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It was all bankrolled by a George Soros stand-in who was tired of all those noble Republicans and their love of freedom. One of our two heroes was killed and his best buddy successfully captured Soros.
The history professor, Averell Torrent, believed that democracies are destined to die and the only way for America to survive is for it to transition into a global empire akin to Imperial Rome.
Now what is the twist here? Averell Torrent is NOT the bad guy. No, instead, he is the secondary protagonist of the series who is a necessary evil for the survival of America.
Oh boy. The rest of the book is how a bunch of Christian missionaries go to Africa to deal with a massive plague of super-cholera because no one in Africa has ever dealt with that before and converts all the black folk to Christianity, especially when contrasted to the evil Muslims who are executing all of the local Christians as well as animist followers.
Speaking as someone who has done missionary work and is proud of the efforts done, this is every bit as condescending and racist as it sounds. At one point the SEAL team protagonists infect themselves with super-cholera to make sure they're immune.
They also have a fight over whether to assassinate Avrell Torrent for murdering their friend as well as the previous president.
The bad guys are the one who want to bring him to justice. I know Orson Scott Card has some Oct 21, Mary Frances rated it liked it.
These Empire books strain my admiration for Card. He does a poor job of being balanced and presenting a truly even view of opposing world views.
His clear disdain for climate change theories slips in regularly, as does his stereotyped view of liberals as just Marxists who are too stupid to know they are Marxists.
Given the humane and loving views that underpin and add richness to the best of the Ender novels, this limited view of those who disagree with him politically is disturbing and a big These Empire books strain my admiration for Card.
Given the humane and loving views that underpin and add richness to the best of the Ender novels, this limited view of those who disagree with him politically is disturbing and a big disappointment.
Views that do surface in the ender's universe books, which is why I've never loved them either. Yep, I am a liberal-not a progressive-a real old fashioned sixties liberal.
And yep, I am very smart and very well informed and very very much a patriot. How I wish Mr. Card was as able to tell the difference. PS- I could not read these books in print form- my head felt like exploding.
The audio version is so well done I was able to experience the books and form an opinion of them, I think, fairly. They won't change my love for Ender and Speaker, but may make me cautious about picking up the next Card book.
Jan 30, Matt rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction , In some ways I sort of feel sorry for Orson Scott Card.
He went through a period of genious as a relatively young man when he wrote Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, and it has been all downhill from there.
I still like the science fiction that he writes and I still try to read everything else he writes but his new stuff just doesn't have the originality that used to define his writing.
It feels like he pumps out a book when he needs money. Dec 08, Okaasan59 rated it did not like it. I read this book because I read the first in the series Empire and I thought that surely the second would redeem some of the atrocities of the first.
I was wrong. The characters in both books watch only Fox News because "it's I read this book because I read the first in the series Empire and I thought that surely the second would redeem some of the atrocities of the first.
The characters in both books watch only Fox News because "it's the most truthful. No different than those "liberal" guys. I managed to forgive that, though, because the characters are all military or ex-military or somehow connected to the military which might explain their views.
I say "might" because I know plenty of military folks who would disagree, but whatever. In the second book, the main character is a housewife who just loves to cook and bake for her family.
She is also an advisor to the President of the United States. It was so absurd that I couldn't stop laughing. That being said I think these two books would be perfect for a year-old boy with a military fetish and limited world experience.
Mar 22, Danielle rated it it was ok Recommends it for: fans of sub-par military fiction. Shelves: pans , sci-fi , read.
And also, the movie Outbreak. I shall sum-up this book in one sentence: "Do the ends justify the means? The idea for the story was ok, but the execution was bland at best, and often ventured into horrible territory.
Having the benefit of reading this on my Kindle, I highlighted passages whenever they jolted me out of the book, and I've noted the main ones below.
The lead-in to two paragraphs, one immediately after the other. The protagonists were so overly 'Christian' that every other sentence was "what would God want me to do".
This was compounded by poor humor that made me pity them. Like carrots in orange Jell-O. And minimarshmallows in lime.
That's laugh-worthy? Really poor transitions. For example, at one point: All the people living in those places were steeling themselves for the possibility of evacuation, devastation, rebuilding.
Cecily saw herself in a hurricane. Rushing with her minivan full of children, trying to get out of town as the storm surge battered against the coast.
In the passenger seat, Nick was shouting. Utter fucking lameness It was just a dream. But it felt like so much more than a dream.
