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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.
"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)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 01-14-05
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.
73 of 75 people found this review helpful
By Magikarp Salad on 06-02-13
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
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Todd on 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.