The novel is set in a future where the human race is in the middle of a galactic war and the military complex all but runs an Empire. Caught in this tangled web is Adrian Stannis, a pawn in the games of the military who want to use his genius to build weapons.
The Empire is intricate, intriguing, and full of fascinating characters while the author twists her plot threads admirably. Like all good science fiction the narrative ponders controversial issues and questions, but it deftly maintains balance between plot and character. You are pulled into the story effortlessly; her world is well-realized. The author seems to be comfortable with science fiction, and I had the sense of influencing echoes as I read her prose.
One of the more appealing aspects of the book, for me, was the characters. Lines were drawn in the beginning of the book that appeared straightforward, but as motivations and personalities came to light antagonists became sympathetic, reasons less black and white. The interaction of characters highlights the tension, romance, rivalry, and unhappiness adeptly.
The ending was a bit open-ended with some sub-plots left to speculation (leaving me hope there will be a sequel) but it was still satisfying. I enjoyed reading The Empire and hope to read more of this author’s work in the future.
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