The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

May 17th, 2017 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 40 Comments

17th May
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
The Collapsing Empire
by John Scalzi
Series: The Interdependency #1
Published by: Audible
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Length: 9 hours 6 minutes
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Narration Rating: 5
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

AMAZEBALLS Audiobook Fave Narrator FED-THE-NERD

Today I have Sophia Rose on the blog to share her review of THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE by John Scalzi. This is a fantastic listen narrated by Wil Wheaton. Now grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage and enjoy Sophia’s take on it….

Sophia Rose’s Review

Do you ever get hold of a story that you thought looked pretty good, but then it turns out to be this fantastic experience that you couldn’t have possibly predicted from the outset? That was how THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE one hit me. I was in the mood for sci-fi so I saw this first in a new series by an author I’ve been meaning to try again after my first satisfying outing with a short story of his. Then, how could I not be excited when I saw Wil Wheaton was to narrate? Yes, that Wil Wheaton!!!!

I confess there is a part of me that gets nervous picking up on audio books I know will have complex world building and large casts of characters simply because I struggle to keep it all straight when I’m first getting used to matters. And that was a little of the case with this one. However, that disoriented feeling didn’t last long and it actually added to the experience I had encountering this new sci-fi world of humans in space.

There are a handful of narrators and situations going on representing people in key places and offering up different facets of the story. It is easy to follow the change in scene and narrator. There are a couple times there are jumps in time when the narration changes, but it’s not hard to keep up.

All the narrators and plot threads are deeply intriguing in their own way. There is the feisty and irreverent representative of one of the trading guilds who is all about advancing her family’s wealth and her own advancement. She is brazen and open, but oh so cunning and not the person you want to screw with.
There is the newly made young Empress who never wanted the job and struggles with all the politics and working the system because she is just not Machiavellian enough and she sees this time as the waning days of the Empire her family has ruled for centuries.
There is the conniving sociopathic scion of an ambitious trading guild who is at the far end of the Empire working with his family to take advantage of the situation and work a sweeping coup if they bold enough to pull it off.

And there is the straight-shooting scientist who was content to study the Flow and only cares to use his knowledge to bring about the survival of his race though he truly wishes the task fell to someone braver and more capable like his twin sister.

I enjoyed this creative sci-fi world all built around the natural flow stream in space and also the new dire straights caused by this natural wonder shifting away so that all the various human outposts of the Empire will find themselves separated and forced to figure out how to survive when they were built to depend on each other for goods.

The author is gifted with the ability to marry cool sci-fi elements with an engaging human nature story. The reader is made to feel a part of their struggle to survive, but also understand the varying motives that might be similar or different from his or her own.
But I get ahead of myself, the struggle is not so much survival at this point as it is to get people to see the problem. Some work to suppress while others work to educate and still others work to use the changes to their advantage.
I can’t wait to see how it all goes down. This was just the intro and opening shot. I suspect it’s going to get pretty intense when all’s said and done.

Wil Wheaton as the narrator was spectacular. He had a huginormous cast of characters to keep straight and several plot threads. It was amazing. I saw each individual, the setting, the situation and all the elements that make up this complex story so easily with him at the narration helm. This will be a series that I can’t imagine with any other voice and will seek to get all in audio as a result.

All in all, THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE was quite the experience and I wholeheartedly push it at sci-fi lovers as a ‘you must’.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi a #mustread for sci-fi lovers Click To Tweet

About John Scalzi

John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent. Author of the Human Division series and Old Man’s War series. Creative Consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series. Writer for the video game Midnight Star, by Industrial Toys. Former president (7/10 – 6/13) of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Executive Producer and Consultant for the upcoming television series based on my book Redshirts, as well as for the upcoming television series based on my Old Man’s War book series

About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. Associate Reviewer for Delighted Reader blog.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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40 Responses to “The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi”

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, it was a fantastic one for me. I’m lucky I got coherent words on the page to describe it, Cindy. LOL

    • Sophia Rose

      I enjoy reading reviews for books that aren’t my thing either and its fun to see when someone had a really good time reading it. Thanks, Nadene!

    • Sophia Rose

      I didn’t get into sci-fi for years, Geybie and then someone offered a review book and I was hooked. 🙂 Hope you get the chance.

    • Sophia Rose

      I never used to read it at all and then bang, one book and I was a convert. LOL

      Oh man, yes, Wheaton was a great narrator and amazed me how he kept all the characters and the technical terms straight.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, it was fabulous to have a good story and get a narrator that was a bit of nostalgia all on his own, Mary. 🙂

  1. Heidi

    Oh my gosh, Will Wheaton narrates?? I adore him. Now I want to listen to this.

    • Sophia Rose

      Sawoooon, Heidi. His adult voice is great and he did such a fab job getting all the characters and the complex sci-fi world as well as the emotional tone just right.

    • Sophia Rose

      You and I see eye to eye on what is good stuff, Michelle. 🙂 And Wil Wheaton’s narration just took this one that much higher on the fabulousness. 🙂

    • Sophia Rose

      Oh, that is a bummer when that happens, Melissa. Happened to me a few times when a book I wanted just didn’t fit the schedule. Hope you get the chance at some point with this one and Wil as the narrator. 🙂

    • Sophia Rose

      It was such a great surprise, Debbie. I expected good b/c its Scalzi, but that added connection to the story made it great. 🙂 Hey, yep, I’ll be dropping by. Have the lemonade ready for me. 🙂

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, it was. But yes, probably not for everyone especially if sci-fi worlds don’t draw you in. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Adriana

    Maybe two sci-fi for me but Wil Wheaton narrating it does have me interested. I like the cast of characters who have clearly defined personalities and ideas but I’m sure that will change once the villain/scion starts doing his thing.

    Adriana recently posted: Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage
    • Sophia Rose

      It’s got a space opera feel to it so the focus is divided between the sci-fi elements and the character relationships- if that helps you a little deciding.

      Yes, I did enjoy that each character was drawn well since there were so many of them and narration threads. I cannot wait to see what comes with the villain’s plotting.

      Thanks, Adriana!

      Sophia Rose recently posted: Review: Complicated by Kristen Ashley
    • Sophia Rose

      It was a fun one, but I think I know why the mixed reviews on the characters. There is a larger cast of main characters and there are some shades of gray types that its hard to figure out whether to like them or not. It has the feeling of early moments in a longer story so I took a wait and see attitude.

  3. Shaunesay

    Great review! Scalzi is one of my favorites, and anything of his read by Wil Wheaton is an autobuy for me! I’m actually working on his Old Man’s War series now, so it may be a little while before I get to this one, but I may not be able to wait! 😀

    Shaunesay recently posted: The Sunday Post #1