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Empress of the Sun by Ian McDonald

Empress of the Sun

by Ian McDonald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Everness (Book 3)

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634188,983 (3.95)None



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After a so-so second book in this series I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy Empress of Sun, folks. I shouldn't have doubted Ian's writing after a magnificent Planesrunner.

This was awesome and complex and long and intense. Poor Everett can not catch a break jumping from one planet to another in an attempt to find his dad while Everett M continues to impersonate him on Earth 10.

I love how both boys despite their likeness were very different characters. I would go as far as to say that I enjoyed reading about Everett M more. He just felt more human despite his cyborg nature, while Everett whose progress we've followed for the last two books is getting closer and closer to Charlotte Villiers's nature because of the tough decisions he had to make over and over again.

Empress of The Sun is a most curious book. Half of it is dedicated to Everett and Everness's team struggles to repair the airship and get away from Alderson Disk where an ancient civilisation of Jiju rules it all. A civilisation where dinosaurs didn't die 65 million years ago but instead evolved. Kax was a particularly interesting and alien character.

On the other hand, Everett M strives for normality back at Earth 10 while falling for a fellow school girl and hunting Nahn which he had to bring back with him from Earth 1.

We also get deeper into Villiers' intrigues and finally find out her motivations behind the chase for Everett. I have to say the woman has class and you kind of end up liking her a little.

Empress of The Sun is an especially good read for any fan of Dr. Who. I had a couple of flashbacks to my favorite episodes in the end, and I'm sure you will too. Overall, excellent innovative sci-fi series which I'd recommend to any fan of the genre. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
See Planesrunner ( )
  ronhenry | Nov 17, 2015 |
...Although it is clear from the ending of the novel McDonald doesn't intend to stop here, the novel does provide a proper climax for the trilogy. Several story arcs are completed with one very obvious omission. Everett has made a new life for himself in a universe that is larger than he ever imagined. The Everness books are a wonderful ride among the parallel worlds. McDonald, who isn't lacking imagination in his adult fiction either, clearly went all out in this set of books. The result is a fast and fun read that should appeal to science fiction veterans as well as the target audience. The quality of these books has only increased since Planesrunner. I for one, wouldn't mind seeing an announcement that McDonald has sold a few more of these.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Mar 16, 2014 |
It's no exaggeration when I say these books in the Everness series just seem to get better and better. The adventure that started with Planesrunner only intensified with Be My Enemy, and now the third installment has taken things even further. Seriously -- I really wish there were more young adult novels like this out there.

Empress of the Sun continues the story of Everett Singh and the crew of the Earth 3 airship Everness. Spoilers for books one and two will likely be unavoidable in this review when discussing the third book, though if you haven't read the previous novels you can still probably pick up on the story and follow along, if you don't mind missing out on some of the nuances. Nothing will beat starting this great series from the beginning though, and obviously I highly recommend it!

Because Everness is about alternate dimensions and the multiverse, you just never know where the story might take you next! That's what I love most about these books. And true to form, Ian McDonald starts this one off by dropping us into most bizarre and incredible parallel universe yet. In order to track down and rescue his father, Everett and his friends have taken to world-hopping. Armed with a jump gun and the Infundibulum, they now have the ability to go anywhere on any one of the 10 to the power of 80 worlds in the Panoply. Something goes seriously wrong with their last jump though, and the airship ends up on a strange version of earth which does not appear to follow the rules of astrophysics.

It turns out that the alternate earth they are on is actually an Alderson Disk. Not being very well-versed in my science fiction megastructures, this was the first time I've ever heard of such a thing. This is some cool stuff! And not only that, the world they are on is one where dinosaurs never went extinct. Instead, they have evolved over the eons to become the dominant species on this "discworld" (Pratchett fans, eat your heart out!) called the Jiju, whose civilization is 65 million years ahead of ours.

Not only is their technology frighteningly advanced, as the main bad guys in this book, the Jiju make the other villains that we've seen so far in this series look like peanuts. What is Charlotte Villiers or even the Nahn compared to these lizard people who have the ability to make the sun dance to their tune? The author sure pulled out all the stops with this one. Blown, my mind is.

I also can't decide what I love more about this book: the world building or the character development. The former has clearly impressed me, but as ever, the people in the stories are the most important to me when I read. With every book in this series, I feel closer and more amiable towards Everett and the crew. The relationship between him and Sen is moving forward nicely, and we're getting to the point where their feelings for each other are starting to come to the surface. This book also explores the friction between Everett and Sharkey. The two have not gotten along since the weighmaster suggested selling Everett out to the enemy in order to save the ship, but there is clearly a lot more to this precarious friendship than meets the eye.

The members of the crew aren't the only ones getting further developed in this novel. In Be My Enemy, readers were introduced to an alternate Everett, a version of him from another earth who was kidnapped and forced to take the place of real Everett, in order to spy and report to the nefarious factions in the Plenitude of Known Worlds. This doppelganger played a somewhat antagonistic role in the last book, but this one humanizes him and lets us see that deep down he is just like any other boy, with feelings and fears like everyone else. We also get a part of the story told in Charlotte Villiers' perspective, and even though she is the main villain, we are shown that there is a reason for all the things she does. To sum it up, this book just does a fantastic job all around at fleshing out everyone. As someone who places such high importance on characters, I couldn't be happier.

Action, adventure, and rollicking good fun! Empress of the Sun has all of that. And of all the books so far, I also have to say this one was the most humorous. There are some sections of dialogue that just made me laugh out loud, especially when it came to the conversation between Everett and Kax the Jiju about human reproduction. Oh my, I still can't stop chuckling when I think of that scene.

I'm so glad to see that there will be more of these books. The crew of the Everness still has much to do, and there are still so many worlds out there to explore. I can't wait to see where they will go next. ( )
  stefferoo | Jan 21, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McDonaldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Enid, as ever.
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A dot of brilliant light.
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"Everett and the crew of the Everness leap across a succession of parallel earths, searching for Everett's missing father while outrunning and outwitting the shadowy organization out to rule the multiverse"--

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