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Publisher's Summary

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 greatest achievement, she seeks to outrun people who are trying to steal her success. 

In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, she sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, she is catapulted through space and time to a far future where she confronts a destiny stranger and more deadly than she could ever imagine. 

The end of time is ruled by an ancient, powerful Empress who blesses or blasts entire planets with a single thought. Rebellion is literally impossible to consider - until Vivian Liao arrives. Trapped between the Pride - a ravening horde of sentient machines - and a fanatical sect of warrior monks who call themselves the Mirrorfaith, Viv must rally a strange group of allies to confront the Empress and find a way back to the world and life she left behind.

©2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC (P)2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What the critics say

“A classic space opera that impossibly becomes a thrilling dungeon crawl fantasy through a universe we’ve never seen before. So smart it makes me jealous.” (Delilah S. Dawson, New York Times best-selling author)
 

What listeners say about Empress of Forever

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

meh

struggled to finish. beginning was decent but then deus ex space pirate became the story

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  • kurt
  • 2020-01-10

Started well...

Overall the story was good it just dragged on for a lot longer than nessary...I almost didn't finish it because after a time I stopped caring about the characters as not much seemed to be happening...

4 people found this helpful

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  • taosaur
  • 2019-07-29

Wild psychedelic space opera

What a stroke of luck tripping over this book on Audible! Gladstone has a unique sensibility that starts from a foundation of '70s psychedelia like Heavy Metal and Fantastic Planet, dumps in a hefty dose of Dragonball Z, and filters the whole thing through a TED Talk by a lesbian Jeff Bezos. Natalie Naudus' character voicing is phenomenal, right on point with how Gladstone undercuts the godlike beings our Last Simple Meatbag in the Universe protagonist has to wrangle at every turn.

The book does suffer from a slow start, but once it gets going it rarely slows down. The closest comparison I'd make would probably be Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep.

9 people found this helpful

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  • R. Stockton
  • 2019-12-13

Excellent and innovative novel

The book was innovative, fun and interesting.

Without giving anything away:

The characters were unique, interesting and all evolved deliberately throughout the book in great ways. I was specifically worried about feminist and/or lesbian characters being written by a man and/or executed in a preachy way, but both concerns proved to be baseless. I will specifically call out how each character had a story, instead of just being a part of the main character's story. Each had unique relationships with the main character, but also to each other.

The setting is super-advanced sci-fi, with no attempt to actually explain how or why things work, but rather focused on effects that could be observed. That said, you could feel consistency throughout the book and marvel with the main character about the effects.

There were twists that I never saw coming and I enjoyed each of them. There were also many elements that could have gone very wrong which were handled with grace and skill.

As for the audiobook itself, Natalie Naudus did an excellent job of voicing each character, even in some very complicated situations.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Geronimo
  • 2020-07-28

disappointing

started off great. but then got into pointless adventures. I will still read other books by the author

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-02

very entertaining

I liked the story. some of the descriptions were repetitive, but good book. the reader was fantastic!

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  • Benjamin
  • 2019-09-16

very original

A very original story, that was well-told. it is a bit superficial in places, but it is thought-provoking and fun, and it has potential.

2 people found this helpful

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  • gerald
  • 2020-05-04

Calling this a Space Opera doesn't do it Justice

This massive work exists within and outside the scope of the main character's mind. The general summary of "a brilliant, future megalomanic character that is sucked into a battle between universes, times and more while encountering mind bending beings that make you and her question to ideas of creation and power" sounds utterly ridiculous.

However it's true. The humor balances out the violence in such a brilliant way but it also highlights the way we, as people, deal with stress and the unknown as we strive through life and seek to know what really drives us.

Get this book now.

I also enjoyed this as an audiobook and it made the work transform again. Natalie Naudus's narration was a perfect pairing of the work. She truly embodied each character and made them stand out for however long they remained on screen/the page. I still laugh at her portrayal of Zanj and the honesty in the insanity.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Church Wood
  • 2020-04-25

Amazing and captivating story

The story was brilliant and the narration was spot on. I just finished the story and i will be listening to it again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-03-14

painfully drawn out lost interest.

this book was good at first, but then it became so painfully drawn out and so boring. it should have ended sooner

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 2019-12-16

It’s Poetry!

This is a thrilling and beautiful action saga with something for everyone. It’s suspenseful, highly imaginative and satisfying.

1 person found this helpful