Empress of Forever

Empress of Forever

A feminist Guardians of the Galaxy—a smart, swashbuckling, wildly imaginative adventure of a rag-tag team of brilliant misfits, dangerous renegades, and enhanced outlaws in a war-torn future.A wildly successful innovator to rival Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, Vivian Liao is prone to radical thinking, quick decision-making, and reckless action. On the eve of her grea...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Empress of Forever
Author:Max Gladstone
Rating:

Empress of Forever Reviews

  • Django Wexler

    Do I get to write the first review? It's amazing!

  • Rebecca Roanhorse

    Max Gladstone is one of my favorite writers. His imagination is a thing of wonder, and his worldbuilding continuously blows me away. This book was no exception. I saw someone describe this as a "gonzo Guardians of the Galaxy" and that's totally fair. It's a space adventure with a rag tag crew of misfits and it is massive in scope and scale. But it's also very Gladstone, which means it's philosophical and mathematical and lyrical and, honestly, just beyond my ken sometimes - but that's okay. I li

    Max Gladstone is one of my favorite writers. His imagination is a thing of wonder, and his worldbuilding continuously blows me away. This book was no exception. I saw someone describe this as a "gonzo Guardians of the Galaxy" and that's totally fair. It's a space adventure with a rag tag crew of misfits and it is massive in scope and scale. But it's also very Gladstone, which means it's philosophical and mathematical and lyrical and, honestly, just beyond my ken sometimes - but that's okay. I like the challenge. It won't be a good fit for everyone, but it's ambitious and wild and worth your time. Also, Suicide Queens is my new favorite thing and if I ever start a band, you better believe that will be our name.

  • Bradley

    First things first: I had a great time.

    As in, this is a goofy, fast-paced, unabashedly hard-SF, galaxy-spanning space-opera mania that mixes cloud-computing universe-spanning quantum-computing with the afterlife, instant travel, world-eating gods, cyborgs, huge space battles, and a HUGE baddie in the Empress of Forever who is literally impossible to defeat because she IS the substrate of the entire universe I just described.

    When it comes to the whole grab bag of SF concepts and the way it is a

    First things first: I had a great time.

    As in, this is a goofy, fast-paced, unabashedly hard-SF, galaxy-spanning space-opera mania that mixes cloud-computing universe-spanning quantum-computing with the afterlife, instant travel, world-eating gods, cyborgs, huge space battles, and a HUGE baddie in the Empress of Forever who is literally impossible to defeat because she IS the substrate of the entire universe I just described.

    When it comes to the whole grab bag of SF concepts and the way it is all put together, this is no lightweight SF. It made me dance around, happy as a pig in muck, and I pretty much forgave anything else because Gladstone KNOWS his genre inside and out. I thought he couldn't be topped in the UF field, but I should have had a bit more faith. :)

    So why aren't I giving this a full 5 stars? Because the plot is kinda standard and predictable. The twist, especially, and although I DID like the backward hints residing in the naming conventions that spelled it all out, the SECOND twist that I expected didn't come.

    The characters were pretty fine. The focus did have some self-realization going on and this is definitely a Lesbian space adventure that has a lot of Iron Man overtones. Otherwise, the description in the blurb is accurate. Guardians of the Galaxy misfits, indeed. No complaints here.

    Fun stuff, ESPECIALLY after you get through the opening bits in the book. It really takes off once a certain lady gets woken up. Definitely popcorn fiction for the nanotech infected galaxy. :)

  • Adah Udechukwu

    Empress of Forever is a bit good though the novel is complicated and its length is quite annoying.

