Title / The Collapsing Empire
Author / John Scalzi
Publication Date / 2017
Overall Star Rating / ★★★.5
Goodreads synopsis: The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new
universe. Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible — until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war — and a system of control for the rulers of the empire. The Flow is eternal — but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals — a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency — are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.
I have been a fan of Scalzi’s books for a while now – I’ve read 9 of his other books and enjoyed all of them. So I had high hope for this new series set in a completely new world. It didn’t disappoint, however I will say it took me a while to get into. I didn’t immediately warm to the characters and I think that affected my initial reading experience. After about the first quarter I was hooked. What really made this book for me was the world. I think the world building was done very well and I thought the world was an interesting one. Basically there is a thing called the Flow, an extra-dimensional field that can be accessed at certain points and can transport you to other worlds, but it is beginning to disappear. I really enjoyed this concept. The politics of the world and the ramifications of what is happening the flow make this an engaging read and are one of the main strengths of this book. The characters are well written, although as I previously mentioned it took me a little while to warm to them. To be honest I’m not really sure why, but I did end up liking all of the characters. One of my favourite characters was the Emperox – I look forward to seeing her progression as I found her to be an intriguing character. Kiva was the main character that I had a few issues with. I think it was mainly due to her excessive swearing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind swearing – I actually swear quite a bit but it just felt a bit over the top and that irritated me a little bit. As with Scalzi’s other books, this book is an entertaining, easy and engaging read. The action is also done very well. If you are looking for fun, action packed and engaging science fiction books then you need to check out John Scalzi. He does a fantastic job of creating such books. The writing is easy to get into and will keep you hooked throughout.
Overall I enjoyed this book, but it did take me a little while to get into this book. I am excited for the continuation for this series though, as I think it will get even better now that the characters and world are established. The characters are well written, the world is an interesting one and the plot is engaging throughout. There are some flaws but for me they didn’t detract too much from the reading experience. I don’t know how long this series is going to be or when the next one is expected out but I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the second book. I had high hopes for this book and they weren’t disappointed. If you are already a fan of Scalzi than I think you will enjoy this. If you haven’t read any Scalzi but enjoy scifi then I highly recommend checking this out. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.