We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1 Audiobook

Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1

Regular Price:$40.57
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

An explosive new science fiction series by New York Times best-selling author Kevin J. Anderson, Hidden Empire is the first volume in The Saga of the Seven Suns, modeled after the Star Wars and X-Files universes. Anderson has become the foremost science fiction writer of the century, bringing to life vivid characters and worlds that delight his fans across the galaxy.

The Klikiss, a now-extinct alien civilization, left behind vast technological information that has been discovered by two xenoarchaeologists. One discovery, a device that converts gas planets into life-giving suns is quickly put to the test with unimaginable results. Arising out of the test is a new alien species that threatens every human. Mankind is left with the dim reality, either fight the new alien life form or face humiliation, death, and extinction.

This riveting adventure swings you from one wonderous realm to another as the Hidden Empire is sought after and exposed. Anderson has created a gripping beginning to what will surely be his best series yet. George Guidall has returned a stellar performance and brought these characters to life in vivid detail.

Don't miss a minute of the action in Kevin J. Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns.

©2002 WorldFire, Inc.; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"In this stellar launch of a new series, bestseller Anderson...delivers action, engaging characters, and credible fantastic worlds." (Publishers Weekly)
"Full of battles, chases, and hairbreadth escapes...this is also an intelligently conceived and executed nailbiter." (Booklist)
"Anderson's skill in delivering taut action scenes and creating well-rounded human and alien characters adds depth and variety to a series opener that belongs in most sf collections." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2453 )
5 star
 (895)
4 star
 (834)
3 star
 (439)
2 star
 (163)
1 star
 (122)
Overall
3.9 (1356 )
5 star
 (520)
4 star
 (457)
3 star
 (227)
2 star
 (87)
1 star
 (65)
Story
4.2 (1346 )
5 star
 (632)
4 star
 (430)
3 star
 (185)
2 star
 (55)
1 star
 (44)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Nicholas Winn CA, USA 09-02-06
    Nicholas Winn CA, USA 09-02-06 Member Since 2013

    E-Bike Enthusiast

    HELPFUL VOTES
    282
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    "A matter of taste."

    If I was reading this book in hardcopy I'm not sure if it is the type of book I'd have continued. But listening to it on audible I really like it.

    Yes the author takes a long time to develop the story and skips from one character to another and the story is interconnected through many viewpoints of each character. Some of the characters even get bumped off.

    If you are the type that you want 1 or two strong protaganists in a story than this book is not for you.
    On the other hand if you are a little more openminded and like to see a story from at least 10 different view points than 7 suns series is an enjoyable read.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert West Point, MS, USA 01-28-05
    Robert West Point, MS, USA 01-28-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Imaginative and fun throughout"

    I first got hooked on this series back when Anderson was giving away free signed copies on his website. I'm currrently listening to the third book in this series, Horizon Storms, and continue to not be disappointed. This series in incredibly imaginative; the universe Anderson has created is vast and complex. If you are a fan of Anderson's writing in the newer Dune novels, or any epic Science Fiction for that matter, you should give this series a chance.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-19-05

    Dennerman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Extremely Disappointing"

    I was very much looking forward to this story based on several of the reviews I read, but in the end result I can?t believe I spent 19+ hours listening to this, what a remarkable disappointment. Before I state my complaints I would like to point out that the narrator does an outstanding job representing the characters and changing inflection and tone based on the mood of the story. I?d gladly listen to him again. That being said, this book has several key flaws. The first and most critical is that the author clearly doesn?t believe in the basic tenant of storytelling that states, ?show don?t tell.? Anderson will tell you about something, then tell you about it again, and then a little while later will feel the need to explain it in minute detail yet again, and so on. For example, a character will ramble on about something and then the listener is told about how that character rambled, and then about why they rambled and then Anderson will go on further about some of the thought process behind the rambling. It literally had me exclaiming out loud, ?please stop!? Other complaints I have are that although the characters are interesting, they are almost never doing anything. It almost seems as if the first 15 hours of the book are simply an exercise in the science of creating a populated universe. The only other issue that I?ll detail, although there were several others, is that there are a few very unbelievable plot devices, unbelievable even within the context of Anderson?s meticulously crafted and detailed universe. In the end result, there is no chance I?ll be purchasing or spending time on any of the sequels to this tale.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 01-23-09
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 01-23-09 Member Since 2015

