Hidden Empire (The Saga of Seven Suns, #1)
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Hidden Empire (The Saga of Seven Suns #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  4,184 ratings  ·  322 reviews
Having colonized other worlds, humans are certain the galaxy is theirs for the taking. But they soon discover the horrifying price of their arrogance when a scientific experiment awakens the wrath of the previously unknown Hydrogues and begins a war.
Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Orbit (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Sven
A sprawling space opera. Big cast of characters, colonization of other planets, alien civilizations, FTL travel and space battles. Kevin J Anderson weaves a story of epic proportions and scope, using broad strokes to keep the plot moving forward, never allowing the multiple POVs and story arcs to get bogged down in too much detail or get sidetracked into tangents of spontaneous creativity (I’m looking at you again Hamilton).

Speaking of other scifi writers, I’m currently reading Alastair Reynold...more
The beginning of a sprawling, seven-volume space opera. It's massive, but it's important to note that Anderson planned the entire story out ahead of time, and that the entire series is complete. It's not one of those series that just keeps growing because the author wants to milk the franchise.

The first volume introduces a lot of characters and factions (seven or eight factions so far I believe). It can be tough to wrap your head around, but the story is pretty compelling.

I'm going to compare th...more
Feb 13, 2008 Felicia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers who want a sci-fi infusion
Shelves: sci-fi
This series is the closest equivalent to an epic fantasy series in Sci-Fi form that I've read. I really really love it. The characters are really interestingly drawn, the worlds are interesting, the species are intriguing, I can't recommend it enough for the fantasy lover looking to cross over. It's a gentle transition. :)
I was in the mood for a good space opera and this sounded good. It is the first book in a long series and there seemed to be plenty of good comments on itby well-known authors inside the cover. I rarely let such one line reccommendations influence me and now I remember why.

Many of these reviwes describe the book as "richly detailed", others mentioning that the characters are "well drawn" or "complex". No one lied. It is richly detailed - the characters, the aliens, the planets, the spcaeships e...more
Hidden Empire is an ok book. It’s not a great book. It’s just ok.

The back cover is filled with praise for the book from other authors. One such blurb reads this way:

“Anderson tells his story on an epic scale. It’s a tightly plotted, fast-moving adventure with all the right ingredients: cool aliens, clever technology, intrigue, and secrets, a little romance, a lot of action, and enough twists and turns to keep you asking for more.”

While it is true that the book contains all of these ingredient...more
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Story: 3.5/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn, clever, thought provoking

I read this book years and gave it two stars, i just couldn’t get into it. So it was with some trepidation that I started again. A friend of mine was convinced that I would like this series. He recently told me to stick with Alistair Reynolds when I was on the verge of giving up and now I am a Reynolds fan. So, I tried this one again and I enjoyed it! Why? What is the differenc...more
D. B.
Anderson is a hack, a shit writer writing for a genre that only begets shit writing. Perhaps the man just likes to write like some people like to act, no matter the level of the outcome. Since Anderson is so prolific(he's been a cohort in several Star Wars and Dune novels), a certain percentage of his output logically has to be crap.

