Empire: The Empire Duet, Part 1 : The Empire Duet

  • by Orson Scott Card
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • Series: The Empire Duet
  • 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science-fiction and fantasy works. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near-future scenario: a new American Civil War.The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone.
The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side and militia foot-soldiers on the other, devastating the cities and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons, and strategic geniuses of their own.
When the American dream shatters into violence, who can hold the people and the government together? And which side will you be on?

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What the Critics Say

"Couldn't be timelier...heartfelt and sobering....All the action doesn't obscure the author's message about the dangers of extreme political polarization and the need to reassert moderation and mutual citizenship...it drives it home." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good pace, weak premise

While the pace of this book was engaging, the premise was not. Progressive democrats invading NYC with their own mechanized militia? Then easily footnoted by a few special ops boys? Kind of laughable and, at best, overly simplistic.

I stuck with this book because I kept waiting for a second or third dimension to be revealed - some gritty contradiction perhaps, or actual character development.

The final affront is the afterword in which the author, lacking any real analysis, provides predictable right-ish political commentary. Should have quit while I was ahead.
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- Andrea

Even a great author can have a bad day

America?s War on Terror is being fought and won across the globe. Ruben Mallitch is a bona fide hero in that war and a rising star in the US Army. After completing his tour of duty in the Middle East he is promoted to Major and returns home to complete a Masters Degree at Princeton and then assume new duties in the Pentagon. Those duties include identifying weaknesses in domestic counter-terrorism efforts and formulating plans to exploit them. His ?unofficial? duties include acting as a covert go-between for the White House in the world?s hot spots.
This double life doesn?t trouble him until he witnesses a plan he prepared being executed by terrorists.
Are you hooked yet? I was! This has the makings of a fantastic story.
Orson Scott Card?s military SF offerings are unique in that the military characters are believable. In Empire, the author manages to convince us that Mallitch is both a Professional Soldier and a Patriot without him becoming a parody. He isn?t cold-blooded and mindless, he thinks about, and believes in, what he is doing!
Something terrible happened to Empire on the way to its conclusion:? having made the effort to develop the characters; the author doesn?t find anything useful for them to do!
Empire maintains Audio Renaissance?s high production standards and the reading, by Stefan Rudnicki, is clear, precise and well paced. Unfortunately their efforts cannot save this story from itself.
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- Vincent Tume

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-06-2006
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio