Empire Review

15 Apr

EmpireEmpire by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan of the Ender series, which predisposes me to love pretty much anything Orson Scott Card writes. However, I was curious to see how he would manage in a more contemporary and realistic setting rather than his usual futuristic sci-fi. I think it holds up pretty well. The pacing of the book was nice. Thrilling, but with some natural ebbs and flows in the story. It was compelling throughout, but I wasn’t forced to read it in one sitting due to cliffhanger chapters and never-ending plot twists.

As in most of Card’s work, I really enjoyed the political themes the book explores. It’s obvious that the book leans to the right, but not in a way that offended or annoyed me at all. I think both sides of the political spectrum were painted fairly and accurately, though in their most extreme forms.

Most of all, I enjoyed the afterward. Although it was written in 2006, I think most of what Card writes is 100% true to the current political climate. A few choice quotes from the afterward:

“A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure anyone who opposes them must be either stupid and deceived or have some ulterior motive. We are today a nation where almost everyone in the public eye displays fanaticism with every utterance…we have become a nation of insane people able to see the madness only in the other side.”

“We live in a time when moderates are treated worse than extremists, being punished as if they were more fanatical than the actual fanatics.”

“…maybe, we can just calm down and stop thinking that our own ideas are so precious that we must never give an inch to accommodate the heartfelt beliefs of others.”

All in all, not Card’s best work, but a solid, entertaining and thought-provoking thriller that shows a disturbing picture of where the current trend of political polarism and hateful rhetoric could lead.

View all my reviews

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One Response to “Empire Review”

  1. Zoe May 4, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Hello! How are you? How is home? Hope your summer is shaping up well! Matthew and I finally finished reading ‘Ender’s Game’ a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to let you know… we were very disturbed in some parts! The boys’ training school seemed overly homoeroticised, and the ending seemed overly biblical. Also, the relationship with his sister… everything in this book seemed Freudian. It certainly gave us lots to think and chat about, so all round a good read!

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