Maria's Reviews > Empire

Empire by Orson Scott Card
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's review
Nov 22, 2008

liked it

I've read reams of science fiction over the years, but this is the first Orson Scott Card book I've read. Odd for a sci-fi geek I know, but it just worked out that way. A friend gave me the book. What that means is that I had no prior bias when I read the book. I knew nothing about the author's politics or how good/bad any prior books are, so I'm basing my review on the actual story and my thoughts while reading it.

It became obvious early on that it was a "right leaning" story, but plenty of authors have played devil's advocate in their work so I just wasn't sure if it was a statement on the author's politics, and even if it was, so what? It was refreshing to read a story from that viewpoint. Some of the plot elements were barely plausible, some of the coincidences too convenient, many questions remain unanswered and it seemed to me as I was reading it that it was a Hollywood blockbuster action movie on the pages; long on action and special effects and short on substance.

In that light, it was a damn fun read and impossible to take that seriously. In fact, what could have been a serious theme became too much of a caricature to merit serious consideration, despite plenty of stilted conversation about the intracacies of red and blue state politics. It was a lot like reading the science fiction of the fifties, or even Ben Bova, who writes a smashing good story even when his characters are a little flat. Card makes excellent points about extremists and moderates in the Afterward, but that's not exactly part of the story.

Worth a read as a fun, fast paced story. Don't read too much into the politics, though it's pretty sure to piss off entrenched liberals who don't appreciate the view from the other side.


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