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The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld

The Risen Empire

by Scott Westerfeld

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5771725,753 (3.73)42



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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Pretty amazing book! Love the world building and character development. Well done! ( )
  MommaTracey | Jul 24, 2017 |
On one hand, Westerfield has given us a setting with a lot of interesting elements with which to play: symbionts that confer immortality, remotely-piloted drones the size of dust motes, and entire civilizations dedicated to the propagation of AI minds.

On the other hand, the book is a giant teaser leading to a cliffhanger: nothing is explained, nothing is resolved. Basically, he's given us 304 pages of introduction. We don't even know what all the people who have fought and died (and are about to start a galactic war) are struggling over…it's just "The Secret."

It pissed me off. ( )
  TadAD | Jun 9, 2017 |
I just had a hard time with this book. I guess I can deal with an undead emperor who's lived and reigned for 1600 years, his beloved little sister, and his worshiping people, as well as his enemies, the Rix, but the thing that really kind of irritated me was actually the beginning of the book -- a "thrilling" space battle. At least it's supposed to be. And at first it seems like it even might be. There's a lot of tension, action, strategy, pilots risking their ships and lives traveling tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of kilometers on a mission to rescue the Child Empress, who the Rix kidnapped. How they got to such a closely guarded person of importance and kidnapped her is beyond me, but hey, it's part of the plot so I guess you have to go with it. Okay, so I was going along until I found out that these ships were one millimeter big. And that the pilots had voluntarily had themselves permanently shrunk down to one millimeter big themselves so they could pilot these bad ass ships in an effort to save the Child Empress. Of course, the author doesn't explain how a one millimeter pilot could fit into a ship of the exact same size. It seems to me that the pilot would have to be just a little bit smaller, don't you think? But maybe I'm being nit picky. No, I don't think so. I think this is a plot flaw. Also, how many people would truly volunteer to be shrunk down to one millimeter, even if it's for their leader? Is that even believable? Moreover, the tens or hundreds of thousands of kilometers the ships travel are actually going from one room in a big house or mansion or palace or something to another room. Seriously? Holy shit! I'm sorry, but when the plot is that stupid, I stop reading! Maybe the book gets better, cause after all, it has a very good rating, but at this point, I'm pretty annoyed and wishing I were reading David Weber, Chris Bunch, or even Phillip K. Dick. Cause this is downright stupid. So, I have to say that I felt that this wasn't the book for me. After all, I have hundreds more waiting for me to read them, most probably better than this. One star, which seems harsh and possibly worth two, but I'm too annoyed to give it two. Not recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Nov 11, 2016 |
I enjoyed the story - the character development was interesting as well as the technical aspects. A fascinating concept was that the navy flew "microships" that were only a millimeter or two in size (resembled a dust mote) that were able to perform intelligence missions or even attacks.

The one disappointing aspect of the story is that nothing is resolved. The story is obviously continued in the sequel and I felt a bit "cheated" without a conclusion.

This book is suitable for human interstellar empire and social sf. It could also work for military SF although not as well. ( )
  bhabeck | Mar 6, 2016 |
Woah. The first book of this series begins with a dizzyingly exciting space battle that sucks you right into the action. It's only a few pages in that the reader realizes the ships are the size of a hangnail, piloted by remote. The Child Empress is being held hostage, and the ships are on a recon mission for the Imperial space ship in orbit round the planet, waiting to rescue her. The first book is very exciting, and while the technology Westerfeld introduces is wholly original, it still makes a great deal of sense. Westerfeld reads a bit like Nancy Kress; he's really good at combining innovative yet realistic science with multi-faceted, interesting characters and believable societies. I was particularly impressed with the multitude of perspectives he brought to the story without ever losing his focus.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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There is no greater tactical disadvantage than the presence of precious noncombatants. Civilians, historical treasures, hostages: treat them as already lost.
---Anonymous 167

for years of summer
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The five small craft passed from shadow, emerging with the suddenness of coins thrown into sunlight.
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The UK (Orbit, ISBN 1841493724) edition called "The Risen Empire" includes both books published in the US as "The Risen Empire" and "The Killing of Worlds" - so be sure to keep that edition with the omnibus, and the others separate.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765319985, Paperback)

From the acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author of Evolution’s Darling (Philip K. Dick Award special citation and a New York Times notable book) and Uglies, Pretties, and Specials, comes a sweeping epic. The Risen Empire is the first great space opera of the twenty-first century.

The undead Emperor has ruled his mighty interstellar empire of eighty human worlds for sixteen hundred years. Because he can grant a form of eternal life-after-death, creating an elite known as the Risen, his power is absolute. He and his sister, the Child Empress, who is eternally a little girl, are worshipped as living gods.

The Rix are machine-augmented humans who worship very different gods: AI compound minds of planetary size. Cool, relentless fanatics, their only goal is to propagate such AIs. They seek to end the Emperor’s prolonged rule, and supplant it with an eternal cybernetic dynasty. They begin by taking the Child Empress hostage. Captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial Frigate Lynx is tasked with her rescue.

Separated by light years, bound by an unlikely love, Zai and pacifist Senator Nara Oxham must both face the challenge of the Rix, and both will hold the fate of the empire in their hands.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When the empire is challenged by a band of machine-augmented humans who seek to put their own gods in control by kidnapping the Immortal Child Empress, captain Laurent Zal of the Imperial Frigate Lynx is charged with her rescue.

» see all 2 descriptions

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