  • Petrik

    has been on my TBR ever since I first heard about it. Judging from the blurb alone, I was immediately intrigued. Just read the blurb, seriously, it sounds so cleverly insane and my god, Gladstone delivers completely on this; stunningly original and cool world-building to witness. That’s exactly what I found to be brilliant from Gladstone’s/>Empress

    has been on my TBR ever since I first heard about it. Judging from the blurb alone, I was immediately intrigued. Just read the blurb, seriously, it sounds so cleverly insane and my god, Gladstone delivers completely on this; stunningly original and cool world-building to witness. That’s exactly what I found to be brilliant from Gladstone’s books, his world-building, action scenes, prose, and ideas always feel refreshing and unique. I’ve read only two books in his

    series and the things that worked for me there is even more evident here. I won’t lie that there were a lot of moments from this book that made me truly flabbergasted because it’s extremely imaginative. Time travel, an ancient Empress that could destroy a planet with a single thought, character literally sitting on a freaking comet flying through space, sentient machines, dead planets, and many more insanity that’s crazier than the one I just mentioned; there’s no shortage to Gladstone’s ambitious imagination in creating this novel.

    Now then, what made this book didn’t work for me came to the same reason why

    didn’t work, his characters always felt lacking in motivations and personality to me. This could be just me, I know a lot of readers who’ve loved Gladstone’s characters in

    . I found his characterizations to be not prioritized. Many of the characters lack detail in motivation and feelings that are necessary to make me care for their journey. For instance, Vivian Shao was catapulted to the future at the beginning of the book. The entire storyline revolves around her gathering a crew of misfits to defeat the Empress so she could go back to her present timeline and be reunited with Magda. Why? Viv did say that she wants to return the present timeline, which she hates, and Magda is important to her. However, there wasn’t enough scene that shows that importance; just because she said it doesn’t instantly means or look like she genuinely cares. Viv even looked like she’s having fun more in the future timeline. The only character that I ended up finding interesting was Zanj, that’s it. Not gonna lie, I DNFed this book somewhere around 65% and I just can’t bring myself to continue further because I simply don’t care about the characters’ journey; cool ideas and world-building alone aren’t what I’m looking for in a novel.

    It's a shame that I can't love Gladstone's work more. I bounced off Craft Sequence but I really thought I was going to enjoy this one.

    is full of brilliant world-building and crazy stories, but unfortunately none of the characters made me feel invested. This is probably where I stop with reading his work.

  • Lindsay

    Vivian Liao is a Jobs-like tech entrepreneur whose found herself in trouble with the government. While going through her ultimate plan to not-be-waterboarded she's attacked by a bizarre green figure working with technology that might as well be magic. Afterwards she wakes up naked and cocooned in a far future posthuman galaxy where even the substrate of space is programmable, and the whole thing is brutally and capriciously ruled by an all-powerful Empress. As Vivian gathers allies and makes ene

    Vivian Liao is a Jobs-like tech entrepreneur whose found herself in trouble with the government. While going through her ultimate plan to not-be-waterboarded she's attacked by a bizarre green figure working with technology that might as well be magic. Afterwards she wakes up naked and cocooned in a far future posthuman galaxy where even the substrate of space is programmable, and the whole thing is brutally and capriciously ruled by an all-powerful Empress. As Vivian gathers allies and makes enemies in her mission to return to her time, her presence has a massive effect on the universe around her.

    This is too long for what it is. The allies that Vivian gathers are interesting, but the processes of meeting each of them and the groups that they come from is incredibly drawn out, and while fantastical in an imaginative sense, it just ends up being boring. By the time things start actually happening with Vivian's interaction with the Empress, the twist was long-guessed, and any care for a resolution had long been beaten out of me.

    I will note that one of the more difficult problems of modern SF, how to make a posthuman story relatable, is approached in an interesting way here by simply plonking a regular human down in the middle of them. Unfortunately this is undermined, because Vivian is basically a flawless superwoman, and as such, not all that much more human than the people around her.

    I was also fairly uncomfortable with some of the writing around the way Vivian (who's a lesbian) referred to her physical attraction to her love interest in the narrative. It felt very male gaze perspective to me, which just feels icky when both characters are female. I've read plenty of books with lesbians and bisexual women from women authors and this is not how they write about attraction between each other.

    YMMV, but this one was not for me.

  • The Captain

    I am a huge fan of the author's work and so was excited for this excerpt. After reading it, I have to admit that I am ambivalent about this story. I really enjoy the three main characters. But the plot is confusing me. Multi-worlds. Weird empress. Dead worlds. A cloud that seems to control this world. I am not adverse to finishing this book to see what the payout might be. But I can't say that I be excited to do so either. I will be interested in seeing what the reviews of the full book will be.

