadowed by the novel's polemical message, which Card tops off with an afterword decrying his own politically-motivated exclusion from various conventions and campuses, the "national media elite" and the divisive excesses of both the right and the left.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Some video-game developers asked Card to write a scenario for "an entertainment franchise . . . about a near-future American civil war." They came to the right man and held off on releasing the game until he completed this relentless thriller, which couldn't be timelier and is, for all its hyperactivity and flip, Hollywoodish one-liners, heartfelt and sobering. Its heroes are two special-ops army officers who keep their oaths to defend the U.S. against all enemies when far too many of their ostensible colleagues have decided to abandon theirs. A rocket hits the west wing of the White House, killing the president, vice-president, and secretary of defense. While those directly responsible are Arabs, the next day, 14-foot-tall, bulletproof, armed globes on mechanical legs, backed by shooters on individual hovercraft, seize New York City by killing anyone in uniform. None of the new attackers looks anything other than American. A "Progressive Restoration" administration is established in the city, and it encourages other cities and states to join it to restore government as it should have been but for the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004. Intriguing plot wrinkles come fore and aft of those basic developments, there are many deftly shaped supporting players, and major shocks explode in a split second (no Stephen King slo-mo for Card!). Moreover, all the action doesn't obscure the author's message about the dangers of extreme political polarization and the need to reassert moderation and mutual citizenship; indeed, it drives it home. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
I'm also a huge Ender fan and love the references such as John Paul and the soldiers are Rube's jeesh. I can't wait to see how it expands from there.
For full review: http://wp.me/p2XCwQ-Yu
But this book is poor. It is kind of like when Koontz went off on his Libertarian rants (and I'm Libertarian!) and started weirding out for a while.
Now to the specifics. The characters act like no believable persons ever. Period. Ever.
Even the protagonist's kids are geniuses. His wife is a liberal genius. He is a conservative genius. Their family is perfect. He has a new co-worker who is a genius, and he trusts implicitly in a matter of a few minutes. Everything about the book is improbable and unlikely. By the time you get to Transformer(tm) robots marching through New York city, flying motorcycles and many of the states (and other countries) casually accepting a hostile takeover of NYC, you will probably start to lose faith in the book. Card needs someone to bounce his ideas off of with enough spine to say, "I don't think that one is your best idea yet."
Empire ends up being kind of like someone took Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers series and decided to take him seriously and write a book about his plans to take over the world. There is an element of James Bond in the book, I guess. I am pretty sure that even Robert Ludlum certainly wouldn't even tackle a conspiracy theory this big, though.
Ultimately, I am a HUGE OSC fan and have read everything (except the Alvin series, which I couldn't stand) he has written, (fiction) and find much of it to be fascinating and outstanding. But this book let me down.
He still has a huge credit balance with me though, and I'll buy his next one without blinking an eye. But I will wonder what I am getting into though...