Today I finished Orson Scott Card's Hidden Empire, the sequel to Empire. Even though it's been a while since I read the first book--which I thoroughly enjoyed--I believe I liked this book better.
The premise of the first book in the series, Empire, is to imagine a world where red states and blue states wage war for control of America. Instead of just throwing insults and facts that support their opinions, they use bullets and bombs. I'm forgetting many of the details due to the time that's passed since I read it, but I do recall that it was a story of political ideologies taken to the extreme and just how far things could go if people backed up their hatred of each other with weapons.
I thought it was a timely read.
Then I picked up Hidden Empire...
And realized what timely really means.
Hidden Empire begins with a village in Africa that falls victim to a deadly virus that kills almost all it infects. Have you checked any headlines coming from the African continent lately? Of course, the story expands to where governments battle, conspiracy theories rage and special forces are assembled to protect and serve.
It's a good read, quick, smart, and perhaps more so than the first book (because of some of the advanced technological weaponry...), more believable. But what I liked most is the book reminded me of all those Tom Clancy books I read decades ago. For me Card captured the heart of those books, the personal dilemmas the characters faced, and I'd recommend the book for that reason alone.