The Empire is a political entity that encompasses hundreds of colonized worlds united by a common language (Esperanto) and under a single individual, the Emperor. But the Empire is getting old and creaky. Its government is riddled with corruption and is choking on red tape. The Space Force is bloated with the incompetent who have risen to high rank due to nepotism and patronage. The Emperor has been assassinated, and the Empire is surrounded by alien races that are becoming more hostile and more powerful as time goes on.
When an exploration fleet in the rift between sections of the spiral arm are attacked by an unknown race, the dead Emperor's clone-son, now on the throne, recognizes that the Empire is standing at the edge of an abyss and must find a way to not only win this new war against the alien aggressors but also overcome the inertia of the arrogant Space Force officers who are more ready to overthrow their Emperor than fight the war.
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Fast Paced Space War
I listened to the Synchronicity War, also by Dietmar Wehr, and decided to download this one as well. Luke Daniels, who also narrates the Synchronicity War, is superb as always. While Empire in Crisis is not my favorite book of all time, it is a very satisfying book. There is the potential for a lead-in to a second book, but as a stand-alone novel, I would be happy leaving it where it is. This ranks in the top 5 out of the last 30 books I've read.
I think my favorite character is Emperor DeChastelaine. Don't be fooled by the title of 'Emperor', DeChastelaine is not an evil tyrant, nor is he incompetent. As far as leaders go, I quite like him. What makes him very interesting to me is how he deals with incompetent space force admirals and political intrigue.
Luke Daniels is one of my favorite narrators. Period. His voices are very unique--even between different book series, a feat I find to be quite impressive.
If you're looking for a repeat of the Synchronicity War, you won't find its looping chronology here. Empire in Crisis is, in my opinion, a good space battle between humans and aliens. Plus, there is governmental intrigue and conspiracy that the humans have to overcome before winning a war. If you're not sure where to spend your next credit, this is a safe buy as it will not force to you to wait for another book, nor will it leave you bored.
- Alex Smart
- Richard A. Long