Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Risen Empire

The Risen Emperor controls a vast galactic empire. He is immortal and grants that immortality to chosen subjects, making his rule more a religion that politics. The Rix, a cult that creates AIs that encompass whole worlds and worships them as gods, has taken the Emperor's sister hostage. Captain Laurent Zai is leading the rescue mission and when it fails, it's a cause for the empire to wage war on the Rix. Both he and his lover, Senator Nara Oxham, are caught up in the politics and intrigues behind the war.

For me, the book had a slow start and I thought about putting it aside. Many characters are introduced and the point of view changes between them very often, I had problems getting to know the characters. But I kept reading and after about 100 pages, the book had me and didn't let me go until the end.
I enjoyed all the intrigues and scheming, trying to figure out what exactly is going on along with the characters. The fights are thrilling and I love the idea of using tiny ships that are remote controlled by pilots with a kind of synaesthetic virtual reality.

The character I liked most was Senator Oxham's house, an intelligent house that built itself and changed the landscape around it to suit its original owner's taste, only to wait in vain for him to move in. When the Senator buys it, the house is very eager to please and as worried about the comfort of its occupants as every human host. I laughed out loud at its dismay when the Senator and her guest decide to postpone dinner.

The Risen Empire was originally published in two parts, I read the German edition which contains both book. I have no idea where the first book ends and I would recommend getting both books at once or the one book edition if you are planning to read this.
I loved Westerfeld's YA books, the Ugly, Pretty, Special trilogy and the Peeps books. I If you like dystopian novels, the Ugly trilogy is worth reading and Peeps is a very unusual take on vampires. No glittering, but a lot more than you ever wanted to know about parasites.

This is my eighth book for the Library challenge and my third one for the Science Fiction challenge.

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