Customer Reviews for

The Killing of Worlds (Succession Series #2)

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Exactly as good as The Risen Empire

    As I mentioned in my review of The Risen Empire, this isn't really a sequel -- it's merely the second half of the story, which was broken up for publishing reasons. Unfortunately, it suffers more from this break-up than most novels do, because as far as I can tell Westerfeld did nothing to make the transition more seamless -- the epilogue of The Risen Empire is the prologue of The Killing of Worlds and otherwise the story just jumps right back into the action where it left off.

    Were the books in one volume (like, say the omnibus edition the Science Fiction Book Club put out) I doubt I would have even noticed when one stopped and the other started. However, I was reading the mass market Tor editions, and even though I picked up The Killing of Worlds the very next day, I was already a little out of the rhythm of the story. Everyone's decisions felt too weighted, too fraught with dire import for what my subconscious brain insisted (based on the evidence in my hands) was the start of a plot arc. The Risen Empire started with a plot-bang, a frenetic action sequence, and that worked wonderfully because my subconscious likes that sort of opening to a story; The Killing of Worlds started with an emotional-bang, a horrified Nara Oxham realizing the extent to which the Emperor will go to eliminate an embarassment and protect a secret, and that just doesn't work for my subconscious because at the beginning of a story that sort of hand-wringing doesn't feel deserved.

    Clearly, it is deserved because of all that went on in The Risen Empire, but the physical mechanics of turning the pages when so few were in my left hand and so many were in my right just threw me out of things.

    Once past that initial adjustment phase, however, The Killing of Worlds is exactly as good as The Risen Empire. The stakes spiral ever higher, complications arise, and no seeming victory is ever safe. The heart of the story is still the snippets from ten years earlier (Imperial Absolute); I particularly loved the section where Nara and Laurent went sledding. The pacing is sure and the climax wonderful, as all the disparate elements come back into play forging a resolution that fits just right, no matter how deeply you press it looking for holes. This is a near-perfect story, one I am sure I will return to again and again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    Enjoyed it

    Looking forward to a potential sequel (?) to Killing of Worlds.

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  • Posted March 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is the second book in the Succession series, and it lives u

    This is the second book in the Succession series, and it lives up to the promise of the first, The Risen Empire. I recall seeing someplace that Scott Westerfeld only made this a series at the behest of the US publisher, which probably explains how thoroughly tied together the two novels are.

    In The Killing of Worlds, we start immediately where The Risen Empire ended. Captain Laurent Zai and his crew aboard the Lynx are engaging with a Rix battlecruiser in the Legis system, and the expectation of not only the Zai and the crew but also the Emperor and the War Council back on the planet Home is that it is a suicide mission.

    Westerfeld has a delightful way of writing quite technical descriptions while maintaining a sense of movement forward, and he does this time and again. The novel itself shifts from view point to view point. Sometimes you are with Zai. Others with Executive Officer Katherie Hobbes. Or Rix commando Herd. The Rix compound mind Alexander. And so on.

    The novel's ultimate plot line is simple: Battle, results. Another battle. Results. Secret revealed. But the simplicity of the plot in no way minimizes the success the novel. In fact, it probably assisted it, for the characters are wonderfully constructed, even the machine characters of the drones that fight the first wave of the battle. We get to bask in a richly constructed world whose full depths lay behind and as foundations to the novel. I consider this a good thing in a science fiction book when the history, the cultures, etc., live off the page and we, the reader, get only partial information. Westerfeld has definitely done that.

    And while the secret is revealed and proves cataclysmic, a theme of love emerges across the story. In all the science fiction, in all the wonderfully described scenes of technology and action and politics, much of the motivation of Zai and Senator Oxham is driven by love. And we got that in the first novel, but this is then given fresh life by the development of another love story that works against the expectations set in The Risen Empire.

    My one complaint (spoiler in this paragraph) is that the ships heading towards the Lynx at the end seemed unwrapped up. Granted, they are two years out and much about this story remains open at the end, I felt, for some reason, that those ships needed some "closing." But this is but a minor complain.

    To get the most out of The Killing of Worlds, one must read The Risen Empire. Westerfeld wrote these two books as one, and readers should approach it that way.

    Wonderfully written and engaging.

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  • Posted November 11, 2012

    No words for how AWESOME this is. I honestly think that the Rise

    No words for how AWESOME this is.
    I honestly think that the Risen Empire and The Killing of Words are THE BEST books I've ever read!
    The story is so original, the Characters so vivid, the plot so mind grabbing and the Pace is just superb! not slow at all, but not so fast fast that questions go unanswered.
    If you read the Risen Empire, you MUST get the Killing of words bc, in my opinion, they one ONE book.
    Now I use these books to measure all other sic-fi books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2004

    Great!!!!!

    I luved this book even though the 1st one is much better I recommend it 2 fans of Scott westerfeld.

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    Posted March 31, 2012

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