This is a review of the entire series. As I try to venture into the world of space operas, I find this series to be one of those that keeps me moving in that direction. At first it is a little confusing given the number of characters, but if you hang in there they all become interesting. The series is epic, and only starts to become tiring towards the last book (book 7), but those wrap up things well. Both the main protagonists and antagonist grow and develop throughout the series.
Sad and disappointing the characters all seem the same and the more edgy ones use drugs like coffee and alcohol while other ones have sex with tons of women solely for making baby's,watch out for the over the top swear words like SHIS...F**K. Mormon Star Wars, with light sabers, quirky droids, planet destroying weapon and know one who is really evil.I found myself rooting for the bad guys.Be warned one white women is very bad and thinks about having sex with a BLACK MAN...really, way to lower the bar "Mister Anderson".
Boredom,Sadness,Depression and suicidal thoughts...Help
Every twist of the story is telegraphed chapters ahead of time and I was forced to listen to boring hours before the characters in the novel caught on. I read all about the series on wikipedia and am relieved that I won't be missing much of interest in the next six books. The enemies and their motivations are nebulous and ill-conceived, they seem to be there just to give Mr. Anderson something to write about. The universe of the book is somewhat interesting, but I feel that learning about it from a few paragraphs on wikipedia is much more enjoyable than sitting through another 120 hours of these books would be.
Living my life like it's GOLDEN!
The Characters jump off of the page! Their emotions, struggles and accomplishments are enthralling.
He gave voice to each individual character which is so impressive because there were several.
King Pete's wit, Basal's treachery and little Osiras intellect.
I have been reading Sci-Fi for decades and this book has held me spellbound for weeks!!
Did not read
Game of thrones, less complicated but good story none the less.
George is my favorite, rarely find fault with his work, did well on this as expected
None set apart from others
A slow start, took me a while to sort out and place all characters. Liked enough to get 2nd book and just finishing 3rd. I like to listen to multi books in a series and I'm always pleased when after the first I look forward to the next ones.
Spend a lot of time in the car so 20+ hours gave me value for my credit as well.
I like Military Sci-Fi, regular military and military history. I like sickening amounts of technical details about weapons and vehicles of combat. I love tactics and survival/scavaging. The Bolo! series is by far my favorite series. Keith L aumer, William H. Keith, and David Weber probably my favorite writters for the series. I also love Day by Day Armageddon trililogy.
To start off, this is not as technical of a sci-fi series as I like. Nothing like Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet Series. There are enormous battles, but they aren't portrayed as large and on such a epic space scale as they could be.On that note, this is a very good, well written read. Very long at 20 hours a book, after book 4 I would probably go 1.25 scale on the reader speed. The narrator switches after book 3 I think. Hang in there, you will hate it at first, by book 5 you wont even notice. It will seem very slow, but if I remember correctly at book 5 it gets retarded! And by that I mean, awesome. Stuff starts coming together and the action really gets poured on. It all ends very well, and if there were 7 more books I would gladly read them as well. But I am looking forward to some more technical sci-fi. There is a book .5, I am glad I waited till the end of all the other books, it would probably ruin some stuff if you read that one first. All in all these books were probably written more for normal sci-fi reader who likes a good story, and doesn't have the need for technical detail, weapons and the like. If you need some of that, Jack Campbells series, or any of the Hammers Slammers books.
Say something about yourself!
This is one of Kevin J. Anderson's early works and it shows in the writing. Not that I could do better... But he has to cover so much back story that it make the story slow to start like a history text, but by the end you can not wait for book 2.
NOTE: Take a break between book 3 and 4 as the change Narrators is hard to listen to.
The Series is well worth the credits and time,
This series could have been tightened up to three or four volumes and would have been much improved for it. Each of the hundred plus chapters in each book is about 50% review of what has come before. There are many characters with apparently unrelated separate story lines, so some review may be warranted, but it mostly grated on me. Perhaps because each chapter advances the story by the merest increment.
Why there are so many Hyperion referents in this saga? I wouldn't compare the two if it weren't for that: The story arcs are not similar, but it is as if the author were trying to create a cantos to rival Hyperion. If so, goal not achieved. The saga kept my interest, but the writing does not compare.
Fewer words spent on review and re-review. Less frequent switching between characters.
I'm just a big kid.
It's wasn't a total waste.
Hired an editor.
Guidall is an excellent reader. I think some of the negative comments are from listeners who don't think aliens have perfect Midwestern U.S. accents. Let's face it, Patrick Tull can't narrate >every< book.
George Lucas already did it.
Having just finished Peter F Hamilton's wonderful Commonwealth and Void series I was looking to see if there were other big space operas available on Audible.
