The Killing of Worlds (Succession, #2)
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The Killing of Worlds (Succession #2)

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  995 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Scott Westerfeld, the acclaimed author of Fine Prey, Polymorph, and Evolution's Darling, reached new heights of excitement in last spring's The Risen Empire, and left readers begging for more. Now he comes through with the dazzling payoff in book two of Succession, The Killing of Worlds.

Captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial frigate Lynx is a walking dead man. Unjustly held r...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Tor Books
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Gavin
This was the sequel to The Risen Empire and the conclusion to the Succession duology. It's basically just the second half of the story! As you might imagine this is of a similar quality to the first book and has the same strengths: Good world building, fascinating technological developments, and a story full of interesting moral dilemmas and political intrigue. Unfortunately it retained the same weaknesses: The imbalance between the world building and the techno babel, and the characterization....more
Jonathan Cullen
When I read books in a series, I tend not to go for the next one right away. I like to have a change of pace in between and usually I'm pretty good at remembering what happened in the previous installment so there's no big loss of momentum. Sometimes it's forced...*cough* George R. *cough* R. *cough*…but usually I just like to look forward to something I already know I'm going to like. If you've read my review of Scott Westerfeld's Risen Empire, the first in this duology, you'll know that I love...more
Desinka
This was the second book in the Succession two-book series. I expected The Killing of Worlds to contain the culmination of events and be action packed and engaging. However, I felt the story dragged and I managed to get bored on a number of occasions. I was prepared to attribute The Risen Empire's lack of dialogue and characterisation to my assumption that the first book was focused on world building but things didn't change for the better in the second book. I was overwhelmed by the technical d...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
This sequel to The Risen Empire wraps up the Succession duology. I usually associate this flavour of militaristic, big concept space opera with British authors like Iain M. Banks and Peter F. Hamilton (to name but two) so it’s good to see this work coming from the other side of the Atlantic. The military actions depicted here are really interesting and it’s obvious that quite a bit of thought have gone into them. The same goes for the tech concerned. Westerfeld was clearly thinking out of the bo...more
Miki Habryn
I think I've been conned. I remember reading what I thought was the first past of this series some years ago, but I also remember the grand reveal being exactly the same as in here. Luckily, it was long enough ago that I enjoyed the re-read - though I'd recommend finding the combined two-volume book that I apparently read earlier rather than reading this in isolation, since it really doesn't work half as well standalone.

Also, if you're writing SF, you should take care to check your physics asser...more
Anne
This book was advertised to me as a "space opera," which made me pretty sure I was going to hate it. What the hell does that mean space opera, I hate space shit in general, why am I reading this.

Well, the answer was because the writing style is really fucking amazing and basically all of the characters are fascinating and perfect. That's why.

My biggest issue with both The Risen Empire and The Killing of Worlds (which I'm rating and reviewing as a unit because it makes more sense to me that way)...more
Peter
I just lost my first review because of some kind of error in saving it, and I am very frustrated because it was one of my longer reviews. Anyway, this is the sequel to The Risen Empire, but really it's the second half of a longer work that was split in two to meet retailer demands.

It starts after a cliffhanger, and much of the first bit is an extended battle sequence, which is pretty good as these things go... lots of tense moments, surprising attacks and counter-moves, and some cool ideas. I d...more
Xan
Este libro es la continuación de El imperio elevado, en la que una parte de la Humanidad ha abrazado a las inteligencias artificiales como seres superiores, los Rix, y otra parte los combate mientras que proclama que ha acabado con la muerte, el Imperio Elevado. No es posible leer los dos por separado porque continua la acción donde acaba el primer libro, es en realidad una única novela.
No puedo decir que no me guste, o que lo que propone (la vida eterna gracias a un simbionte alienígena o una...more
Kaethe
I enjoyed the battles and tactics enormously, which is still kind of surprising to me. Apparently, His Majesty's Dragon brought me into the naval-battle fold.

I also loved the political battle and tactics going on back at Home.

I loved the commando and the savant and their relationship.

But even more, I loved with the fiery passion of a thousand suns the two AIs, Alexander and House.

The mystery aspect is well drawn-out, everyone behaves plausibly, and all the interactions between characters make th...more
Cassy
This was book two of Scott Westerfeld's Successions series and it was just as enjoyable as the first one was. This one was a lot more action packed than the first one was and we learn a lot more about the empire in this book.

The first half of this book is almost strictly battle. It's the Rix commander that escaped in book one trying to help take down the empire. She is making her way across Legis VI to try and do Alexandar's bidding. I like it because Westerfeld really shows you a personal side...more
Jack
Sep 28, 2009 Jack rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
The first third of the book is titled "Space Battle" and it is, for the most part. Westerfeld does some things well - his description of smart machines encountering one another at extremely high velocity seems very plausible (given the circumstances and capabilities he describes, that is). But to interweave one narrative that's measured in fractions of a second with others that are at human speeds was jarring - as if he described a bomb igniting from the bomb's POV, then jumped to a discussion a...more
Melanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
Here's what I have got to say: If you haven't read Scott Westerfeld yet, make that a priority STAT. Every single Westerfeld book I have read, I have loved.

Uglies (Uglies, #1) by Scott Westerfeld Pretties (Uglies, #2) by Scott Westerfeld Specials (Uglies, #3) by Scott Westerfeld Extras (Uglies, #4) by Scott Westerfeld

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

Peeps (Peeps, #1) by Scott Westerfeld The Last Days (Peeps, #2) by Scott Westerfeld

The Risen Empire (Succession, #1) by Scott Westerfeld The Killing of Worlds (Succession, #2) by Scott Westerfeld

[bookcover:Zombies Vs. Unic 7171748 orns]<-One short story of his in here.

