Customer Reviews for

Empire (Orson Scott Card's Empire Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 98 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(14)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

A cautionary futuristic science fiction thriller

The two extremes in the USA have reached a point of hatred that threatens the fiber of the country. Neither extremist group wants to compromise because they believe that makes them seem weak. The vast center prefers harmony, but they are considered expendable pawns by...
The two extremes in the USA have reached a point of hatred that threatens the fiber of the country. Neither extremist group wants to compromise because they believe that makes them seem weak. The vast center prefers harmony, but they are considered expendable pawns by the right and the left who each assume the mantle of righteousness. In this divisive world of hate, the final blows occur almost simultaneously. Terrorists kill the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense, and other VIPs leaving a chaotic nation without leaders. The right blames the left for being soft on Al Qaeda the Left blames the Right for failing to protect the infrastructure.------------- Major Reuben Malich was near White House when the rocket attack killed POTUS, and the Defense Secretary. Initially considered a hero for saving lives, soon Rube is accused of carrying out the assassination. With his new assistant Captain ┬┐Cole┬┐ Coleman and a few other trusted aides, Rube investigates and soon believes the recent assassinations is the first stage in a coup to turn America into a world dominating empire to outlast the five centuries of Rome. The 'Progressive Restoration' has begun as the second American Civil War has exploded into open hostilities.----------------- Extrapolating from the hatred that has divided the country, Orson Scott Card provides a cautionary futuristic science fiction thriller. The war seems a plausible outcome though the recent election controlled by the middle brings new hope that maybe we can get along. Readers will appreciate this powerful military thriller yet extremists on both sides will condemn Mr. Card for failing to take their opinion while missing the whole point of this strong thriller that either extreme could destroy the values of this country with their no compromise idealism.--------- Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Disappointment abound

Like many avid readers of science fiction, I enjoyed Ender's Game. In fact, I enjoyed nearly everything Card has written in the Enderverse. But this work was appalling. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I subscribed to Mr. Card's political standpoints, but I do...
Like many avid readers of science fiction, I enjoyed Ender's Game. In fact, I enjoyed nearly everything Card has written in the Enderverse. But this work was appalling. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I subscribed to Mr. Card's political standpoints, but I do not.

It's unfortunate that such a well loved author would alienate such an important segment of his readership. I may be wrong, but I assumed most people who loved science fiction were more progressive than not. And this book is a demonization of progressives.

I would have liked it better had Mr. Card used a pseudonym for this work, so honest lovers of science fiction, and not political commentary, would know to steer clear.

And just so everyone knows, it brings me no pleasure to write a bad review for an author who once captured my imagination so completely.

Ender's Game is still my favorite book.

posted by Irishspartan1775 on February 23, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 10 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Disappointment abound

    Like many avid readers of science fiction, I enjoyed Ender's Game. In fact, I enjoyed nearly everything Card has written in the Enderverse. But this work was appalling. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I subscribed to Mr. Card's political standpoints, but I do not.

    It's unfortunate that such a well loved author would alienate such an important segment of his readership. I may be wrong, but I assumed most people who loved science fiction were more progressive than not. And this book is a demonization of progressives.

    I would have liked it better had Mr. Card used a pseudonym for this work, so honest lovers of science fiction, and not political commentary, would know to steer clear.

    And just so everyone knows, it brings me no pleasure to write a bad review for an author who once captured my imagination so completely.

    Ender's Game is still my favorite book.

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2008

    Stay Away

    I've long know that Card is a conservative, but his political views never seemed to impinge on his fine, thoughtful, and exciting writing before this book. Not only is the writing simplistic and the main characters stereotypical and not fleshed out, but the rightwing slant in a book purportedly about the moderate majority stopping a left/right civil war is so heavy handed it is far more than a distraction.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    Eve of Destruction

    The pacing isn't bad, but the characters are rather thinly drawn and never quite stir within us the care and concern for them that Card's Ender books accomplish. This may be the inevitable result of this story beginning and resolving in such a short span of time-- another flaw. There is nothing here about the build up of the national mood, the difficulties, the thinking and feeling on both sides there's no prelude. This may have functioned better as a short story. At the very least it could have benefited from a good deal of preliminary material, as I would expect a book about a second American civil war would have. Without a proper prelude, the suspense is muted, and Card relies too much on the average reader's knowledge of somewhat obscure allusions and references within politics and the popular culture to drive the story forward. Inexplicably, Card almost completely ignores the role that the media would have in such a conflagration. The role the media have within our culture must be told when looking over the historical precipice. In this story, the media landscape is strikingly barren. This is not to say there isn't a surprise or two. But this action-thriller will be less than satisfying to most. Card is a great writer. But I think the story of the culture wars leading to a second American civil war could be better presented, perhaps, by someone else. Some conservatives may like this book. But liberals will howl about its 'unfair and unbalanced' approach to some of the most critical issues and people of our day.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    This book started so promising ... There is a lot to be liked in

