The premise of this book sounded interesting--extremists on both sides of the political spectrum propelling the country into a civil war--but the execution is extremely lacking. This is a very poorly-written, silly book. The characters, the settings, the dialogue, the situations, are all under-developed and have the feeling of being simply pasted into the book to prop up Card's premise and his message. This is not how successful fiction works, and of all people, Card should know that. "Empire" could have been a truly thoughtful, compelling book, because the issue Card's concerned with (extreme political polarization) is a timely and important one--but instead it has a rushed, superficial feel, possibly because Card was attempting to time to book's release with the release of a corresponding video game. Again, this is not how fiction should work.
I love Orson Scott Card -- his Alvin Maker series, The Call of Earth series, the Ender series are all great and worth rereading.
Empire is not only NOT worth rereading, it's not even worth reading the FIRST time!
A contrived plot, multiple plot holes, unsympthetic characters, unsatisfactory resolution all make this his worst book. Take a pass.
I expected a LOT more from Card -- he is one of my favorite authors. But this book is a stinker. Don't waste your time on it. Reread and Ender story or Alvin story instead. In his defense, the poor effort could be due to its link to some kind of game of the same name.
I couldn't finish this book. the characters and plot started out interesting, but it is degenerating into right wing political paranoia. Some of the rants would make sense in 1986, but not in 2006 when it was written.
Hard to disagree with anything anyone else has written, a poorly conceived and badly executed story...with so many implausible plot and character holes in it, Swiss cheese seems totally solid in comparison. SPOILER AHEAD...if that's even possible...OSC commits the SF Cardinal Sin (pun intended!) and KILLS the hero of the book less than half-way through! I gave it up on it shortly after that, there are too many other good books that deserve my attention and recommendations.