It felt like an answer. It felt to her as if she had been given this dream to make things clear to her.
The hurricane will find them. All you can do is prepare them to be brave and good and make the best of whatever comes to them. There's also a major plot-point that makes up the ending that is simply handed to the reader in the second chapter.
I will not spoil it here in case you haven't read it, but give me a fucking break. Inappropriate levity Chinma stood up, turned his back, and raised up his shirt.
He knew what they would see, because other nonfavorite children in his family bore similar scars, though perhaps he had the most. Lettie said nothing at all.
Chinma lowered his shirt and turned back to face her. Come, Chinma. He had vaguely understood that they were being tested in Africa, but he had some idea of them being experimental.
Rusty is a radio personality, but he "remembered" what the top-secret exoskeletons were called??? The main badass solider, Coleman, didn't even know about them!
Jun 26, Sean added it. To be honest, I'm not sure why I even read this book--I knew going into it it would just annoy me. Some ongoing inability to let go of Ender's shade, I suppose.
Whither the Card of yore? Well, the last book set us up with a rebellion from the evil liberals led by George Soros ok yes, Card made up some other name for him, but I've forgotten it.
In this one, Fox News is still the only honest news channel, but the focus has moved from evil liberals to evil Muslims.
A pandemic is sweeping Africa, To be honest, I'm not sure why I even read this book--I knew going into it it would just annoy me. A pandemic is sweeping Africa, and America enforces a quarantine.
This enables evil Muslims to commit human rights violations on people they don't like, and so America sends in troops despite the quarantine.
Meanwhile, back in America, Christians are protesting the quarantine because they want to go over and heal the sick or whatever. So the President lets them go, but wait!
Now the evil Muslims are coming after them too! Luckily, Glenn Beck comes to Africa to keep their spirits up.
I wish I was making this up. I gave this book two stars instead of one because Card can still make me care about characters even while I'm making vomiting noises at his blatant politicizing.
May 26, Lydia rated it really liked it. I didn't want to give him a 4 for this book because I disagree with so many statements within the book.
And definitely with the choices Cole made at the end. He even questions himself "What if I watch Torrent and find out that they were right after all, and I wrong?
That sometimes a ruler needs to be killed to save the people? That democracy is more important than peace after all? I do agree with the statement "They really thought they were good guys.
Cole chose a different way then I would have. I did enjoy the characters and all the action! I loved how they analyzed about why Rome survived as long as it did.
It was interesting to see how Card writes about current events. Oh, and I never read the first one in the series Jul 29, Annette rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi , christian-worldview.
This book actually made me cry, and I honestly cannot remember the last book that managed that feat. It asks disturbing questions about what you'll risk for your faith.
Family relationships? Your very life? And, of course, the characters are This book actually made me cry, and I honestly cannot remember the last book that managed that feat.
And, of course, the characters are compelling, the smart-sarcastic dialog fun, and the plot interesting. The "Torrent" quotes at the beginning of the chapters are also thought provoking.
It has my definite recommendation, but do make sure you've read the first in the series, Empire , beforehand or you won't know why you should care about Torrent, Cessy, Cole, and the rest.
I really, ridiculously loved this book! That said, I also really like Orson Scott Card Anyway, I liked this one even better than the first one maybe because I couldn't remember all of it?
I giggled, I gasped, and I cried as I read typically not at the same time , and as soon as I put it down I wanted to read it again.
Yes, I know I'm gushing, which means I probably should've Um Yes, I know I'm gushing, which means I probably should've waited a few days to write this!
Sep 09, Dimitar Ivanov rated it did not like it Shelves: , fantasy-and-sci-fi. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. If you want to read about God, American Patriotism, How Conservatism and Fox news are great, Superheroe Solders, Virus , bad Muslims, poor and very "uncivilized" african boy - this is your book.
Boring and predictable final. Oct 22, D. Dutcher rated it did not like it Shelves: science-fiction , bad-novels , immoral-novels.
I am a Christian, and though I tend to be anti-political, I lean towards the right when I do. I say this so this one-star review doesn't get obscured by charges of political bias.
This book not only sucks, it's pretty immoral coming from a religious conservative like Card. In Nigeria, we get an Ebola like pandemic where the less deadly strain still nails thirty percent of people who get it, and the other kills people in six hours.
