In this sequel to Card's best-selling novel Empire, Averell Torrent has become president of the United States, with enormous political and popular support, and, if people only realized it, a tight grip on the reins of both political parties. He has launched America into a get-tough, this-world-is-our-empire foreign policy stance.
But Captain Bartholomew Coleman, known as Cole to his friends and enemies alike, sees the danger Torrent poses to American democracy and the potential disasters involved in his foreign military adventures. He quickly runs afoul of the president, and on the run, he and a few friends and allies seek proof of how Torrent orchestrated the political takeover - by assassinating a president and nearly starting a civil war.
©2009 Orson Scott Card; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
Hidden empire took the initial storyline constructed in Empire and moves to a conclusion. Fitting its author, the conclusion cannot be guessed though Card does a great job of offering foreshadowing points that you connect in retrospect.
One enjoyable part of the series is the manner in which he builds conflict among the numerous factions and clearly articulates his premise.
This story brought my sadness to teams, smirks of happiness and the whole gambit of emotions in between. Card delivered on the series. Definitely a must read.
There were three voices in this performance -- one of the Card's voice.
Yes, I listened to it in two sittings. It is approximately 11 hours long, so hunker down and get some popcorn.
a dedicated dilettante
Orson Scott Card does nothing if he doesn't thoroughly analyze a topic through his novels. Some may be pure fiction, such as time travel analyzed in Pathfinder and Ruins, stand-ins for the non-fictional such as the Ender series where he analyzes hatred of and hostility towards those who are different (Ender's Game), then dealing with the consequences of how you treat those who are "other", alien or different than you. In Empire and Hidden Empire, Mr. Card reflects on the political chasm of those who are conservative and those who are liberal (red state vs. blue state), a civil war that results from the chasm and a potential leader who views the only solution to that and other global problems is to become a benevolent dictator, albeit one who keeps the form of democracy.
As is my typical practices, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions of Empire but the Audible version only of Hidden Empire. Mr. Card provides the narrative introduction to each chapter while Stefan Rudnicki narrates the core of the story. Mr. Rudnicki is a consummate narrator and he brings his golden voice, deft pacing and perfect inflections to bear on these stories. He ranges from a Southern soldier and an eastern-seaboard house wives / political wonk to an Hispanic soldier and a Nigerian boy; now that's range. An amazing job, as always. Rusty Humphries joins the narration effort in Hidden Empire and does fine job essentially playing himself. If you enjoy audio books, you'll like this version.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-Yu
I love Orson Scott Card -- in fact Ender's Game was the first audio book, and the first sci-fi book I remember enjoying. Stefan Rudnicki could read the telephone book and make it sound like poetry. But I have been disappointed by the Empire duet.
Some parts read like a top notch thriller, but this is a book lacking the heart, character, and subtley of OSC's usual style. The characters on all sides commit acts that make them unsympathetic -- as a listener I didn't know who the good guys were, even when I was told.
I'm giving it a 3 because of Rudnicki's narration, but I'd skip it unless you're an OSC junkie.
Listen to Empire first and continue the story with this book. Another wonderful and thoughtful story from Orson Scott Card.
YES! This is a poignant story. I loved the hint of sci-fi weaved into the story of political intrigue and divisiveness, reflecting a version of our current affairs.
I listened to both Empire and Hidden Empire and the performance was A+
If I had the time, I would have listened to this in one sitting.
The reviews hinting or overtly pointing to any partisanship as a reason for a less favorable review are the symptoms manifesting from the underlying problems the author addresses.Whether Left or Right or whatever, it is truly time for people to take a difficult, long hard look in the mirror and acknowledge their intolerance towards others.
How could the creator of "Ender's Game" produce such tripe? Realistic SF is supposed to extrapolate from the present time, and Card fails to do this. He sets his conservative protagonists against "progressives", whom he forces into the villains' role by making them do things that real progressives would never, ever do. It's not even well-written. The ever-implausible story is interrupted by endless rumination on politics and religion. In respect of Card's past brilliance, I listened to the whole thing in hopes that he would pull out an interesting idea. And in the end he did, but it wasn't worth it. Card now joins Crichton on my list of good fiction writers who fail in the real world.
I loved the first Empire book. And even though Orson Scott Card is a favorite author of mine I never start a book with expectations on previous works in the series or by the author... but this one is absolutely as great as the first in the series and I can't wait for Mr. Card to bless us all with the next.
I've always been a OSC fan, reading almost all of his books, but I couldn't make it through this one - at least not awake. Often, I go to sleep listening to a book, and this one did a good job of putting me to sleep.
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