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2558
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    469
    363
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    626
    16
    Overall
    "Ok if you needed something long"

    Not bad, not terrific either. I would listen to it (or buy the next in the series) only if I got it on sale and/or I needed something to listen to that didn't require 100% concentration on a long drive. You can wander off daydreaming and come back a couple minutes later and you wouldn't have missed anything important.

    The novel is more descriptive than action-packed. The concepts are interesting, but there's not much engagement - i.e. a space station blows up and everyone dies, but you won't really "feel" anything about this event because it was only described to you, it didn't engage you.

    The narrator is ok. He speaks clearly and you can usually tell who's talking from the tone; there's not much "dramatization" of events/voices. He's nothing to write home about though.

    If you want action Sci-fi and are ok with "adult" material, try Richard Morgan. If you want descriptive and yet engaging scifi, try Card's Worthing Saga. If you want a long scifi that is similar in tone to this and yet much more involving, try Acacia. If you want a soap opera type scifi with lots of character focus, try Spin. If you just want some cheap 'n easy soap opera scifi, try Earthsearch.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Port Orchard, WA, USA 01-13-05
    Michelle Port Orchard, WA, USA 01-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good choice overall. Bit slow, needs more action."

    Anderson spends to much time on the charactors and thier lives rather than on the main story line, which makes the book a bit slow and lacking in action. But overall it's a good story, and a good listen. I anticipate that the second book in the series {which is currently available on Audible} will be more action packed, since the charactors have been so thoroughly covered in this book.
    George Guidall is one of the best Readers of audio books there is, so have no worries over how this book will sound.
    P.S. It seems to me that over the past 15 years or so, Editors have become extreamly lazy. I blame the Editor of this book rather than the author, for any of it's short comings. A good editor would have told Anderson, " Shut Up about the charactors already and get on with the story".

    24 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Thomson, GA, USA 08-12-06
    Charles Thomson, GA, USA 08-12-06 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    193
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The beginning of a fantastic series"

    This book and the entire Saga of Seven Suns series so far are some of the most interesting, exciting books I've read/listened to in a long time. Some reviewers feel that the books are slow or that there are too many characters. For me, it was exactly the opposite impression. The story and the characters captivated me. Each character is well developed over the series and they are unique enough that I never confused them as some others have commented.

    As for the story, I classify the entire series as "page turners". I couldn't wait to find out what happened next as the plot and intrigue between the different groups in the story deepened. New mysteries present themselves just when you feel you have a hold of the current ones, holding your attention and pulling you further into the story. I was actually somewhat surprised at how much I enjoyed the story, as the genre of Space Opera has never really been one of my favorites.

    One warning to Audible listeners, The Saga of Seven Suns actually encompasses SEVEN books, with the first three available here, two others with audio versions available elsewhere (read by another reader), and the sixth and seventh books due in June 2007 and June 2008 respectively. Having finished book five I'll say that the worst part of the series is having to wait a year to find out what happens next.

    I highly recommend this book and the entire series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rimfir 03-15-07
    rimfir 03-15-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Oh Yeah"

    This series is in the same class as The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire. Just Excellent.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 09-23-13
    Tango Texas 09-23-13

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2507
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    746
    154
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    421
    22
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long on Fiction, Short on Science"

    Since I've read Kevin Anderson before, I was prepared to blow off the science issues and just enjoy a good plot and great characters when I picked up Hidden Empire, but the problems in the science bothered me more than expected. I don't remember enough of my college physics/chemistry to know if the star drives or Klikiss torch will work right; I'll take more informed reviewers word for the fact that there may be flaws. However, science covers a lot more ground than just physics. A good science fiction writer ought to be able to incorporate some decent projections into the future based on current knowledge about many sciences like political science, sociology, biology, archaeology, agricultural science, information technology, etc., Kevin Anderson's plotting incorporates many of those scientific fields and fails on most counts.