Cole and his exo-skeleton team are sent to protect Disclaimer. Cole and his exo-skeleton team are sent to protect people from raiders intent on wiping out survivors.
Cecily and Mark come in later to perform Christian acts of mercy on them. Much, much stupidity ensues. Warning: heavy use of spoilers.
I can't avoid them because a lot of my ire is due to plot decisions and themes. The first part of the book is okay.
Some arguing about the ethics of quarrantining all of Africa, carnage by people afraid of the disease, and nothing objectionable.
But then we get to a point in the book where it all goes downhill. Northern Nigerians just killed a village. Cole's team is tracking them, and they notice that some of them are probably infected by the pandemic.
Rather than be horrified and try and get to them fast before they start to infect other people, Cole's buds suggest letting them go precisely so they will infect other people.
After all, they can't kill them out of fear from the disease if they have it too, right? This is bizarre. Never mind the fact that it might be possible to contain the disease, as it seems to transmit by fluid contact or sneezes, or at least slow the infection rate down some.
It's absurd. The problem is this mindset keeps returning. The same special ops catch the disease and make it a point to infect the entire base for the same reasons.
They believe that it's going to spread anyways, so might as well infect people, let some die out, and be immune before any other country's fighting force.
There's no real reason why they would think that the virus could spread beyond the borders, they aren't doctors or immunologists, and they aren't generals or people who have the right to condemn their own allies to die like this.
Cole at least is horrified, but rather than, I don't know, throw them in a brig pending court-martial, he grits his teeth and endures it.
Meanwhile, we have Christians clamoring to come to Africa to pull a Mother Teresa. Look, I'm a Christian, and Christian charity and selflessness can inspire people to make noble and heroic sacrifices for others.
But a bunch of people clamoring to be let in to an area where again, thirty percent of people will die or more is not showing good discernment.
Especially when all you can really do is carry water to people. So in one hand, you have a really naive Christianity to the point of a martyrdom complex, without seriously examining where or not it is one.
There's no reflection on whether or not this is God's will, and the idea is that this somehow revitalizes faith in Christianity.
On the other hand you have this weird thread of "someone needs to make the tough calls, and survival of the fittest" in Cole's actions, and far worse.
There's a lot of stupidity in the book. What's worse, is that the ending continues in this theme. The President actually masterminded this in some unclear way, and the end result will be "a chance to remake the most troubled continent" and "peace on earth.
The death toll from this and the plague will be insane,and a lot of it could have been avoided. Political gamesmanship over a pandemic in a very Darwinian sense, from a Mormon author who on the other hand espouses Christian principles.
Which, he kind of did. Barely any remorse from Cole, either. No agonizing, no memories of fun times flashing in front of his face, etc. There's no reflection on things in general-no agony of spirit over God and the problem of the plague, no real reflection on what duty to country means and if it can remain in the face of a killer problem, and just shallowness all around.
I don't give the immoral-novels tag lightly, but the wtf morality of this book earns it imo. Sep 17, R. See the rest of my review here I wanted to like this book.
I really did. The premise interested me. I was in the mood for outbreaks and deadly viruses. The world handling a crisis.
It was even a timely read with this current Ebola crisis, but man was this heavy on the politics. If you are a right-winged, Christian who loves Fox News and don't believe in Global Warming, you'll like this a lot.
If you like military jargon and vague action scenes, you'll love this novel. If you enjoy a lot of See the rest of my review here I wanted to like this book.
If you enjoy a lot of backstory and too many references to the previous novel which I didn't know existed or read then you'll enjoy this story.
If you enjoy precocious children who are ridiculously wise for their age and who love to banter with Mommy, you'll also like this story I could do this all day.
Fact is, I didn't enjoy any of those aspects of the novel. I read to be entertained, not to be told what's right and what's wrong. This was supposed to be Science Fiction.
It read more like wishful thinking on the author's part. Anyhow, I'd like to believe that every novel has some good in it.
So, I'll concentrate on what I did like. The novel starts with this little African boy whose whole family dies from an outbreak started by a monkey.
I won't say more. Did I already say too much? A captivating start and I kept hoping the kid wouldn't die since he was so interesting.
I also enjoyed learning about the different languages in the various African tribes. The president of the United States wanted to quarantine the whole continent of Africa in order to prevent the virus from reaching the states.
A lot of people found issue with that. As they should. A lot of folks wanted to go to Africa and help the sick.
