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Review – The Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson

The Hidden Empire
Kevin J. Anderson
Published 2002
619 pages
Science Fiction

Psst. Hey you. Yeah, you. Have you voted (for me) yet? Please oh please!

I was offered The Ashes of Worlds in an email from a company that offers me books fairly often. Usually I’m not interested, but this book struck my fancy. However, it’s the 7th (and final) in a series, and not wanting to read the last in a series, I emailed back and said I’d read it if they’d send the first six. Imagine my surprise when they responded I could have all seven, just send my address!

I know there’s some sci-fi junkies out there, but I’m not one of them…only because I know I’ll get sucked into these freaking ginormous series…and have you tried carrying one of these bricks around? I mean, good grief! I have, though, recently acquired the Belgiard series and the first in the Eye of the World series, because I just didn’t have enough books to read. 😉

Anyway, Hidden Empire is about humans and a couple of other alien races. Humans have found a device invented by an extinct alien race called the Klikiss Torch. This thing is so powerful that it can transform gas giants into new suns, which is awesome for humans, since they’re constantly spreading out, and if suns can be created, how many more planets they’ll have at their disposal!

It’s weird, though, because in using the Klikiss torch for the first time, humans inadvertantly kill thousands of aliens that had unknowingly been inhabiting this gas giant. Humans have NEVER done this kind of thing…we’ve NEVER wiped out other species almost to the point of extinction. I wonder where the author came up with this idea?

This alien race, the hydrogues, are PISSED, and don’t want an apology or reparations, and want to destroy all humans.

I think that covers the basic story. But it would be hard to tell you the story and not get too complicated seeing as how there’s a freaking GLOSSARY OF CHARACTERS AND TERMINOLOGY.

In between the basics of the story, there’s ALL KINDS of shit going on. People making googley eyes at each other, aliens killing humans, and the leader of an alien race, the Ildirans, covering up history and secretly attempting to create an elite race. Crazy shite.

One of the complaints I read on Amazon is that the author tries to introduce too many characters in this first book. I agreed with that complaint, up until, oh, I don’t know, page 200, when the story started coming together and it was getting easier to keep track of everyone. The author was definitely ambitious, but I think it works.

I really liked this book, and I’m thinking it will only get better as the story progresses, which means you’ll find me curled up in bed, not showering, eating cereal, racing through the books so I can get to the end. You won’t find me doing that now, but probably later.

Rating: 85 out of 100

Please note my rating is in the 80s, not because I didn’t really like it, but because there was a lot of set up the author had to do…and while I really liked the book, I’m sure it’s not the best in the series, which makes me only want to read faster.

Raych, I think you should read this book.

Okay, folks…you much of a sci-fi reader? Have you ever read any sci-fi? Mr. Anderson, you have officially popped my cherry. So to speak.

| Tags: , , , , , 9 comments »

9 Responses to “Review – The Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson”

  1. bexadler

    Heh. I just finished reading my first adult sci-fi as well and it also happens to be by Kevin J. Andersen. He sure gets around, doesn’t he? 😉


  2. Alyce

    I just added this to my mile long list of books I want to read! 🙂

    I love sci-fi, but I’m very picky about the authors I read. I’ve never read this author, but look forward to reading some of his books in the future.

    Great review!


  3. Steve

    I first heard of Anderson on Neil Peart’s (Rush drummer) website (“Bubba’s Book Club”, Neil is a very well read individual and I highly recommend HIS books). Anyway, Anderson is a friend of his, and he aslo gave it a good review, (non biased). I’m not a sci-fi reader myself, but I wanted to at least check out the genre as I’ve been wrong about books/genre’s before.
    I just picked this up, and it’s on the list, after I finish Egger’s “What is the What” (which is amazing).


  4. raych

    Oh mercy. I’m all, Yes yes yes yes, large serieses are so delicious for me! But the LAST thing I need now is another huge series, esp. an unfinished one. On account of the whole Robert Jordan thing.

    One day, though, I’ll get mono or salmonella or pregnant or something, and be stuck in bed for a long stretch, and then I’ll pick this sucker up.


  5. Heather J.

    I’m so glad you picked up the Belgariad and Wheel of Time books! I’m hoping I was part of the influence there … 😉

    Hey Raych – the final Robert Jordan book is coming out in ’09!!! I’ve totally been stalking Brandon Sanderson’s website for news about his progress with it … it’s so exciting!


  6. Meghan

    It’s a great time to start reading Robert Jordan’s gigantic Wheel of Time series – as someone above mentioned, Brandon Sanderson is writing the final book and it should be released in 2009. I’m planning a massive reread next summer in between writing my dissertation.

    I like some sci-fi. Have you read Ender’s Game? If not, I really recommend it, and it’s SHORT so you’ll have plenty of time left to read all those other books, too. =)


  7. bexadler

    Hey, if you’re interested, you can read my review of the Kevin J. Anderson book I just read here:


  8. Ladytink_534

    I’m not a big sci-fi fan. I’ve read one or two series that have futuristic settings though.


  9. Bookfool, aka Nancy

    Oh, that’s wild. That Anderson dude is a writing machine, isn’t he? My youngest just did a guest review of a book he wrote and my eldest is going to do a guest review of a book he CO-wrote.

    I love sci-fi, but I’m not what you could call a hard-core sci-fi reader because I can’t stick with any one genre or I will lose my mind. Must have variety!!!


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