^I love all those books.
Ethan I. Solomon
I can't stress enough how close this book came to having five stars, which to me is pretty much a perfect book. (Side Note: I think Goodreads should have a 10 star system, there's very little room for subtle ratings with only 5)

As in the first book, the technological and social aspects are unparalleled in this book. The cover offers a review saying that it was a modern Asimov or Frank Herbert type book, but I honestly think that in those two aspects he actually in many ways surpasses them. Here...more
Kristin
This is book two of the Risen Empire series. We read book one for January's book group meeting. Three of us thought it was super cool - nanotechnology! space battles! living dead! Basically, your classic space opera. One of us felt it was a thinly disguised romance.

In Killing of Worlds we pick right up with Captain Zai engaging the Empire's dread enemy, the Rix. It is his mission to stop at all costs the compound mind on Legis XV from communicating with that ship. The War Council back on the Em...more
Daniel Roy
If you read 'The Risen Empire' and are wondering whether you should read 'The Killing of Worlds', then what the heck is the problem with you? Yes, of course you should read it! Don't you want to know what happens to Laurent Zai and his crew? Sheesh.

If you haven't read 'The Risen Empire', and are wondering whether the conclusion of the Succession 2-part series is worth it, then I'm happy to report that it is. It's hard to match the sheer adrenaline and intensity of the opening of 'The Risen Empir...more
Phoenixfalls
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...more
Nicolas
Deuxième et dernier tome d’une fresque incroyable, ce roman reprend les promesse du premier tome là où elles avaient été laissées, et les honore de la plus belle des manières.

En effet, le premier tome nous promettait de la violence, de la trahison, de la basse besogne politique, mais aussi (et surtout) des personnages plus grands que nature, des dilemnes cornelliens, et de l’épique à tous les étages.

Et j’ai été servi dans tous ces domaines. La partie la plus évidente, c’est la violence, la guerr...more
Onefinemess

This book (and the one it follows) have one of the longest space battles ever. Longest in the sense of how much of the book they occupy, not how long the battles actually last. I think it was like half the last book and over half of this book. Which is fine - it was decently enough done. I just found it a little surprising I guess - maybe I'm used to multiple battles instead of single instances. *shrug*

On the whole, these books felt very... TV or movie-ish, if you catch my drift. The pacing and...more
John
A Fine Space Opera With Richly Drawn Characters Courtesy of Scott Westerfeld

“The Killing of Worlds: Book Two of Succession” is one of the best examples of early 21st Century space opera science fiction I am aware of, light years ahead of popular works like David Weber’s “Honor Harrington” series with regards to the quality of the writing and of its protagonists. Scott Westerfeld has written some of the best space battles I’ve come across, that are most admirable for their excellent plotting and...more
Patrick
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...more
Bryan
"The Killing of Worlds' is pretty good, although not quite at the level of excitement and intensity of its predecessor, "The Risen Empire". A recurring theme of any sci-fi book or series is that it's really hard to make the ending live up to expectations. In this case, both books are underpinned by a terrible secret that has held the Empire together for centuries. When we finally find out the secret, it just isn't that amazing or shocking.



But the ending aside, this was a good, compelling read....more
Mei
It's hard for me to review books, I think. Mostly because I finish reading them late at night (yes, 10pm is late at night for me) when my brain is tired and also because I am one of those people who hate spoilers of any sort, and I never figure out what counts as a spoiler for most people and what doesn't (for me anything that reveals ANYTHING is a spoiler).

I found the entire series elegant and well put together. I very briefly found some of the characterization forced, but it was subsumed by la...more
Lona
The story itself could be pretty good if it weren't shadowed by the writer's ridiculous need to detail every little thing. The story drones on and on about things that really just don't matter to the story as a whole. I got through the first book, ending in frustration at the lack of any decent closure and began the second only to find yet another tormenting drawn out beginning to the next book. It seems as though this book has become even worse in torment, keeping the reader thirsting for answe...more
Billie
My only complaint with the first book was the thought that Westerfeld's adult books weren't the breezy page-turners that his YA books were, but by the second book, I couldn't put it down. Still not breezy, but page-turny enough. Once again, I appreciate the multitude of significant female characters.
Sara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dale (Aus)
Found this a better book than the first, The switching between characters was a little confusing at times but the overall impression I got was a story that I wanted to continue and get to the end, Identify the secret. It seems this was a platform for more books, but none came?
Wealhtheow
As the sequel to The Risen Empire, this book deals with the aftermath of the battles in the first, although there is one skirmish in space that stands out. In The Killing of Worlds, the emphasis is a little more on the political and personal side, which I loved. The last few scenes are particularly wonderful. Westerfeld reads a bit like Nancy Kress; he's really good at combining innovative yet realistic science with multi-faceted, interesting characters and believable societies. I was particular...more
Cynthia
The ending fell a little flat, but overall the story was well written and very exciting. The author managed once again to keep the characters believable and to not let them be overshadowed by the technology.
Wendy
Well, I didn't like this one as much as the first, and I'm not even entirely sure why I was so disappointed. The Big Secret that is finally revealed is not as galaxy-shattering as it was set up to be. There wasn't as much of the shifting perspectives and glimpses into the past that kept me so fascinated in the first part of the story. And while it was still chock full of action, I just started to get tired of it. Left some loose ends, too, probably leaving room to write more. And I would probabl...more
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Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best know for the Uglies and Leviathan series, and his next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

His book Evolution's Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation f...more
More about Scott Westerfeld...
Uglies (Uglies, #1) Pretties (Uglies, #2) Specials (Uglies, #3) Extras (Uglies, #4) Leviathan (Leviathan, #1)

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