I noticed the mixed reviews for this book, but the fact that it was read by the great George Guidall and produced by Recorded Books LLC, the world's best audio book publisher, tipped the scales and I risked a credit on 'Hidden Empire'.
The narration and technical production quality are world class, way better than the average audio book.
I don't mind a book that starts kind of slow and takes some time to develop an ensemble cast. Still, 'Hidden Empire' took forever for the action to start, as many reviewers have noted.
There were some aspects of this book that were really irritating:
1) The existence of the 'Hidden Empire' is made totally obvious to the whole Galaxy in the first chapter.
After the humans put on a big show for the galaxy the 'hidden' Aliens appear and practically tow a banner behind their spaceships saying 'you've really PO'd us, humans!'.
Yet none of the characters remark on it. The one guy who had secret ancient knowledge about these guys doesn't really act on his knowledge.
Pretty soon the hidden aliens are kicking human and Ildiran butt from one end of the spiral arm to the other. Humans and Ildirans remain clueless.
Finally the hidden aliens get so frustrated with stupid bipeds that they literally show up on a king's doorstep and spell out the obvious facts of life. The King asks the alien 'what do you want', and the alien says 'we want you to die'....oh wait, that was Independence Day. This alien actually said 'get off our lawn'. But I'm pretty sure he wants us humans to all die.
And faced with total disaster, possibly total annihilation, the Ildirans continue their palace intrigues and earth's corporations still plot against the consumer to maximize their ill-gotten profits.
Only the heroic 'Roamers' seem to have a clue. We have to hope that Ildiran's Prince Charming can save us.
By design I think the Roamers are the only characters in the novel that I didn't hate.
Roamers are colorful rouges flying beat up old space ships that they hot rod to be faster than those belonging to the corrupt Empire government. They hang out at the Cantana....oh wait, that was Star Wars.
2) It's really hard for a human author to create aliens who are not just humans in rubber suits. I understand that.
But Anderson doesn't really even try. His 'Ildirans' ARE HUMAN!
Their teenagers are hot for our teen agers.
We can have a doomed romance between earth teenager Juliet and Ildiran teen Romeo.
Ildirans have a king clearly based on earth's Chinese Emperors. The Ildiran king does resemble a giant slug, I'm sure he keeps a hot human princess on a chain.
They have knights who joust with lances.
They have a military rank system patterned on earth's Roman Empire and Catholic church, complete with medals and officers hungry for promotion.
They have a caste system similar to that in India.
Perhaps in the next novel Anderson will copy Turtledove's 'Lizard' aliens. Turtledove Lizards drive Lizard cars to shop at Lizard Walmart and jog in Lizard Central Park. At least Turtledove's Lizards can't interbreed with humans.
3) Present day earth hippies move into the forest to live with and talk to trees, and evolve to have green skins. They don't have round doors on their houses though.
I will say Anderson shows some imagination with the use of trees to solve the perennial SciFi problem of communicating over interstellar distances.
3) Earth has a King who is a puppet of Evil Corporations. PLEEZZZE. Can't somebody sometime think of a system of government for humans that's NOT based on royalty or all powerful corrupt corporations?
4) Protocol droids like C3PO, ah, excuse me... 'Compi' droids like 'Ox' provide comic relief and with their long memories provide historic background for the other characters.
I just about gave up on the book, but stuck with it and things actually started to happen in the last few hours.
The last few hours of the book were actually fun, despite all the silliness of the characters.
This book ends on a cliffhanger, in a way very similar to the way Hamilton ended 'Pandora's Star'
.I admit that I am tempted to buy the second volume just to see if Ozzie goes over the waterfall......opps, excuse me again... just to see if the nice old lady escapes death at the hands, er, claws of [REDACTED].
Kidding aside, I really am tempted to continue with the series based on the way the story improved near the end. Anderson is no Hamilton, Asimov, or O'Brian, but I don't consider I wasted a credit to buy this first volume.
Galactic Soap Opera
Simply answered yes. The story as a whole was enjoyable. A very good introduction to the cast of characters and context in which the rest of the books will play out. The narration elevated what I believe to be a somewhat simple story with mildly interesting plot twists and predictable elements. The human race is fragmented into groups that don't get along. There are the big bad aliens who seem to be inherently evil. One of the major sources of conflict is over natural resources, whether it be star drive fuel or green priests (albeit an interesting natural resource as they themselves are human). There is a group of mysterious ancient robots who claim to not remember anything from their now extinct creators. Overall I enjoyed the story as a lengthy light read. There was not a great deal along the line of challenging my way of thinking or philosophy, but sometimes the books that don't make you think are the best indulgences.
[Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!] The death of Louis Colicos