    This book started so promising ... There is a lot to be liked in its provocative premise - the US dysfunctional democracy is sputtering and is about to stall, a situation superficially parallel to the circumstances that eventually caused the Roman Republic to become the Roman Empire. But right around the middle the book completely falls apart. Card's far right beliefs go into full bloom and the story becomes ludicrous. All those East and West Coast Facebook liberals decide to abandon their coffee shops to done Storm Trooper armor, climb into AT-STs and speeders and take over the US .... I kid you not. If you ever wandered how those poor saps from the Return of the Jedi would do against the US military, here's your chance. Naturally, since it took about a hundred furry little critters with stone age technology to kick their butts in the movie, it only takes a squad of the Special Forces badasses to accomplish the same. Objectively, it is far more reasonable to believe that any civil conflict would be started by the plutocrats with a lot at stake (Alec, etc.), but the US has been there before in the beginning of the 20th century, and is likely is in the middle of a similar cycle.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2007

    Way below his usual quality

    A long-term Card fanatic, I was sorely disappointed in this book. Even accepting the author's explanation that he is non-partisan and anti both the extreme Left and Right this book was a real letdown. Card is a great writer but this book apes the worst of the political adventure, chase 'em, shoot em up, genre. As one example: contrast what he espouses in this book with what he writes about, and how wonderfully he does it, in 'Speaker for the Dead.'

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Series Starter Not Worth $25

    The first third of the book is very good although some may be disappointed to know where the story is going so soon. The middle part is too Rambo and the finish is only a completion of what the reader has already figured out and then a set-up for a sequel. Obviously this is viewed as the start of a series, but nowhere in the jacket is the reader told this. I expected a fully contained story and all I got was a prologue. Don't buy the hardback, but the paperback might be worth your time. You know all those times when you ask yourself, 'Why doesn't the character do this completely obvious thing that any logical person would do?' Well, Card has his characters do those things and that's why the first third of the book is very enjoyable. Card's justification for the easy ascent of the rebel faction is too pat and the military response by special operations sounds unprofessional which makes the middle part sound as if it was written by someone else or after a long hiatus or at the direction of someone else who said things had to be that way. In the end, the characters figure out what the reader has known since nearly the beginning, but Card doesn't have his characters do what is logical, instead leaving the book at the start of the real story. I felt cheated out of my money. I don't plan to buy any of the sequels because I don't like getting suckered into series, but if the story of manipulation of the political system with Rambo characters mixing it up while spouting snarky one-liners is your bag then you may enjoy this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    A derivative of 24, the Unit and Tom Clancy

    Orson Scott Card creates a made for television (at least for Fox) conspiracy shoot¿em up that would give Jack Bauer a head ache. The action and dialog are right out of the Unit, the believability is not there. The premise is a convoluted coup that is suppose to move America out of its outmoded democracy ¿phase¿ into something more, well actually less permissive. Our heroes are a gaggle of Unit-esque special forces types who never miss, tire or fail to perform miraculous feats of rescue. If reading TV is your thing then heaven awaits you in this novel. The story unfolds with the assassination of our beloved President, VP and Secretary of Defense by evil (mid eastern (what else)) terrorists. It seems somebody inside the white House was in collusion with them and of course a frame up is set in motion for our Hero, a Tom Clancy derivative Jack Ryan intellectual warrior and pillar of morality clone. Then the plot thickens, our hero and his new trusty sidekick just happen to go to New York to visit Ground Zero for some emotional catharsis and are set upon by robot tanks running around on legs. Sort of caught me by surprise, but as we know, there are no surprises in the Big Apple. The Robots are part of yet another plot to stage left wing (Al Gore style) revolution. New York City and Vermont sort of secede in the face of the robot tree huggers. Our Heroes rally New York¿s finest in a shoot out at the Holland Tunnel and the plot thickens. I won¿t tell you who gets killed off or any more details except there are some James Bond chase scenes and of course the two man assault on the bad guys under water fortified robot factory. And who is the arch villain, yet another clone, this one of the evil left winger George Soros with an anagram name for a clue. Orson Scott Card dropped the ball on this made for right wing television derivative story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1