Hidden Empire is the first of seven books, and like most multi-volume canons, acts as an introduction to characters and plot points and conflicts. And like a certain...more
Rich Taylor
I picked up Kevin Anderson's series because 1) I love Dune and 2) I really enjoyed the non Frank Herbert prequels to Dune which Kevin co-wrote with someone who's last name was Herbert. I have always enjoyed the story and intricate interplay of plots, sub plots and intrigues that made up the Dune story. The Saga of Seven Suns is an ambitious series that is based on the same premise; a backdrop of space where the story is much more about the people and aliens that make up the various worlds and no...more
661 pages of space opera with all the ingredients readers are used to find in this genre: archaeological mysteries, impressive technology, exotic rogues, ancient civilizations and new alien menace. Yet this novel failed to grasp my interest. I found that everything was too predictable: the fate of Raymond Aguerra, the secret of the Klikiss robots, the discoveries made by the Colicos archaeologists. A trait that is not helped when most sections are developed in a bland manner, taking far too many...more
Thought I'd give KJA another chance. Opens with an experiment to ignite a gas giant to create an artificial sun. Mysterious objects are seen departing the conflagration. Then 'mysterious' attacks begin to take place on other human enterprises in and around other gas giants. Everyone is completely baffled as to what can be motivating these attacks. For 500 pages. Then KJA drops the shocker. It was burning their gas giant that pissed the gas giant guys off! We started the war!! Oh, dear. Shocking....more
Mike (the Paladin)
I really enjoyed this book. I've read it and the second while the third sits on my shelf waiting. I date back to the 60s and have read both good "space opera' and bad "space opera" this is good space opera. I tend to like what is called "Military Science Fiction" (though I've read some really bad examples of that). This one while it hits some slow spots here and there builds a good story.
Andrew Riley
This is the first book of Anderson's Saga. In total, the hint's in the name, this runs out to seven books. So if you're looking for galaxy spanning light entertainment that'll take a while to get through you've come to the right place.

The best advice I can give you is to try the library for this first in the series to see if you want to invest in the whole saga. The books are written in very short chapters, each flicking to a different character separated by vast distances and on occasion large...more
Martin Milhomme
I can't wait to read the next book. Great characters, great action, great pacing. Another reason why Kevin J Anderson is one of my favorites. Highly recommended for those who love space opera.
Awesome book. It reminds me of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Triology/ Star Wars, in that the setting is an entire galaxy run mostly by one single man. You've got robots, space travel, cool aliens, and "green priests" who are linked through instant telepathy across the galaxy.

The first half of the book is a little slow as the author has to introduce all the important people and places, and tell the history or "how it all got to this point".

Then the plot thickens and all is not so rosy as the first h...more
Per Gunnar
This is indeed a large and very well written book. Unfortunately, after having read it I do not get the satisfied feeling that I would have expected. Instead I get a feeling that there was too much text and too little actual story. Actually it is not that there is no story. There is a lot of it in fact. But the author painstakingly goes on and on with details, interactions between people etc. etc. and nothing really happens for long periods of time. The entire book is more or less just an introd...more
There are so many great ideas in this book, from turning gas giants into stars with wormholes to a huge thinking network of trees that can be tapped into by humans who gain the ability to photosynthesize light. There are interesting characters, fascinating races, and fantastic clashes between different ideologies. With all this material, it's too bad this book is utterly unreadable.

It started off strong, cycling through viewpoints of different characters in the moments before a gas giant was con...more
I picked this up because of all the praise on the back cover (ok, well I picked it up because one of the review snippets said it was "bursting with incidents" which, to me, seemed the book equivalent of saying a rom com is "the funniest movie of the year!" I had low expectations. I was still disappointed).

Mostly, I found this book blah. The prose is frequently patronising. If characterisation is done well I shouldn't need to be constantly reminded that someone was doing something "intelligently...more
Ken T
I picked up an audio recording of this book simply because of the narrator - John Guidall. I found the story tolerable, but there are several plot holes that left me staring incredulously at my car's cd player. Overall I would have to say that the premise of the book - awakening the ire of an ancient race - was intriguing, but the execution was poor. Anderson has a few interesting ideas - the defunct Klickess (sp?) Empire was one - but his idea of an interstellar human society and the other alie...more
Kevin J Anderson gets a bad rap from the Star Wars books he wrote. Many consider them to be the worst books in the entire franchise. I was hoping that either he had improved since then, or that somehow the Star Wars books were just an aberration and here he is writing a truly epic science-fiction saga. But reading this book, I am reminded why I hated his other books and thought he was such a poor writer in the first place.