The whole thing is a PR nightmare for the president and his people. About the president's people, Cole, a military officer, and Cecily, a mom who loves to bake cookies for her five kids and councils the president on the side.
I didn't connect with the mother too much. Not with how she handled her eldest son's, Mark, whole do-good crusade.
But I did like Cole. He was smart and knew what to expect and who not to fully trust. Before being sent to Africa to check out what the deal was, Cole knew the whole operation wasn't right.
As a good soldier, he does what he must, but suffers deadly consequences. Action ensues and they find themselves trapped in a country they can't leave and sick.
The Muslim bad guys are coming to get them! But are they really the bad guys, or are the bad guys 'friend's? The pre-ending was big.
The real ending was anti-climatic. It should have ended several pages before it actually did. Hidden Empire has its moments and all the epidemiology and author knowledge over how outbreaks occur was what made me enjoy it the most.
Enough that I overlooked a lot of the other stuff that bugged me throughout the story. Feb 22, Diana Little rated it it was ok.
Sadly I have to give one of favourite author's a 2 star. Although probably not for the most of the same reasons. When this book originally came out in I'm sure it might have stirred up a bit of filth because of the civil war and rise of the American Empire depicted in the book.
It seems a few readers could not take this book at face value of being a fictitious political "what if" story and Sadly I have to give one of favourite author's a 2 star.
It seems a few readers could not take this book at face value of being a fictitious political "what if" story and thought the whole book was just OSC's extension of his political and religious views.
I personally found it a little sarcastic and I think OSC was playing a bit of devil's advocate on this one.
I think also still putting this out as OSC science-fiction put off a few people, even though this is a sequal I didn't realize that when I started it and did not read the first book.
This is definitely dystopian, modern day political fiction, so be prepared, there are no aliens or magic in this one, and even his philosophical debates were way below par for what we are used to seeing from OSC My big issue with this one, were the characters.
I could not really get into or believe most of them; except Chimna, the opening character of the book, I found endearing.
I found the relationships between collegues and the president forced and really hard to swallow and the interactions between Cecily mother and her son Mark, goading.
I'm curious to how much input the original creators had in the telling of this series, and how much is OSC. We all know he can give us much more.
This story might be cool as a 2 hour movie to waste some time one afternoon, but I am not so sure it translates well into a book series.
I know OSC is a huge supporter of the gaming and movie industries, so I feel maybe he was trying to help out as much as possible with this one.
Regardless, I'm still a huge fan and this won't stop me checking out his other works. Mar 04, James Howald rated it really liked it. When I read Empire I was not impressed.
I was even a little let down. I expect more from Card than writing an adaption novel for a video game release. I thought it was too much of a video game, centered on cool gadgets and scenery.
The characters were fine but were not developed as fully as his usually would be. The story was fine, but didn't spark me to think the way his stories usually do.
He fixed that with the sequel. It's not my favorite Card book, or even in the "must read if you want to When I read Empire I was not impressed.
It's not my favorite Card book, or even in the "must read if you want to know the author" list. But it's a good read.
The questions he raises about what makes a good ruler, when democracy fails or succeeds, etc are well thought out and developed and not answered fully a good thing.
Several side plots also struck me such as the differences in cultures and experiences that drive the way we react to something.
As usual, he does a great job of taking people from two different worlds africa and virginia and using them to help us see that our way of viewing even small things like the way we spice our food may not be the only way.
And for my Chrisitan friends, he does a great job of showing how Christianity has become irrelevant in the world by losing what made it important in the first place.
He places this in a historical context and even addresses it further in his acknowledgments at the end.
Don't worry though, as a writer who considers himself Christian morman he makes sure to take the opportunity of his novel to bring the faith back to relevance.
I may no longer be a practicing Christian, but I can say that the points he raises are one of the primary reasons I left. If I saw a faith that impacted lives like he shows, I'd still be there.
Okay, enough. As always, enjoyed Card better than other authors. But if I had to grade only against his books, this is a solid B. Mar 25, Liana rated it liked it.
I liked it. I'm trying to figure out why. I liked the political-mindedness, the contemporary feel, the fact that no one is really "bad," the thought experiment of what it would be like to have to deal with an epidemic of that size, and I liked that OSC seemed to really know the places he talked about in Africa.
I don't have first-hand knowledge of Bangui or Calabar, but I'm convinced that a they do exist I know about Bangui, but I'm going on faith for Calabar and that the streets are named I liked it.
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