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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings


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  • Overall

Great Listen

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 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.

71 of 73 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Pretty good series.

Let me warn you in advance, this is a long, 7-book series, and while the narrator for this and the next two books is great, he's replaced in books 4-7 with someone not as good - who seems to have not listened to the first 3 before getting started - I know this can be a deal-breaker for some...

That said, this is a pretty cool sci-fi series that sorta has the feel of an epic fantasy series. Humans in space, with discovered technology they have no business messing with, inadvertently start a war with a powerful alien race they didn't know existed... There are some cool ideas, interesting aliens, fun space battles, multiple (though not unpredictable) plot lines, and a big universe with a lot of characters. You could argue that maybe 7 books was a bit of a stretch, but it's not like I'm short on time - and the series stayed interesting throughout. One other reviewer hit the nail on the head though when he suggested the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons would be a better choice for someone looking for something similar, but better. But once you're done with that, this one is pretty good too.

Audible really needs to allow us to give half stars. Story would get 3.5 from me.

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • chris
  • Kelowna, BC, Canada
  • 04-15-05

Slow start but the sequels are worth it

I actually just finished the 3rd book in the series, and I am rating this one higher than I normally would only because of the sequels. This book has a slow start and is riddled with cliches, with some extraneous dialog and plot handholding, plus a contrived and overdone love story thrown in for good measure. Overall though, it's pretty good, so I took a chance on the next one. That one starts slow too, but becomes a real page-turner as the incredible scope of the story is revealed. The book after that is even better. Now I'm eagerly waiting for #4.

So give this one a chance, if only for what comes after. If this book was by a first-time author it probably never would have made it to print. The first part of this book gives no hint as to how big the epic really gets, and the huge backstory and careful plotting that went into the making of it. This really is the tip of a cosmic iceberg.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

This is where to start

I was just looking for a place to use my book credits and I picked up this book and the follow-on book in this series. While the first book is good it really sets up the series and after listening to the second book I can more fully appreciate the first book and its key role in the series. If you are interested in great sweeping adventure and want to really enjoy the series start with this book. After book three I plan to go back an listen to book one again. It has hidden depths... Very well read and an exciting story.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

An Epic Story Herein - You'll Want This Series...

I truly enjoy originality, new concepts, and game changer stories, especially EPIC ones. The Saga Of The Seven Suns is SO original, that you may find yourself listening to it a few times to catch everything. I know I did. Now, that's not to say that the story is hard to follow - Quite the opposite. It's just that the story has such richness of the different civilizations, politics, religions, sciences and races, you'll want to revisit it a couple of times. There are wonderful machiavellian plots and subplots that are a wonderful change in pace from the typical scifi romp.

This first audiobook in the series lays groundwork, but in a very enjoyable way. I consider the sign of a great storyline, is one you won't mind hearing. This is such an audiobook.

This doesn't take place on one world, or one solar system - This reaches literally across the stars, and Anderson provides a well-rounded initial book in this series. I loved this series so much, that I have ALL of the audiobooks therein, and THAT my fellow Audible listener, is the VERY BEST proof that this is a MUST READ series. Enjoy!

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ron
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-06-07

Great imagination, horribly written

This is one of those books I hate and I love. The back story is imaginative and engaging, and the plot is predictable a mile away but still fun. However, the characters are kleenex-thin, the dialog is spiritless and there is not a lick of style or humor anywhere in the book.

Much better series in this genre are Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan, Hyperion by Dan Simmons and The Gap by Stephen R Donaldson. Check those out before you go further in this series.

44 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Engaging

I've been looking for a nice SciFi Space Epic to sink my teeth into. After finishing the book, I'm so far pleased with my purchase.

The characters, plot, and ideas infused in this book were genuinely interesting enough to keep my attention, and the book is quite long giving a good amount of entertainment for your money.

I must warn however that it's by no means a fast paced book as you might expect. The story actually meanders along at a comfortable walk. To me all the fleshed out details were worth the slowed pace, but others may be put off by it. Certainly not all stories can pull off such a leisurely pace - but I believe this one does a fair job of it.

There are a lot of characters and side plots populating this story, so it takes some focus and attention to process it all.

The narrator is decent. He's not the best, but he does a fair job on character voices and has a relaxed narrator's voice.

One thing kind of bothered me: this universe is apparently populated by complete morons. Let me explain.

They performed an experiment to ignite a gas giant and turn it into a sun. Then they observed strange spheres leaving the depths of the gas giant and fleeing into space. Soon after processing plants around gas giants all over are attacked and destroyed by spheres rising from the depths of the planets. Then the spheres return to the original gas-giant-now-sun and destroy it's now melting planets that the humans intended to colonize.

A five year old could put the pieces together and tell you that the aliens are upset because one of their worlds was destroyed. But not one single person in this entire book is smart enough to figure it out. The aliens actually had to spell it out for them. You'd think a space faring civilization would have at least a few people who could recognize the extremely obvious.

In any case, I am enjoying looking forward to the second book. If you have the patience for it's more relaxed plot, I recommend this book.

38 of 43 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Emanuel
  • Zion, IL, United States
  • 05-09-12

Excellent Start!

This one was well done in my opinion. I loved the story and the reader. Cant remember any profanity but there were a couple of sex scenes that could have been left out, they added nothing to the story. The story held your interest without going to slow or give to much away to fast. Character development could have been given a little more attention, but this is said, from a guy who drives and listens to Audible at the same time, while paying more attention to my driving then the story. As it should be. All in All, if only the sex scenes could please be left out, I would have to give this one a "9.5" out of "10". look forward to book 2.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Amsterdam, NY, United States
  • 09-08-08


At first I was a bit overwhelmed by the # of characters and the "one chapter, one character" approach which means the book shifts plot lines a lot. However, once I became familiar with the different characters and started to see how the plot lines were moving in parallel (as well as crossing places) I was hooked. This is a really interesting and great book.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • West Point, MS, USA
  • 01-28-05

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

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  • Story
  • Todd
  • 07-14-15

Nothing but a setup for the next book

Let me start by saying that the book kept me interested enough to finish it. The characters are interesting and diverse, but there are A LOT of them. The author also does a good job of creating a detailed universe with diverse civilisations.

But the whole book has no real story. It is basically 19 hours of world-building with a couple of anti-climactic alien attacks. For me, a book should be able to stand alone, even if part of a series. Especially if it's the first in a series. It should have a beginning, middle and end. This book has a beginning. That's it.

I'm not opposed to trying the next book, but this one left a lot to be desired in the plot department. Readers deserve to know what they're in for.