    Note: I will give a few examples to avoid just making wild claims and if you have read the Prequel to The Saga, Veiled Alliances, these will not be spoilers. If you haven't read the prequel, you may want to avoid reading this section.
    1. Political - There are no democratic or representative governments in spite of 500 years of human history trending toward self governance.
    2. Societal/Communications - We already live in a world where it is nigh impossible for the government to keep massive secrets (hard as they all try), there is NO WAY that in 400 years people would be fooled (for more than 100 years) into believing in a puppet monarchy and no one who knew about the machinations would ever tell. What happened to WikiLeaks, Twitter, Facebook, and The Enquirer (or their descendants)?
    3. Animal Husbandry - While I can accept that immoral or amoral people could actually develop a forced breeding program for humans, I cannot accept that people that are logical and intelligent enough for star travel would be so stupid as to treat prized breeding stock badly. Breeding animals subjected to rape, torture and manhandling, bad food, and hard labor will be stressed in the extreme - very bad for fertility rates and healthy pregnancies. In fact, most larger animals aren't even bred through intercourse, but through artificial insemination to protect both breeding partners from injury and increase the number of matings possible. If we can harvest eggs and sperm now surely they would be able to 400 years from now.

    To be fair, I will give credit to Anderson for some creative use of biological science. Since we already have a species of animal (the green sea slug) that has chloroplasts and many more examples of symbiotic combinations of animals and plants and successful gene splicing of animal genes into plants and vice versa, the Theron green priests might be a scientific possibility.

    Ultimately, Kevin Anderson uses whatever devices serve his plot even if it is really bad science. So, I can't really recommend The Saga of the Seven Suns as good science fiction to anyone. To be totally honest, however, I have personally already heard the second in the series and I have the third in My Library. What can I say? As a critical reader this just isn't good sci-fi, but as someone who likes a good story, it's very entertaining. If I were reading it, I probably would have stopped at Hidden Empire, but George Guidall makes the audiobooks a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Guidall isn't the narrator for the whole series so even I may not finish this thing. Science rating = 1 Star, Entertainment Rating = 4 Stars.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 06-13-06
    Stephen 06-13-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "An amazing start to a series"

    If you are looking for a captivating series this is the book for you. I have to say that Sci-fi can quickly turn cheesy, but Anderson pulls off an amazingly elegant universe.

    As for the reader I have fallen in love with the reading of Guidall from many other books and it is what actually lead me to this book.

    The intro at the first of the books is quite corny, but once the story starts your cannot put the thing down.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles L. Rackers Jefferson City, MO United States 04-08-05
    Charles L. Rackers Jefferson City, MO United States 04-08-05 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "This one is great!"

    I normally avoid the great sci-fi multi-volume epics, because the characters usually have names like "Ix'bek'kc'akj" that can neither be pronounced or remembered, and the narrative style is either so ponderous as to send one into a coma, or so flip and cute it makes me feel that the author truly believes his target audience is a group of children or idiots.

    This one is different. The scope is huge, (this section of the galactic arm, but not the 'entire universe', which I always find preposterous). The character development is well written and well thought out. You will care about the characters, and you will even care about the robots. The author and narrator share a wonderful skill in being able to take the reader (and listener) from a 'space scene' of stellar proportions to an intense and emotional conversation between individuals, without missing a beat.

    The layers of complexity of politics, relationships, and events are handled very well and are easy to keep straight and understand. This can be especially difficult listening to a long audiobook but I only had to back up once or twice to make sure I had a good grasp on the storyline.

    I get two books a month with Audible. I'm making sure my two books for this month will be part 2 and 3 of the Saga of the Seven Suns. It's that great!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.