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Hidden Empire (Empire #2)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  2,652 ratings  ·  286 reviews
Bestselling writer Orson Scott Card returns to the near-future world created for Empire - a world where the international power of the United States has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home have been stressed to the breaking point.

When the American dream shatters into violence, who can hold the people and the government together?

Now a new threat has appeared in Afri
Mass Market Paperback, 456 pages
Published January 2011 by Tor Books (first published December 2009)
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I really enjoyed this continuation several years after the first book. I'd suggest reading the other book first, but you don't have to. Card did fill in just enough that you wouldn't be lost, but he didn't recap in detail, thankfully. This short (only these 2 books so far) series is based on a concept that was being developed for a video game (now on Xbox, although with a different name) & comics. Card just took the basic idea & developed these novels. As usual, his afterword (which he r ...more
May 09, 2010 Peter rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
The label on the spine says "SCIENCE FICTION", but "FANTASY" would have been more accurate. "RIGHT-WING FANTASY" would have been the most accurate of all.

Global warming is a lie, and even liberals know it in their heart of hearts. Guantanamo is relatively "nice". Progressives conspired against America, and were roundly defeated by patriotic red-state forces. Fox News is the only channel that even occasionally tells the truth. A Rush Limbaugh analog is a brave, noble, and lovable hero.

Three thoug
Tonight's edition of "I Read Them So You Don't Have To": Hidden Empire, Orson Scott Card.

Card is a serviceable storyteller, as seen by earlier books, but if you read his Worldwatch columns, this is pretty much the fictionalized version of those, topped with a liberal dose of what my SO calls Risk fanfic. If you're a Card purist or can stand the occasional diversions into politics and religion that mark current Card books, go ahead and read. Otherwise, probably it's best to avoid, for your blood
In some ways I sort of feel sorry for Orson Scott Card. He went through a period of genious as a relatively young man when he wrote Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, and it has been all downhill from there. I still like the science fiction that he writes and I still try to read everything else he writes but his new stuff just doesn't have the originality that used to define his writing. It feels like he pumps out a book when he needs money.
Mary Frances
These Empire books strain my admiration for Card. He does a poor job of being balanced and presenting a truly even view of opposing world views. His clear disdain for climate change theories slips in regularly, as does his stereotyped view of liberals as just Marxists who are too stupid to know they are Marxists. Given the humane and loving views that underpin and add richness to the best of the Ender novels, this limited view of those who disagree with him politically is disturbing and a big di ...more
I read this book because I read the first in the series (Empire) and I thought that surely the second would redeem some of the atrocities of the first.

I was wrong.

The series can be summed up thus:
Military = Conservatives = Good guys
Intellectuals = Liberals = SATAN

The characters are two-dimensional to the point of sometimes being silly and the action is pretty far-fetched and full of coincidences that just don't happen in real life.

The characters in both books watch only Fox News because "it's t
This book actually made me cry, and I honestly cannot remember the last book that managed that feat. :}
It's about a lot more than politics, cool futuristic military tech, or conspiracy theory: it's about whether or not Christianity actually means something more than Mass on Sunday and a few prayers during the week if you feel you need them. It asks disturbing questions about what you'll risk for your faith. Ridicule? Family relationships? Your very life?
And, of course, the characters are compe
To be honest, I'm not sure why I even read this book--I knew going into it it would just annoy me. Some ongoing inability to let go of Ender's shade, I suppose. Whither the Card of yore?

Well, the last book set us up with a rebellion from the evil liberals led by George Soros (ok yes, Card made up some other name for him, but I've forgotten it). In this one, Fox News is still the only honest news channel, but the focus has moved from evil liberals to evil Muslims.

A pandemic is sweeping Africa, an
I didn't want to give him a 4 for this book because I disagree with so many statements within the book. And definitely with the choices Cole made at the end. He even questions himself "What if I watch Torrent and find out that they were right after all, and I wrong? That sometimes a ruler needs to be killed to save the people? That democracy is more important than peace after all?" (Mainly because that statement assumes you can't have both peace and democracy at the same time, which I completely ...more
Jan 10, 2010 Tiffany rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like OSC
Um... I really, ridiculously loved this book! That said, I also really like Orson Scott Card... so that probably colors my review! Anyway, I liked this one even better than the first one (maybe because I couldn't remember all of it?), though I realize it's never going to make most people's "must read" list. I giggled, I gasped, and I cried as I read (typically not at the same time), and as soon as I put it down I wanted to read it again. Yes, I know I'm gushing, which means I probably should've ...more
Apr 01, 2010 Danielle rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sub-par military fiction
Shelves: pans, sci-fi, 2010-read
Hidden Empire, aka, OSC Takes Writing Lessons from Dan Brown. And also, the movie Outbreak.

