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.
the first four were good but i kept waiting for some things to happen ( i dont want to be a spoiler) and wow did they happen. i do like the ..Show More »new narrator we got in the last book i think he ads a bit more drama to books and makes them more enjoyable to listen to. i get to start the next one in the series tonight and i am looking forward to it!!
If you like Sci-Fi and you like it coming at you fast and furious and you like as much diversity as possible, then this is the series for you. Anderso..Show More »n is not Dean Koontz, but his style is similar to Dean's latest books of throwing everything but the kitchen sink in. You do want to start at the beginning though or you will be totally lost. I have read several Anderson books and I find that the 2nd and third book of this series to be his best, but still you must start with book one, which is good. I have not read the prequel, yet. That also sounds like a good place to start. Anderson is always bringing new stuff, such as chapter 100 of this sixth book, where he mentions Martian Pyramids.
For those that are already into the series, get ready for the Klikiss. Not the Klikiss Robots, but the insects themselves. They are a big part of this episode. I enjoyed them a lot and there is lots of explanation as to what they are and where they have been and where they are going. Chairman Basil (Bazel?) really goes off the deep end in this and it looks like they are setting him up for an overthrow. Admiral Willis comes through in this episode, I really enjoyed her. All characters are still two-dimensional, but if you have read this far and expecting complex characters out of Anderson, well your a bigger optimist then me. Even though there are 146 chapters which are only 10 to 13 minutes long, I did think there were lots of boring chapters, with more information then I wanted, yet I will get the last book. I still want to know what happens. I am ready for this series to end.
I don't understand the complaints on the narrator. He had to do several voices and his females are obvious male trying to do female, but I thought he was real good overall and that he added to the whole experience.
BY WHOM I liked this a little less then the other books in the series. Mostly it got to the point of ridiculous. Trees that uproot and become spac..Show More »eships, a water spaceship, etc. I can take the two dimensional characters, I have read plenty of KJA to expect that, but the fantasy just became too much. I would love Anderson to write more in depth about the Ildirans or Klikiss or the Roamers and forget all the silly stuff.
If you are new to the series you of course must start at the beginning. The ratings for this series are similar to the ratings for a short story collection. Anderson has so many elements, that some appeal to some and some do not. Each book is like about five different books. Here is how I rated the series. Prequel---Veiled Alliances B 1. Hidden Empire= B+ 2. A Forrest of Stars= A- 3. Horizon Storms=C+ 4.Scatter Suns= B- 5. Of Fire and Night= B 6. Metal Swarm= B 7. The Ashes of Worlds= B-
My favorite character was Patrick Fitzpatrick the 3rd. In the first two or three books, I hated him, but he grew as a character and by the end, I liked him. The Roamers were pretty cool, they were the McGuyvers of space. They could take anything and make a working space ship out of it. They mined the gas giants for ekti star drive fuel. The Ildirans were a human like race that breed different breeds of people for different jobs. They were also all connected telepathically. The Klikiss was a race of giant insects and the Klikiss Robots rebelled against them and formed their own group. The green priest were telepathic with the world forest. If they could touch a World Forest Tree on one planet they could communicate with other priest on other planets who were connected to a World Forest Tree. So, there was plenty that I liked about the series.
The Hydrogues were an alien race that lived in the cores of gas giants. They were okay.
What was stupid were Wentals and Faeros. Wentals were sentient water based creatures and Faerous were sentient fire entitites living in stars. Bento becoming part of a tree was stupid, Jess Tamblyn becoming a Wental super being was stupid and there was an Ildiran that became a Faeros.
So, each book had something to hate and something to like. I did listen to all seven books and it is very rare for me to have the patience to go that far in any series. I suggest you start with Hidden Empire and go from there.