The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man’s War.
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.
“It’s not whether she tells everyone,” Huma said. “It’s whether they believe her.” “
It’s the truth.”
“Oh, my daughter,” Huma said, and smiled. “Don’t tell me you don’t know how little that actually means.”
The Collapsing Empire is one of those books that I know is really good, I just couldn’t get into it personally. The book is really heavy on building up the world and what is about to happen, but I’m a character person. I just had a hard time getting into any of the characters on screen, and every time I did, it would switch perspectives. This made it really hard for me to get into.
The plot itself is pretty basic but interesting nonetheless. Cardenia was never supposed to be Emperox, the ultimate ruler of the Interdependency. Then her brother died in a freak accident and her father is nearly dead, himself. Oh, and the Interdependence as we know it is close to collapse. The Flow, the mechanism they use to traverse space is in flux and everyone is about to be cut off from space travel. Which is really bad because no single planet, asteroid, or outpost produces enough to survive on their own. Woops.
There are a whole host of characters that Scalzi cycles through throughout the book. Scalzi gives them just enough time so their story starts to get interesting, and then switches to a new character. Which was especially difficult because I only truly like two of them. There is an entire family full of terrible, ambitious, powerful people, a woman who doesn’t care about anything except sex, a male who is working to figure out what is going on with the Flow, and a woman who is about to become the most powerful person in this region of space. Plus a few more that didn’t leave much of a lasting impression.
The story starts out slow for me. It felt like I was waiting the whole book for it to really start, when it had actually been happening all along. This entire book felt like it was one giant prelude of things to come. This is one of those slow rolling stories that just unfolds around you as you keep reading. Interesting in its own way, but also mildly frustrating. Looking forward to figuring out how this ends up.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Interdependency series page!