I first read Kevin Anderson in the Dune books he wrote with Frank Herbert's son Brian. Even though none of the add-on Dune books had quite the mystiqu..Show More »e and intrigue of Frank Herbert's original writing, I really thought that Brian and Kevin wrote more realistic characters and better dialog than the original Dune books so I read a little more by Kevin Anderson and found this seemed to be standard for him. Anderson isn't the top in scientific creativity, fabulous prose, or the tightest plot lines, but he is one of the few sci-fi authors to give me characters I really love, love to hate, wish I could meet, or wish I could be. So, I was really excited when Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1 was released. I bought the book immediately and then...Never Read It. I was in a super stressed period of my life and could not get past the first few pages - too tired to concentrate. Now that my life is semi-sane and I've become an audio-phile, I started to pick up Hidden Empire on audio, but saw this prequel and thought this might be a better start (and Nurlip's reviewe confirmed - thank you, Nurlip). I was right - this is a great place to start The Saga. This novella is a series of vignettes designed to give you some near history prior to the opening of Hidden Empire. Since I've now started Hidden Empire, I can attest to the fact that Veiled Alliances makes it much easier to latch onto the many new concepts and character intros that come thick and fast when the The Saga really begins.
David Colacci is OK as the narrator, but he has a kind of sing-song rhythm in some of the narrative sections that I don't care for. However, this book is short and he is not the narrator for The Hidden Empire so not a big deal.
Veiled Alliances is interesting and entertaining in its own right, but it really is designed to be an introduction to a much bigger world, The Saga of the Seven Suns world. I would recommend Veiled Alliances to anyone considering taking on The Saga.
For the most part I am not a huge fan of Science Fiction. This book may change that. First I will say that the narrator will convince you that he is..Show More » actually multiple people. With enough accents and voice changes you will be convinced that he is actually they.
The book starts a little slow. For the most part you have no idea what is going on and how everything plays out. Be patient! It is well worth the time and effort. The character development is what makes this a slow beginning, but once you begin to understand the characters you will be hooked, line and sinker. By the end of the book you will be disappointed that it ends.
This is the first sci-fi series that I've read. I went through all three books in this series in about 4 weeks.
One of the best things ab..Show More »out this series is Anderson's ability to bring the worlds and charcaters to life with believeable conflict and plot lines.
Warning...he ends each novel with a cliff hanger, which is madening now that book 4 won't be published for a few months. Book 5 won't be out for another year and book 6 in two years. Ick! I'm not a patient person and I can't wait to find out what happens to the characters.
I wrote Kevin J. Anderson at his blog about the change of narrator in mid series(book 4 and on). I made similar comments to the ones I found here abou..Show More »t bad pronunciation of names and do the narrator's ever read the book. To my surprise, he responded the next day, and very much appreciate him taking the time to respond:
Kevin J. Anderson says:
August 25, 2011 at 11:59 am
The audio publisher changed after book 3 (from Recorded Books to Brilliance); in most cases, Scott Brick or Jim Meskimen have read my books, and I have very close contact with them. For the first three Seven Suns books, I had a long phone conversation with George Guidall to guide him through the pronunciations. For the other Seven Suns books, I sent a pronunciation list, but I did not have any contact with the reader.
I thought I would've been used to the new narrator by the end of this book but.... nah, It's not merely the pronunciatio..Show More »ns but the accents as well.
It's bad enough to speak the Compi names in such a screwy manner, it's far worse to make seemingly random decisions about the dialect and therefore the origins of several characters. This narrator Colacci decided, for some reason, that people with names like Nikko Chan Tylar and Kotto Okiah should sound like U.S. southerners and the older roamer men should all sound like grisly characters in a western shoot-em-up. Even the "Alien with British Accent" clich'e finally becomes less than outrageous but really, rednecks in space? Not even genteel southern gentlemen but crusty old gosh-darn dusty pantsed cowpokes? Perhaps a listen through of the earlier books for continuity would've been informative.
Perhaps they should've started from book 1 with the new narrator thus buffering us from the shock of being forced to leave the marvelous George Guidall for this hideous treatment.
This book and the series is very interesting and an entertaining story. There are some implausabilities that could have been done better but if you l..Show More »ook beyond that and just enjoy it is good stuff.
I much preffered George Guidell's reading in the first 3 books. This narrator is a little over dramatic in the read.
And also why cant new narrators in series ever listen to the way the first ones were read so the names are at least consistent?
There are several aspects about this book and series that I don't love. For instance, the Basil Wenceslas character (Chairman of the Terran Hanseatic ..Show More »League) behaves too much like a spoiled 12-year old brat rather than the cruel-yet-sophisticated man that the author describes him as. But, points of complaint such as that ought to be set aside with consideration to the series as a whole. And as a whole the Saga of Seven Suns is wonderful and Ashes of Worlds is its fitting end.
Colacci's narration is, on the whole, excellent. Is he always consistent in his character voices? Not really, but even so, his voice makes for great listening.
I've already listened to the whole saga twice in the last six months! Is it long? Well, sure. But, I hate when good books come to an end - and this great series takes a good long time to end! This is my kind of series and my favorite genre (space opera): Enthusiastic 5 stars for Ashes of Worlds and the whole Saga of Seven Suns!