Books Science Fiction Space Opera

Hidden Empire – Okay book but too much text for too little actual story

Hidden EmpireHidden Empire (The Saga of Seven Suns, #1) by Kevin J. Anderson
My rating: 5 out of 10 stars

In the far future, humanity began to search the stars, sending out vast spaceships that would take generations to reach their goals. In the depths of space they encountered the Ildiran empire – apparently the galaxy’s only other intelligent civilisation. The Ildirans came to Earth and passed on the knowledge of their stardrive, allowing humanity to expand to the stars.

Almost two hundred years after that first contact, there are human colonies proliferating through the galaxy. As Mankind seizes the future, danger comes from the past, for two human archaeologists glean forbidden knowledge from the ruins of a dead world. Once, the insect-like Klikiss ruled the stars. Now, only their robot servants remain, guardians of a terrible technology – the Klikiss Torch, which has the power to create suns.

Humanity prepares to flex its new found muscle and activate the Torch for the first time in millennia, but there are reasons the Klikiss empire fell, and a train of events is about to be set in motion that will change the universe for ever…

This is indeed a large and very well written book. Unfortunately, after having read it I do not get the satisfied feeling that I would have expected. Instead I get a feeling that there was too much text and too little actual story. Actually it is not that there is no story. There is a lot of it in fact. But the author painstakingly goes on and on with details, interactions between people etc. etc. and nothing really happens for long periods of time. The entire book is more or less just an introduction to the actual story.

Each individual piece of the book is very good in itself but, surprisingly, when put the pieces together, the whole becomes…not so great. Each chapter is well written and it is actually fun to read but after a while you feel that you are eating a meal which turned into Groundhog Day while you were eating the entrée and you never get to continue to the main course.

When the book finally ends, with no less than five players with their own agenda a no qualms to promote it via deceit and treachery, the stage is set for a true space opera full of scheming, backstabbing and other such despicable activities. I cannot say that this is exactly my cup of tea. Having said that, there is also ample opportunity for action since a brutal war is looming at the horizon. If the next book is in the same style as this one I am afraid that the actual action will take a back seat though.

The story itself is quite compelling, to me at least, and holds quite a lot of promise. Thus I am quite hesitant to give up on the series even though I did not get the satisfaction out of this book as I hoped. In any case I rarely give up on a book series unless it turns out to be real crap. I will not dive into the next one right away though. I need a fix of some easier to read literature before I dig my eyes into the next on in this series.

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One comment

  1. I remember reading this one a few years ago and dropping the series after a couple of books. I think it was bit too determined to be Epic. Still they kept being published so someone must have been reading them.

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