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Hidden Empire

(The Saga of Seven Suns #1)

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  7,837 ratings  ·  524 reviews
In the far future, Ildirans give Earth the stardrive. Two archaeologists glean forbidden knowledge from the ruins of a dead world. Robot servants of ruling insectoid Klikiss guard the Klikiss Torch, which has the power to create suns. The reasons for the fall of the Klikiss empire may return.
Paperback, 654 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Aspect (first published July 24th 2002)
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José Osorio
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Scott Elsdon No, there would be nothing in these that would offend etc in that way. However I would steer him to something better, these are poor books with little…moreNo, there would be nothing in these that would offend etc in that way. However I would steer him to something better, these are poor books with little quality and nothing to promote them. (less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Felicia
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. :) ...more
Colin
Sep 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
David Sven
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Foomy
Feb 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Lee
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 differ
...more
Josh
Sep 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Demiliam
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
seak
Oct 07, 2018 marked it as to-read
I met Mr. Anderson yesterday at a local comic con and he was a super nice, cool guy. We had the jokes and it was great!

I felt like an idiot for not having read any of his books yet even though I own at least a few (didn't think to bring them either duh). Now I need to read this.
D Dyer
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
This is a truly epic space opera that I think would hold a significant amount of appeal for fans of epic fantasy, the science in the book isn’t particularly technical. I found the characters, most of them at least, pretty compelling and I thought there was a decent amount of action especially considering the amount that Anderson needed to introduce into one book in order to make his sprawling universe real but because there are a lot of characters/points of you, tons of world-building
...more
Frostling
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
Dmadden
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
Dave Cairns
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay, my first ever review here so bear with...

I originally read the Saga in my late teens/early 20s (Over 10 years ago) and I loved it;I just finished re-reading Hidden Empire after realising I had forgotten most of the story! I was looking for a pre-planned space opera to get my eyes into after mainly reading Star Wars Legends books in my youth.

TSOSS gave me what I wanted, an extremely well detailed, character driven world. The huge collection of characters in Hidden Empire is sometimes intim
...more
Rich Taylor
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anderson-kevin, owned
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
Daniel Passer
Slow, predictable, one dimensional characters, bland scifi / fantasy tropes and pedestrian writing. Myriad viewpoints make it difficult to engage with any character.

Some interesting world / universe building. Xeno-archaeologist storyline was unique, as were the psychic trees, neither got enough time.
Cassandra Kay Silva
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I got a bit sucked into this one somehow. The writing is pretty aweful and the storyline is a bit all over the place. But anyway I still stupidly got attached and now I feel the need to read all seven. Not sure if this is more of a commentary on me and whats going on in my life or the book itself.
Charlotte
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
Mallika Ektare
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I enjoyed every minute of this book, but I can see why others had difficulty staying interested. I, too, find myself dreading the other 6 books. I was in the mood to pick up a SCI-FI that was detailed in the species and the worlds they lived on, and something that wasn't too technical. I admired the Green Priests and imagining a luscious green world where they store and share knowledge in the trees all zen-like, the Roamers, who I see as gritty underdogs, have a history in surviving the harshest ...more
Martin Milhomme
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
Man has reached the stars, spreading out and colonizing them, but not without help. The Ildirans have given man the stardrive, an inexpensive way to cross the vast distances of space in a fraction of the time that it takes light to travel. Other than the Klikiss, an extinct race whose archaeological remains are scattered on disparate planets, only humanity and the Ildarans remain as sentient species, and they are partners, at peace.

Or so they think. When human scientists execute and experiment u
...more
Kara Babcock
Replete with political intrigue, a powerful alien aggressor, and parables of human folly, The Saga of Seven Suns has everything a reader wants from an epic science fiction adventure. Kevin J. Anderson has created a vision of humanity's future both comfortable and unique. While adhering to many established tropes in space operas, including a handwaved FTL drive and form of instantaneous communication (sort of), Anderson has crafted interesting political entities and distinct cultures with often-c ...more
J
Jul 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book is largely lacking in good character development. It's space opera heavy on the opera. It's a soap opera with some originality but like any soap it's the same old, same old.

Things I liked:

* Trees that like to be read to
* the hydrogues themselves (who we see for only a page or two)
* pretty much all of the stuff on tree people's planet, Theroc.
* space gypsies that would live in difficult environments
* um...

And now for what I didn't care for. The space militaries in this book do not seem
...more
Andrew Edstrom
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
S.
The Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson is a great science fiction drama that in some places approaches a soap opera. There are dozens of character spread across the galaxy- powerful political leaders, generals, scientists, businessman, historians, and even a common thief. You can witness great battles in space, scientific discoveries, and moments of passion. But a lot of characters can bog down a story, especially if the author doesn't get to the main point. This story is about humanity's encoun ...more
Ken T
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Jez Layman
3 stars instead of 4 because I'm not terribly fond of the narrator in the audiobook.

I've already read what's been released of the Saga of Shadows, so coming to this series was an interesting experience. There's a lot of world building, which actually explains some things that aren't covered in such depth in the later series, and of course, the "new" characters are familiar and already established in the roles later. It's funny because I know where most of these characters end up later in life an
...more
Greg
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Its fair to say this book opened with a bang. Quite literally. And it led the classic sci fi fan to believe that the book would be full of high end ideas and sense of wonder moments that drew you to the genre in the first place. But alas, it is not meant to be.

But what you DO get is an epic 600 page read of love, hatred, hints of sex, politics, space battles, duplicity, alien life forms, interstellar war, the classic lying robot scenario, and toward the end of the book, a fantastic ending that m
...more
Angie
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Andrew Riley
May 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
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The Saga of Seven Suns (7 books)
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