    I am a huge fan of the author's work and so was excited for this excerpt. After reading it, I have to admit that I am ambivalent about this story. I really enjoy the three main characters. But the plot is confusing me. Multi-worlds. Weird empress. Dead worlds. A cloud that seems to control this world. I am not adverse to finishing this book to see what the payout might be. But I can't say that I be excited to do so either. I will be interested in seeing what the reviews of the full book will be. Arrrr!

  • Jennifer

    This is an action-packed, furiously paced...mess of a novel that I've been trying to read for almost two months. I concede defeat. Watching Max Gladstone try to write a blockbuster space opera is every bit as painful as listening to my favorite indie band going all Coldplay on me. (And not even Coldplay when Coldplay was good.) His quirky imagination - perhaps best exemplified in his necromantic lawyers of

    - is a poor fit for the thrill-a-minute space opera adventure he's trying to

    This is an action-packed, furiously paced...mess of a novel that I've been trying to read for almost two months. I concede defeat. Watching Max Gladstone try to write a blockbuster space opera is every bit as painful as listening to my favorite indie band going all Coldplay on me. (And not even Coldplay when Coldplay was good.) His quirky imagination - perhaps best exemplified in his necromantic lawyers of

    - is a poor fit for the thrill-a-minute space opera adventure he's trying to write in

    . The result is so strained and so curiously hollow that it's painful to read. I just don't care. About the world, the storyline (what there is, under the action), the more or less instantaneous romance, the characters.

    The characters might be the biggest problem here. We hardly know or like Vivian before she's whisked off to a far-future world and flung into a series of quests whose rationales we only dimly understand (but please, by all means, be distracted from the underlying pointlessness by the explosions and adventure). Nor does she improve upon further acquaintance, and neither does her merry band of misfits, who fully deserve their cliche.

    I did like that the character Zanj is quite closely based on the monkey king of the Chinese epic Journey to the West (trapped for thousands of years - check; magical pain-inducing crown that allows the main character to keep her under control - check). I enjoyed revisiting the epic to hunt for parallels. That was probably the most pleasure

    has afforded me.

    There's just no reason to read this book. Max Gladstone has written much better ones, and having got this one out of his system, he will (I hope) get back to writing weird, twisty, singular science fiction.

  • carol.

    I requested this knowing that I loved Gladstone's Craft series, and that he can write an engrossing and unusual fantasy world when he puts his mind to it. Empress of Forever starts a bit like a movie where the Bored Super Rich Person Who Still Doesn't Take It For Granted (I forget which movie that was) Who Walks Away From It All to do something mysterious. The U.S. has become progressively farther along the road to a surveillance state, so the route she takes is complex, and had far too much det

    I requested this knowing that I loved Gladstone's Craft series, and that he can write an engrossing and unusual fantasy world when he puts his mind to it. Empress of Forever starts a bit like a movie where the Bored Super Rich Person Who Still Doesn't Take It For Granted (I forget which movie that was) Who Walks Away From It All to do something mysterious. The U.S. has become progressively farther along the road to a surveillance state, so the route she takes is complex, and had far too much detail. It allows us to get a BIT of backstory, but only a bit. It is clear very quickly that Vivian is a complete Mary Sue. She wrecks her sailboat, meets up with her BFF who doesn't realize how much crap they are about to be in, then heads to a server farm for standard Movie Hacking Sequence. Apparently, she is then is thrown into the future where some other Mary Stu martial-arts monk-dude (*Totally-Not-Keanu) saves her.

    Honestly, that's where I stopped reading.

    It could have been the future. It could have been a dream sequence. I found myself not particularly interested, and I was even on vacation. I stopped reading. The selection NetGalley shared with me was billed as "an excerpt," but it felt about an hour too long, which made me quite sad. Maybe Gladestone's The Craft Sequence is his one-hit wonder for me (so to speak). This is a hard pass.

  • megs_bookrack

    Pitched as 'feminist

    crossed with

    .

    I'm like...

    Yeah.

    That's me.

    Hand it over!

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.