Warner Aspect, July, 2002.
Hardcover, 453 pages.
Kevin Anderson is best known for his bestselling books in the Dune, Star Wars and X-Files series. With the launch of this new series, he is sure to become better known for his own, original fiction, such as the well-received Captain Nemo. In the 25th century, humans have colonized the stars, with the help of the advanced alien race known as the Ildirans. The only other race humans have encountered is the long-extinct Klikiss, an insectoid race which mysteriously vanished, leaving behind advanced robots and some amazing architectural ruins. Archeologists Louis and Margaret Colicos have dedicated their lives to studying these ruins, and finally decipher some of the Klikiss technology. They convince Earth's government to use the technology to turn a gas giant planet into a small sun in order to make the nearby moons habitable. But, unknown to the humans, the gas giant had life forms inside of it -- them advanced and enigmatic Hydrogues, who immediately declare war on all humans after the inadvertent destruction of one of their worlds and millions of their people. Now humanity is in a fight for its very existence with an enemy which has far superior technology.
In so many of the new doorstopper-sized fantasy and SF novels, authors spend so much times setting up the background that the reader has often nodded off before any of the action starts. Anderson, a pro, never makes such mistakes. He seamlessly weaves vivid characterization into a thought-provoking and action-packed plot, which grabs the reader from the very first page. From the independent Roamers, who mine the crucial ekti from gas giants to meet the energy needs of civilization, to the fantastic palaces of the Ildirans, to the current political machinations of Earth's ruling powers, Anderson's imagined future is powerful in scope and well-imagined, and he uses it as a backdrop to explore some very interesting themes about humanity and its place in the cosmos.
Hidden Empire is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the December - January, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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