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Hidden Empire Hardcover
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Top Customer Reviews
However, I've noticed that his latest books (maybe for the last 8-10 years or so), have really gone downhill, not in their craft, which is superb, but in their plotting and storylines.
Hidden Empire is no execption to this. It comes across (like many of the 'Shadow' books) as just another episode in a franchise, instead of as a work in its own right. I used to be amazed at how much epic story Card could put into 300-400 pages, but now I'm disappointed at how little he gets into the same amount, and it looks like Empire is going the same way and is going to drag out across many, many volumes, each of which advances the overall plot about as much as an episode of a TV series.
[Mild spoilers here]
Epidemic breaks out in Africa, USA quarantines unpopularly, Christians break the quarantine, Christians are attacked, USA defends them, and a little twist at the end of how some US soldiers respond to their president's action when he comes out smelling of roses.
[END MILD SPOILERS]
Don't get me wrong -- it's a *GREAT* story, and it is *BEAUTIFULLY* written, but it feels deliberately small so that many more books (and thus royalties) can be squeezed out of the story of how Torrent will repeat the history of the roman empire and take the USA from Republic to Empire.
Mr Card, if you're reading, take it from one of your readers who has followed you for years. You're losing me. When once upon a time I would be there on release day to pay $25-$30 for the hardback of your book, now I'm content to wait for it in the public library. I made an exception for Hidden Empire, as it was my second Kindle purchase (my first was a book that I wrote myself, just to see how it would look on Kindle! :) )
I don't think I'll make that exception for volume 3. Sorry.
Hidden Empire had all of the bad of Empire, with none of the good. It felt more like an infomercial for Fox News and Christianity than a Sci-Fi thriller. At least three separate times he referenced Fox News by name specifically to favorably contrast them with their competitors. We were told that MSNBC thinks Christians are stupid. We were told that Fox got to interview the leader of a movement while the 'other' networks just found the craziest people they could find. Even if I agreed with that (I don't), and even if it were true (it isn't), it has no place in a novel like this. For a novel that claims to be against blind partisanship and political extremism, jumping into the ring to say which news network is superior is hypocritical at best, outright insulting to readers at worst.
As for the plot itself, it's almost non-existent. When I read books, I always come in to work the next day wanting to talk to friends about the details of what was happening. In this book, almost nothing happened worth talking about. The first 275 pages of the 330-page book were almost completely devoid of what anyone would define as an 'event'. There was a rescue from an embassy, and that was about it.Read more ›
I enjoyed the novel, especially the parts involving President Torrent (clearly a favorite character of Card's), but I wish it focused more of its energy on conspiracies and/or politics instead of concentrating on efforts to fight a viral outbreak. I appreciated the chapter introductions, typically written from President Torrent's perspective, and the feel and depth of the characters.
As a Christian I appreciated Card's interjection of Roman history involving the plague outbreaks and the Christian response to those events, though parts of the book feel like Christian Fiction and I wonder how readers who do not share my faith will respond to these sections. It all fits with history and the comparison of Empire's America to Rome, but again, it's a different sort of book than Empire was.
The book is incredibly modern in its setting: references to modern-day Russian and American politics, culture, board games, military technology, and even the Kindle (which I read the book on).
Bottom line: I enjoyed the book, though not as much as Empire. I hope that the series will continue and look forward to reading more about Card's Imperial America.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a good book, until the author decided put an EXTREMELY bad message as the culmination of this two part series, which I will describe after this spoiler alert below, for... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Spencer Cline
It just isn't quite clear what his politics are, maybe Orson should write a book to clarify. I mean he still has some interesting ideas but the heavy handedness ruined it for me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
You see that cover up there? Yeah, the one with Card's name emblazoned on it? Deceptive advertising at its worst! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Geoffrey Baxter
Empire and Hidden Empire: I think these books are nothing but the author's political and religious views with a thin veneer of fiction slapped over them. Very disappointing. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Joan K. Lyle
A far-seeing metaphor for contemporary culture, society, and politics in the U.S., played out in a simple but richly textured story, told with smoothness, elan, integrity, and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by anonymnous
I really enjoyed reading this book, a great sequel to Empire. It held my interest through the entire reading and I didn't predict the ending. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Kathy Habel