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Read The Killing Of Worlds (2003)

The Killing of Worlds (2003)

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4.05 of 5 Votes: 1
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0765308509 (ISBN13: 9780765308504)
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The Killing Of Worlds (2003) - Plot & Excerpts

This was book two of Scott Westerfeld's Successions series and it was just as enjoyable as the first one was. This one was a lot more action packed than the first one was and we learn a lot more about the empire in this book.The first half of this book is almost strictly battle. It's the Rix commander that escaped in book one trying to help take down the empire. She is making her way across Legis VI to try and do Alexandar's bidding. I like it because Westerfeld really shows you a personal side to her. There's really no "bad" guy in Westerfeld's books, just people driven by different needs and ideals. The more you read about this Rix commander, Hr_d, the more you realize she's just doing something she believes to be true, no more than Laurent has been following orders he believes to be true.The sadder part of this book is that you see a lot more people die in this book. There's mutiny, there's the ship falling to pieces as they battle against ships entirely way too powerful for Laurent's ship to be fighting and you see the Emperor trying to kill Laurent every step of the way for crossing him. It seems that even the undead have an ego and the emperor is determined to show his people, the senators, who rules the empire.During all of this, you see Senator Oxham fighting for what she believes in the whole time. That's not just Laurent and her plight to keep him alive. At one point the emperor suggests destroying and entire planet just so that the Complex mind doesn't get off the planet it has been contained to, killing millions of people. I love that despite constantly bouncing between these stories, I never really got lost. I saw the intricate pattern these story lines made, how they interacted and why they were all important. Even something like a minor character becoming blind became important later. That attention to detail is astounding.One of my favorite things in this book was the love story between Laurent and Oxham. It was so intense but at no point did they meet in the book. We learned of their past, saw how they met, saw that this relationship was really driving their decisions, but there wasn't some grand reunion at the end. There was still a possibility that Laurent would never get home and even if he did, he had years until he would reach his destination. Despite this, I couldn't help hoping every second that they made it back to each other. Every time I thought Laurent would die (and believe me, there were many times I really thought that it was the end of that man) I found myself praying that Westerfeld would find a way for him to get out of it.At the end of it all, you found that the emperor was keeping a dark secret: the eternal life that he had been promising everyone for thousands of years, was a farce. He couldn't actually provide it. And instead of telling people, he decided to cover it up. Part of that cover up including killing the empress, someone so beloved to her people.Something else I really enjoyed about this book was how much and how little people changed. Laurent's entire perspective changed. Before that, he had thrown all of his loyalty into the empire, the emperor and what he had been taught. By the end of it, he was siding with they "enemy", ready to start a new world because what else was he going to do? However, Oxham throughout the book never strayed from her ideals, her principles and in the end, while she had changed when it came to her views on the emperor, she didn't ever change her views on what she believed.My only negative was sometimes the science got a little heavy handed. And Westerfeld did his best to dumb it down but it really got to be a lot sometimes. I understand that it's a necessary evil in a book such as this but there were times that I didn't care about the science and just wanted him to get on with the story.Over all, this book, and series, was just spectacular. I recommend it to anyone into space age/sci-fi books. I thought it was some of Westerfeld's best work and it's just enthralling.

