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Hidden Empire

(Empire #2)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  3,487 ratings  ·  326 reviews
The war of words between right and left collapsed into a shooting war, and raged between the high-technology weapons on each side, devastating cities and overrunning the countryside.

At the close of Empire, political scientist and government adviser Averell Torrent had maneuvered himself into the presidency of the United States. And now that he has complete power at home, h
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 22nd 2009 by Tor Books (first published October 21st 2009)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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May 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1audio, 2fiction, scifi, war
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 read) was ...more
Tell me if you heard this one. A virus appears from a wild animal population, spread by sneezing, aerosolized, lingers on surfaces and spreads easily to others while they wear masks, gloves--thinking those measures would protect. The PPE doesn't protect, the virus spreads aggressively. In this story, the virus comes from an unsurprising place, African monkeys. It is discovered early as it rapidly kills 50% of those infected by blood to blood contact, while about 30% of those infected by the airb ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
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
C.T. Phipps
May 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spy-fiction
So, yeah, this book is a thing.

I read the original Empire book because it was a tie-in to SHADOW COMPLEX, which was a side-scrolling game about fighting a bunch of American reactionaries planning on bombing San Fransisco. Of course, Orson Scott Card chose to write these individuals up as a bunch of extremist liberals. It's impossible to discuss the plotline of this book without mentioning the premise of the first book so let the SPOILER-averse beware.

Basically, a history professor arranged for t
Mary Frances
Oct 21, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, 2010
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. ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 26, 2011 added it
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
May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Dimitar Ivanov
Sep 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eric Birk
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book… I wish that I knew that it was the second in a series before I started reading it. Now I will have to go back and read the first one sometime.
I was amazed at how nice and neat Card writes; all of his chapters were usually on subject/one scene. I’m more used to books that are all over the place and have me backtracking to keep on subject. After the first three or four chapters I was wondering how he was going to fit the rest of the story in the book. But, it was very easy to
D.M. Dutcher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Diana Little
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
James Howald
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 25, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Aug 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
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
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
An Odd1
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
* (because I cried and hated the sad end) "Hidden Empire" follows "Empire" (5*) by O. Scott Card, continuing the story of the new assistant, now experienced and promoted to general, how he, his special ops team, and the widow and her family, and new President cope with a plague virus, like SARS in Toronto starting in Africa and following the first monkey contact. Believable. (I was in Toronto, hiding, during SARS, and saw a documentary. Plus I've given up voting because I am so disillusioned wit ...more
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was one of those books I couldn't put down. Well written, good plot, interesting characters. I disagree with Uncle Orson's politics, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying his books. He also at least _seems_ to have a reasonable understanding of history, which is great in a science fiction writer and in a book about politics. ...more
John Pearson
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
I read Empire several years ago and remember enjoying it. I was very disappointed with this sequel for several reasons.

In Empire, I found the comparison between the late Republican era of the Roman Empire and the modern US to be an interesting concept with many apt examples from the very end of the era primarily surrounding Julius Caesar's ascendance. In Hidden Empire the comparison is much looser, comparing the modern US to about three hundred years of Imperial Roman events. It would have been
Henri Moreaux
I read the first volume of this series five years ago and thought it was a pretty good story, about an attempted coup in America. This time it's about a virus outbreak in Africa and the extension of American power, yet there's also considerable religious under & overtones to this book which I don't remember there being in the earlier volume.

For example the entire drive of one of the main plot points is for Americans to go to Africa to nurse the infected because that's what good Christians do, an
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I'd nearly forgotten the first book in this series by the time I picked this up, so I had to learn about President Averell Torrent all over again here. And, while Torrent isn't present for a lot of the action, it is his desire to turn America into an Empire that drives much of what happens. What gives him the opportunity is the outbreak of a new virus in Africa, which threatens to become a worldwide pandemic. How he and others react to that forms the core of the story.

I enjoyed the book because
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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

Other books in the series

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

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