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Empire Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
When the United States stands on the brink of civil war between "blue states" and "red states," Maj. Reuben Malek and Capt. Bartholomew Coleman use their special ops training to maintain the country's unity. With the president and vice president assassinated within minutes of each other, and New York City taken over, the two must figure out who has planned this and how to prevent the growing tension between left and right. Unfortunately, Card's conservative bias seeps into this tale with repeated jabs at "liberal media" and even a guest appearance by Bill O'Reilly helping out the good guys. These juvenile assaults distract from Card's keen storytelling skills. As a co-narrator, Card sticks mostly to the superfluous job of reading chapter introductions, saving his passion for his afterword, where he lambastes both the left and the right for their extreme and exclusionary acts. Rudnicki makes this audiobook worth attention. His deep sturdy voice provides the rich and engaging narrative that pulls in any listener. He reads the book smoothly, adding energy, characterization and authority to all aspects of the story. Without Rudnicki, this empire crumbles.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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...