I shall sum-up this book in one sentence: "Do the ends justify the means?" That's the entire point of this book.

The idea for the story was ok, but the execution was bland at best, and often ventured into horrible territory. Having the benefit of reading this on my Kindle, I highlighted passages whenever they jolted me out of the book, and I've noted the main ones below.

1. So-and-so said and other repetiti
Diana Little
Sadly I have to give one of favourite author's a 2 star. I was a little perplexed by the vastly differing reviews of love/hate's and I can kind of see why now. Although probably not for the most of the same reasons. When this book originally came out in 2009 I'm sure it might have stirred up a bit of filth because of the civil war and rise of the American Empire depicted in the book. It seems a few readers could not take this book at face value of being a fictitious political "what if" story and ...more
See the rest of my review here

I wanted to like this book. I really did. The premise interested me. I was in the mood for outbreaks and deadly viruses. The world handling a crisis. It was even a timely read with this current Ebola crisis, but man was this heavy on the politics. If you are a right-winged, Christian who loves Fox News and don't believe in Global Warming, you'll like this a lot. If you like military jargon and vague action scenes, you'll love this novel. If you enjoy a lot of backst
James Howald
When I read Empire I was not impressed. I was even a little let down. I expect more from Card than writing an adaption novel for a video game release. I thought it was too much of a video game, centered on cool gadgets and scenery. The characters were fine but were not developed as fully as his usually would be. The story was fine, but didn't spark me to think the way his stories usually do.

He fixed that with the sequel. It's not my favorite Card book, or even in the "must read if you want to k
I liked it. I'm trying to figure out why. I liked the political-mindedness, the contemporary feel, the fact that no one is really "bad," the thought experiment of what it would be like to have to deal with an epidemic of that size, and I liked that OSC seemed to really know the places he talked about in Africa. I don't have first-hand knowledge of Bangui or Calabar, but I'm convinced that a) they do exist (I know about Bangui, but I'm going on faith for Calabar) and that the streets are named an ...more
For me, Hidden Empire was to Empire much as Speaker of the Dead was to Ender's Game. Hidden Empire continued to develop the plot and the characters of Empire but was really memorable for it's introduction of a more human element, less kick butt action and more philosophy of the human condition. That being said, there is still plenty of action and drama, just more tear jerking to go along with it.

We were left at the end of Empire with a more or less happy ending, foreboding but tidy. In Hidden E
Orson Scott Card has an amazing way of combining science fiction with real life situations...and even spirituality (or religion or whatever you want to call it). There is so much realness to the story and the characters. You get wrapped up in their lives and their interactions.

One would typically think of sci-fi as being sort of ... I don't know... cold? no...too techie? no... anyway... whatever that stereotype is that I am trying to put onto it, Card's work does not fall under it. He has depth
D.M. Dutcher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My perception of this book changed when my wife asked if she would enjoy it. My first thought was, "well it's the second in a series, so you'd have to read the first book first." Then I thought a little harder and realized that that wasn't necessarily true. Yes, it is the second in a series. Yes, the writer assumes that you already know the characters and the major points of their backstory. Other that that, though, what I consider to be the main aspect of the story (and the part that I enjoyed ...more
Are Orson Scott Card's books becoming somewhat stale or is it my taste that's changing? Although several of the main characters from Empire were killed off before they can take part in this story, the new characters introduced are predictably noble, talented, and intensely Christian. The politics are predictably conservative, there are all kinds of digs at the left-wing media and intellectuals, and the quotes used to open each chapter are practically OSC opinion columns on their own. Not always ...more
Dean Tucker
After the last two Card books I read I was wondering if I really wanted to attempt another. Luckily, this one is worth it. It moves along at a good pace, has surprises, and most of all, characters that I cared about. The characters didn't have all the answers, and even some of the answers were quite gray.

This is a sequel, but you don't need to have read the first book. I read Empire quite some time ago and honestly didn't remember many of the details. And honestly, if you want the entire story,
“You know that I can’t do this without reducing
democracy to a sham, at least for a while,” said

“It already is,” said Cole. “Whatever we
have, it hasn’t been democracy for decades.”

Orson Scott Card has made a solid name for himself with the
futuristic vision of his Ender series and the magic of his
Alvin Maker novels. With HIDDEN EMPIRE, Card forgoes mysticism and
science fiction advancements to once again settle into the near
future landscape of an America coming out of a new civil war and a
Matt aka
Hidden EmpireHidden Empire by Orson Scott CardOrson Scott Card is a great SciFi book based on great characters that you find yourself caring about. The story has two major plots with the obvious plot revolving around the people that go to Africa in order to stop a deadly virus that kills as much as 30% of everyone infected by it. The other plot is more subtle involving the leadership decisions made by President Torrent during the plague.

At the beginning of the book we are introduced to Chinma, a
Scott William Taylor
Today I finished Orson Scott Card's Hidden Empire, the sequel to Empire. Even though it's been a while since I read the first book--which I thoroughly enjoyed--I believe I liked this book better.

The premise of the first book in the series, Empire, is to imagine a world where red states and blue states wage war for control of America. Instead of just throwing insults and facts that support their opinions, they use bullets and bombs. I'm forgetting many of the details due to the time that's passe
Joe Frazier
Orson Scott Card does nothing if he doesn't thoroughly analyze a topic through his novels. Some may be pure fiction, such as time travel analyzed in Pathfinder and Ruins, stand-ins for the non-fictional such as the Ender series where he analyzes hatred of and hostility towards those who are different (Ender's Game), then dealing with the consequences of how you treat those who are "other", alien or different than you. In Empire and Hidden Empire, Mr. Card reflects on the political chasm of those ...more
Will Hudson
Yes, like most college professors, Card is a bit preachy in this one. Ok, maybe more than a bit. But, he makes you think. Seldom have a read a book that engaged my brain more. At times the characters are overly simplistic and find overly simplistic solutions, but the intro's between the chapters (the preachy part) are as enjoyable to me if not more so, than the actual story. I am not saying I like to partake of the authors kool-aid, but if you go into it knowing that he is pushing an agenda, but ...more
John Pearson
This was a good book, though whoever wrote the blurb on the inside flap didn't do their job well. Some of the conflict that they wrote about never actually happened.
Namton Thammajinda
This book is a sequel to Orson Scott Card's "Empire." It has the same main character of Captain Cole who tries his best to serve America as well as he possible could. This time he is on assignment to enforce quarantine in Africa, where an extremely severe and contagious disease had been suddenly found.

This book brings up a very interesting point where there is conflict between two different ways of dealing with a worldwide epidemic. One is to quarantine the people who are infected and hope the v
I am compelled to write my first GoodReads review. This is the worst book I've finished in a long time. It read like dashed-off, D+ work from an A student, so get ready to read me completely pan it.

The writing felt like a first draft that had been copy edited but never properly re-written. Half the ideas presented were poorly thought-through, half-baked flim-flam that wouldn't hold up to even initial philosophical inspection. The exposition of even the better ideas was clumsy and ham-handed. Ch
This is the second volume in the Empire series which are really novels developed to support the idea behind a video game production...I believe I have that write...but they are also a rewriting of Roman History in America and the idea of the end of a republic and the beginning of an empire. Without doubt Card has stron opinion on many things but I suspect many of his critics tend to just see one 'thread' and assume that they know exactly what the quilt or tapestry will look like. In Empire, we w ...more
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Sci-Fi Book Club: Torrents 1 7 Sep 07, 2015 11:11PM  
  • Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • Eureka: Substitution Method (Eureka, #1)
  • Able One
  • Off the Main Sequence: The Other Science Fiction Stories of Robert A. Heinlein
  • Distant Shores
  • The Risen Empire (Succession, #1)
  • The Tuloriad (Posleen War: Sidestories, #3)
  • Kiss Me Twice
  • Other Earths
  • The Way It Wasn't: Great Science Fiction Stories of Alternate History
  • The Space Opera Renaissance
  • Farewell to the Master
  • The Hollow City
  • Odd Girl Out (Quadrail, #3)
  • At Empire's Edge
  • Duplicate Effort (Retrieval Artist, #7)
  • The Dragon's Nine Sons
  • Liberating Atlantis (Atlantis, #3)
Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
More about Orson Scott Card...

Other Books in the Series

Empire (2 books)
  • Empire (Empire, #1)

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“That's what so many people didn't understand about life. The real world is the one within the walls of homes; the outside world, of careers and politics and money and fame, that was the fake world, where nothing lasted, and things were real only to the extent they harmed or helped people inside their homes.” 53 likes
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