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This series is probably the most original writing that Anderson has ever done. He has made a living expanding on other peoples work. I am not saying that is good or bad. I especially like his Captain Nemo book and the first prequel of Dune. Even in this book he seems to borrow form Asimov (Nightfall), Bester (Demolished Man), Niven (Man-Kzin Wars), Card and F. Herbert. I have read all but one of the books in this series and I like all of them and hope to read the last book soon, and move on to the sequel series he is just coming out with. This prequel will mean more to you after you have read at least the first book in the series. He sets the series up well enough, that this book is not needed. It is more enjoyable for those already familiar with the series.
Anderson does not over complicate his books with lots of techno talk. You can just enjoy the story. Although do not expect lots of character development. Most of his characters are black and white and they don't seem that important to the story.
This series has green priests, fire beings, water beings, telepathic beings, gas giant beings, you name it, you will find it here and it will all be easy to understand. There is some politics, genetics, robots, insect type beings, etc...
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
I first read Kevin Anderson in the Dune books he wrote with Frank Herbert's son Brian. Even though none of the add-on Dune books had quite the mystique and intrigue of Frank Herbert's original writing, I really thought that Brian and Kevin wrote more realistic characters and better dialog than the original Dune books so I read a little more by Kevin Anderson and found this seemed to be standard for him. Anderson isn't the top in scientific creativity, fabulous prose, or the tightest plot lines, but he is one of the few sci-fi authors to give me characters I really love, love to hate, wish I could meet, or wish I could be. So, I was really excited when Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1 was released. I bought the book immediately and then...Never Read It. I was in a super stressed period of my life and could not get past the first few pages - too tired to concentrate. Now that my life is semi-sane and I've become an audio-phile, I started to pick up Hidden Empire on audio, but saw this prequel and thought this might be a better start (and Nurlip's reviewe confirmed - thank you, Nurlip). I was right - this is a great place to start The Saga. This novella is a series of vignettes designed to give you some near history prior to the opening of Hidden Empire. Since I've now started Hidden Empire, I can attest to the fact that Veiled Alliances makes it much easier to latch onto the many new concepts and character intros that come thick and fast when the The Saga really begins.
David Colacci is OK as the narrator, but he has a kind of sing-song rhythm in some of the narrative sections that I don't care for. However, this book is short and he is not the narrator for The Hidden Empire so not a big deal.
Veiled Alliances is interesting and entertaining in its own right, but it really is designed to be an introduction to a much bigger world, The Saga of the Seven Suns world. I would recommend Veiled Alliances to anyone considering taking on The Saga.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful