• Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1

  • By: Kevin J. Anderson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 20 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (3,207 ratings)

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Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1

By: Kevin J. Anderson
Narrated by: George Guidall
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Publisher's Summary

An explosive new science fiction series by New York Times best-selling author Kevin J. Anderson, Hidden Empire is the first volume in The Saga of the Seven Suns, modeled after the Star Wars and X-Files universes. Anderson has become the foremost science fiction writer of the century, bringing to life vivid characters and worlds that delight his fans across the galaxy.

The Klikiss, a now-extinct alien civilization, left behind vast technological information that has been discovered by two xenoarchaeologists. One discovery, a device that converts gas planets into life-giving suns is quickly put to the test with unimaginable results. Arising out of the test is a new alien species that threatens every human. Mankind is left with the dim reality, either fight the new alien life form or face humiliation, death, and extinction.

This riveting adventure swings you from one wonderous realm to another as the Hidden Empire is sought after and exposed. Anderson has created a gripping beginning to what will surely be his best series yet. George Guidall has returned a stellar performance and brought these characters to life in vivid detail.

Don't miss a minute of the action in Kevin J. Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns.
©2002 WorldFire, Inc. (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"In this stellar launch of a new series, bestseller Anderson...delivers action, engaging characters, and credible fantastic worlds." (Publishers Weekly)
"Full of battles, chases, and hairbreadth escapes...this is also an intelligently conceived and executed nailbiter." (Booklist)
"Anderson's skill in delivering taut action scenes and creating well-rounded human and alien characters adds depth and variety to a series opener that belongs in most sf collections." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,287
  • 4 Stars
    1,060
  • 3 Stars
    524
  • 2 Stars
    197
  • 1 Stars
    139
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,062
  • 4 Stars
    603
  • 3 Stars
    247
  • 2 Stars
    70
  • 1 Stars
    50
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    883
  • 4 Stars
    638
  • 3 Stars
    317
  • 2 Stars
    123
  • 1 Stars
    83

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Listen

For the most part I am not a huge fan of Science Fiction. This book may change that. First I will say that the narrator will convince you that he is actually multiple people. With enough accents and voice changes you will be convinced that he is actually they.
The book starts a little slow. For the most part you have no idea what is going on and how everything plays out. Be patient! It is well worth the time and effort. The character development is what makes this a slow beginning, but once you begin to understand the characters you will be hooked, line and sinker. By the end of the book you will be disappointed that it ends.

80 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty good series.

Let me warn you in advance, this is a long, 7-book series, and while the narrator for this and the next two books is great, he's replaced in books 4-7 with someone not as good - who seems to have not listened to the first 3 before getting started - I know this can be a deal-breaker for some...

That said, this is a pretty cool sci-fi series that sorta has the feel of an epic fantasy series. Humans in space, with discovered technology they have no business messing with, inadvertently start a war with a powerful alien race they didn't know existed... There are some cool ideas, interesting aliens, fun space battles, multiple (though not unpredictable) plot lines, and a big universe with a lot of characters. You could argue that maybe 7 books was a bit of a stretch, but it's not like I'm short on time - and the series stayed interesting throughout. One other reviewer hit the nail on the head though when he suggested the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons would be a better choice for someone looking for something similar, but better. But once you're done with that, this one is pretty good too.

Audible really needs to allow us to give half stars. Story would get 3.5 from me.

65 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great imagination, horribly written

This is one of those books I hate and I love. The back story is imaginative and engaging, and the plot is predictable a mile away but still fun. However, the characters are kleenex-thin, the dialog is spiritless and there is not a lick of style or humor anywhere in the book.

Much better series in this genre are Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan, Hyperion by Dan Simmons and The Gap by Stephen R Donaldson. Check those out before you go further in this series.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Engaging

I've been looking for a nice SciFi Space Epic to sink my teeth into. After finishing the book, I'm so far pleased with my purchase.

The characters, plot, and ideas infused in this book were genuinely interesting enough to keep my attention, and the book is quite long giving a good amount of entertainment for your money.

I must warn however that it's by no means a fast paced book as you might expect. The story actually meanders along at a comfortable walk. To me all the fleshed out details were worth the slowed pace, but others may be put off by it. Certainly not all stories can pull off such a leisurely pace - but I believe this one does a fair job of it.

There are a lot of characters and side plots populating this story, so it takes some focus and attention to process it all.

The narrator is decent. He's not the best, but he does a fair job on character voices and has a relaxed narrator's voice.

One thing kind of bothered me: this universe is apparently populated by complete morons. Let me explain.

They performed an experiment to ignite a gas giant and turn it into a sun. Then they observed strange spheres leaving the depths of the gas giant and fleeing into space. Soon after processing plants around gas giants all over are attacked and destroyed by spheres rising from the depths of the planets. Then the spheres return to the original gas-giant-now-sun and destroy it's now melting planets that the humans intended to colonize.

A five year old could put the pieces together and tell you that the aliens are upset because one of their worlds was destroyed. But not one single person in this entire book is smart enough to figure it out. The aliens actually had to spell it out for them. You'd think a space faring civilization would have at least a few people who could recognize the extremely obvious.

In any case, I am enjoying looking forward to the second book. If you have the patience for it's more relaxed plot, I recommend this book.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start but the sequels are worth it

I actually just finished the 3rd book in the series, and I am rating this one higher than I normally would only because of the sequels. This book has a slow start and is riddled with cliches, with some extraneous dialog and plot handholding, plus a contrived and overdone love story thrown in for good measure. Overall though, it's pretty good, so I took a chance on the next one. That one starts slow too, but becomes a real page-turner as the incredible scope of the story is revealed. The book after that is even better. Now I'm eagerly waiting for #4.

So give this one a chance, if only for what comes after. If this book was by a first-time author it probably never would have made it to print. The first part of this book gives no hint as to how big the epic really gets, and the huge backstory and careful plotting that went into the making of it. This really is the tip of a cosmic iceberg.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Epic Story Herein - You'll Want This Series...

I truly enjoy originality, new concepts, and game changer stories, especially EPIC ones. The Saga Of The Seven Suns is SO original, that you may find yourself listening to it a few times to catch everything. I know I did. Now, that's not to say that the story is hard to follow - Quite the opposite. It's just that the story has such richness of the different civilizations, politics, religions, sciences and races, you'll want to revisit it a couple of times. There are wonderful machiavellian plots and subplots that are a wonderful change in pace from the typical scifi romp.

This first audiobook in the series lays groundwork, but in a very enjoyable way. I consider the sign of a great storyline, is one you won't mind hearing. This is such an audiobook.

This doesn't take place on one world, or one solar system - This reaches literally across the stars, and Anderson provides a well-rounded initial book in this series. I loved this series so much, that I have ALL of the audiobooks therein, and THAT my fellow Audible listener, is the VERY BEST proof that this is a MUST READ series. Enjoy!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good choice overall. Bit slow, needs more action.

Anderson spends to much time on the charactors and thier lives rather than on the main story line, which makes the book a bit slow and lacking in action. But overall it's a good story, and a good listen. I anticipate that the second book in the series {which is currently available on Audible} will be more action packed, since the charactors have been so thoroughly covered in this book.
George Guidall is one of the best Readers of audio books there is, so have no worries over how this book will sound.
P.S. It seems to me that over the past 15 years or so, Editors have become extreamly lazy. I blame the Editor of this book rather than the author, for any of it's short comings. A good editor would have told Anderson, " Shut Up about the charactors already and get on with the story".

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Ok if you needed something long

Not bad, not terrific either. I would listen to it (or buy the next in the series) only if I got it on sale and/or I needed something to listen to that didn't require 100% concentration on a long drive. You can wander off daydreaming and come back a couple minutes later and you wouldn't have missed anything important.

The novel is more descriptive than action-packed. The concepts are interesting, but there's not much engagement - i.e. a space station blows up and everyone dies, but you won't really "feel" anything about this event because it was only described to you, it didn't engage you.

The narrator is ok. He speaks clearly and you can usually tell who's talking from the tone; there's not much "dramatization" of events/voices. He's nothing to write home about though.

If you want action Sci-fi and are ok with "adult" material, try Richard Morgan. If you want descriptive and yet engaging scifi, try Card's Worthing Saga. If you want a long scifi that is similar in tone to this and yet much more involving, try Acacia. If you want a soap opera type scifi with lots of character focus, try Spin. If you just want some cheap 'n easy soap opera scifi, try Earthsearch.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

At first I was a bit overwhelmed by the # of characters and the "one chapter, one character" approach which means the book shifts plot lines a lot. However, once I became familiar with the different characters and started to see how the plot lines were moving in parallel (as well as crossing places) I was hooked. This is a really interesting and great book.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is where to start

I was just looking for a place to use my book credits and I picked up this book and the follow-on book in this series. While the first book is good it really sets up the series and after listening to the second book I can more fully appreciate the first book and its key role in the series. If you are interested in great sweeping adventure and want to really enjoy the series start with this book. After book three I plan to go back an listen to book one again. It has hidden depths... Very well read and an exciting story.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Todd
  • 07-14-15

Nothing but a setup for the next book

Let me start by saying that the book kept me interested enough to finish it. The characters are interesting and diverse, but there are A LOT of them. The author also does a good job of creating a detailed universe with diverse civilisations.

But the whole book has no real story. It is basically 19 hours of world-building with a couple of anti-climactic alien attacks. For me, a book should be able to stand alone, even if part of a series. Especially if it's the first in a series. It should have a beginning, middle and end. This book has a beginning. That's it.

I'm not opposed to trying the next book, but this one left a lot to be desired in the plot department. Readers deserve to know what they're in for.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jackson
  • 04-01-19

entertaining if you don't think too hard about it

a little formulaic, one dimensional characters, but an entertaining story none the less. well read. some plot holes, such as: how do you travel through a portal to another world if you don't have the technology to fly there and build the portal? maybe I'm over thinking it haha!

1 person found this helpful