This book is almost unreadable. It's infodump after infodump. Between ever...more
I'm torn on whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. The story is entertaining, the writing is pretty standard. Anderson's world was well developed. The main complaint I had was all the different perspectives. I don't mind multiple perspectives but there were so many new ones in this book my head was spinning. It made the book seem overly bulky. Entire chapters had almost no point. It was too difficult to tell all the perspectives apart. Furthermore, some of the characters lacked so much depth an...more
Kari Metzger
I'm going with ok on this book. I've read lots of sci-fi, and this simply doesn't cut it in comparison to that. I kept waiting for the plot to pick up, become more imaginative, and generally more interesting, but it never did! It's a huge book to begin with (over 600 pages), and for that kind of commitment, I want it to be a real page turner, but there were so many plot lines running, it seemed like we couldn't really get involved with any of them. IMHO, the author/editor should have cut the sto...more
Jan 25, 2008 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was a lot of fun to read. Very exciting. This is the first book in a series of seven. The seventh one doesn't come out until July. I realy don't like sci-fi but Anna talked me into it as she has read the first six and is eagerly awaiting the seventh. I resisted at first but then since I am the boss everywhere EXCEPT at home I had no choice. She was right...she's always right. This is a big book and I can't believe how fast I ripped through it. Those who know me know that I only read on...more
1.5/5 - Did Not Finish

Luckily I grabbed this off the library shelves and didn't expect much.

Ding ding. I was right.


This is weak writing -- not bad, but weak; which just might be worse. I can't believe it was published. It's the worst kind of sci-fi pulp out there, and is why new people can't get into science fiction space opera or stay the hell away from the genre entirely! If your first foray into the science fiction is with tripe like this, no wonder people think...more
Steven Stennett
I have read all of the series of the saga of the seven suns over a four year period. And all I really want to say is that the delivery is dense, dense in the way that there are a lot of charrctors, that span a protracted time frame, and a lot happens within the story telling.

This is not a bad thing, in a away that could be the definition and the premiss of space opera, but you do end up if that way inclined, end up needing to make notes concerning the story telling so that you do not lose the t...more
A very interesting scifi with some unique and intrigueing concepts. Reads like the background fluff of a table-top game with enough vying factions and races to keep the conflict going while the structure is concise and well-paced at the same time. BIG books, and NOT fast reads for me, but most of the focal characters are very interesting and the concepts and storyline advances and grows nicely as the book proceeds. Looking forward to the next one.
John Hillman
I found this book listed in the Best Science Fiction Series list here on Goodreads. I hadn't heard of either the author or the series before, but figured I'd give it a spin.

The writing is pedestrian, at best, plodding and stilted most of the time. Dialogue is forced, situations are contrived; easily one-third of the chapters are unnecessary to the main plot yet lack the depth and color to be sub-plots. Some of the technologies are mildly interesting. Telink and thism hold interesting possibilit...more
Mark Musante
The writing seemed far too simplistic. The characters were thinly drawn, and the universe too sparse to get into. When building universes, they must be thick and meaty, and Anderson seems to believe that the key to world-building is adding extra adjectives in. This book did not work for me and I gave up after about 50 pages or so. Two stars instead of one due to the fact that the writing was competent.
Jun 22, 2014 Brad rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone desperate for a SF book to read
The biggest threat to humans (and Ildirans) is not a super-advanced alien race. Rather it is their stupidity. The story is driven by characters and societies that are incompetent. Apparently in an age of Faster Than Light travel all "intelligent" beings are morons.
I didn't have a problem with the sci-fi aspects of this novel. Anderson lays out his ideas but doesn't waste time bolstering them up with a lot of explaination or fancy sounding words. The stripped down story behind Hidden Empire is...more
Pirate King
I liked the short chapters.

I didn't like the fact that a lot of the plot was telegraphed. I don't know how precisely but it managed to do it. In some books when there is a sense of growing dread then telegraphing is a good thing. Perhaps it was the plethora of short chapters that didn't allow for this to grow.

It is also far too long.
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Saga of Shadows 2 18 Jul 04, 2013 07:24PM  
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Pseudonyms: Gabriel Mesta, K.J. Anderson

He has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and is the co-author of the Dune prequels. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. He has also written several comic books including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in coll...more
More about Kevin J. Anderson...
Jedi Search (Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Trilogy, #1) Dark Apprentice (Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Trilogy, #2) Champions of the Force (Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Trilogy, #3) Blood Lite (Hellchaser, #0.5) Darksaber (Star Wars)

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