I just lost my first review because of some kind of error in saving it, and I am very frustrated because it was one of my longer reviews. Anyway, this is the sequel to The Risen Empire, but really it's the second half of a longer work that was split in two to meet retailer demands. It starts after a cliffhanger, and much of the first bit is an extended battle sequence, which is pretty good as these things go... lots of tense moments, surprising attacks and counter-moves, and some cool ideas. I don't typically connect to battle scenes personally, and this never rose above that level, but that's a matter of personal tastes.I mentioned in my review of the previous book that I felt a certain distance that prevented me from really connecting to the main characters... and unfortunately, that continued, at least with the two leads, the ones we spent the most time on. We get Laurent Zai, who's the mostly loyal captain, the one who comes up with the brilliant moves that keeps his crew alive against all odds, and generally speaking does the right thing, but I never got much sense of him as a person. The senator is slightly better, but not much... I mostly connected to the first officer, and the Rixwoman.I rated the last one three stars, and mentioned that I hoped that the conclusion might make me raise it to four. That didn't happen. Not just because of the character thing, but there were plot reasons as well. Without getting too spoilery, I hope, the book hinges on secrets being revealed, secrets that are not only kept from the society, but also from the reader for much of the two books. They're built up as huge things, teasingly kept away from us, even when individual people in the story stumble upon it. The problem is twofold... one, that the secret itself, is ultimately disappointing... it's actually something that should be independently speculated on by a large portion of the society, and as such, as a revelation it doesn't really work, because if a character spills it, they should be dismissed as a crank. The second problem is part of a greater problem in the book... the keeping of the secret doesn't really make sense. There are ways that, if somebody wanted to reveal it (and apparently somebody did), the secret should have been spread out across the galaxy at the speed of communication. Information isn't that hard to get out, but the author devises all sorts of artificial and never-quite-believable barriers to this happening. Another minor gripe I had, one that has nothing to do with the secret itself, illustrates the problem. There's an AI who transmits itself from one location to another. Doing so, for no apparent reason we can discover, somehow REMOVES it from the original site. This is not how information works, and if you're writing a book where the plot hinges on information, you should at least be aware of how information works.I still give this, and the two books together, three stars, because I did like it, largely due to the worldbuilding. If the author ever wrote another book in the setting, I'd probably read it, although that reminds me of another problem I had with the book... the ending leaves so much unresolved, it's like another book was planned but never materialized. It's not as bad as the cliffhanger between the two halves of what was written as one novel, but I was left thinking, "Okay, so... what happens?" I'm never one who appreciates the "let the reader imagine that" approach much, if that was intended. If they're going to take that tack, I might as well imagine the whole book. However, three stars is where it sits... enjoyable, but it'll never be one of my favorites.

What do You think about The Killing Of Worlds (2003)?

If you read 'The Risen Empire' and are wondering whether you should read 'The Killing of Worlds', then what the heck is the problem with you? Yes, of course you should read it! Don't you want to know what happens to Laurent Zai and his crew? Sheesh.If you haven't read 'The Risen Empire', and are wondering whether the conclusion of the Succession 2-part series is worth it, then I'm happy to report that it is. It's hard to match the sheer adrenaline and intensity of the opening of 'The Risen Empire', but 'The Killing of Worlds' comes terribly close with a gut-wrenching, epic space battle filled with tension and brilliant strategies. 'The Killing of Worlds' also justifies the series' comparisons with Herbert's 'Dune', as the political stakes are raised and the political arena turns into a deadly battle of wits.Overall, the Succession series was immensely satisfying, epic, exciting and intelligent. I found the hard SF elements in the second half of 'The Killing of Worlds' to be unnecessarily convoluted and distracting, but otherwise the SF was flawless. A real gem.
—Daniel Roy

This was the sequel to The Risen Empire and the conclusion to the Succession duology. It's basically just the second half of the story! As you might imagine this is of a similar quality to the first book and has the same strengths: Good world building, fascinating technological developments, and a story full of interesting moral dilemmas and political intrigue. Unfortunately it retained the same weaknesses: The imbalance between the world building and the techno babel, and the characterization. The result left a well drawn world, but distant, if still likable, characters. I enjoyed some of the space battles and was eager to see how Laurent Zai and his crew would survive the attacks from their various enemies. I was fairly happy with the way the political situation concluded. It was interesting to finally learn the Emperor's secret and to discover the lengths he was willing to go to in order to conceal that secret. All in all I was a bit disappointed by the Succession duology. It was an average read. Definitely not as good as Uglies, the other Scott Westerfeld series I've read.Rating : 3 stars.

I loved this book, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It's a fascinating, extraordinary tale of love, politics, and war. It was non-stop action and interesting events, and although the big reveal at the end was hinted at, I still thought it was great. The characters were so well rounded and real, and I was really glad that they allied themselves with the Rix at the end; the shifting POV from h_rd's point of view made me, of course, understand and love both cultures. The different P

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