It’s a shame that this author didn’t do more of this kind of thing. It’s pretty good, really. I’m frankly surprised that this isn’t better known.
The blurb on the cover hints that The Risen Empire aspires to the greatness achieved by Dune and Foundation. I’ll probably contest that, but nonetheless this is a rather good Science Fiction novel. The first in a duology called Succession, the story is grand Space Opera, again with strong military leanings, and with a fascinating approach to futuristic combat and the tech involved.
Although I didn’t care overly much for some of the symbolism and political humdrum (which adversely affects the pacing), the story was well served by some remarkable action sequences (a great deal of thought has obviously gone into the military aspects) and quality world building.
It’s worth noting that the “risen empire” of the title refers to a human empire ruled by an undead emperor (basically the Sci-fi version of a Lich king, if you will). That, in itself, is somewhat of a deviation from the usual, no? In a nutshell, the story concerns itself with a war between two cultures, one machine-augmented and the other one not. There is a high level of detail here, and a slow build-up, which you will either find commendable or frustrating depending on personal taste. Oh, and how about that cliffhanger? You’ll want the next book at hand.
If you enjoy galaxy spanning space sagas with some cool tech, check this out. Especially if you’re interested to see what Westerfeld was up to before he started writing YA books. I was pleasantly surprised.
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