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The Collapsing Empire

The Interdependency, Book 1
Written by: John Scalzi
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (205 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 26.81
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Publisher's Summary

2018 Locus Award, Best Science Fiction Novel

Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transports 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. 

©2017 John Scalzi (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"Fans of Game of Thrones and Dune will enjoy this bawdy, brutal, and brilliant political adventure." (Booklist)

"Scalzi has constructed a thrilling novel so in tune with the flow of politics that it would feel relevant at almost any time." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Political plotting, plenty of snark, puzzle-solving, and a healthy dose of action…Scalzi continues to be almost insufferably good at his brand of fun but think-y sci-fi adventure." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

ok novel

Not as entertaining as other Scalzi novels. I wasn't sad when it was over and I don't think I will read the sequel.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • B
  • 2018-04-07

a good read

it was very good, the beginning I found was hard to follow but I have that issue with every book. very much enjoyed it and looking forward to the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love John Scalzi and WIl Wheaton!

Glad to hear another book by John Scalzi and narrated by Wil Wheaton. Great combo, look forward to book 2 in the series!

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fantastic!

One of the best books i have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. I am so excited for the rest of the series!!

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Entertaining

A strong story that contains the death of an emperor, illegitimate child, a terrorist act and a civil war.....all the while the empire collapsea. I enjoyes this very much
Wil Wheaton is a terrific narrator.

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Like Dropping An Ice Cream Cone On A Hot Summer Da

Cheeky and vulgar with an acceptable amount of gripping action, this audio book had the making of something I can binge and get into. Unfortunately the ending is abrupt and leaves much to be desired. I'm hooked now and will get on with the series but I feel like the continuation of the series could have launched elsewhere.

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Best in the Universe

Wil Wheaton delivers another amazing performance! I hope to hear more of his work in the future.

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Great story and we'll performed

i enjoyed the story and the characters very much. Pleasantly surprised at Wil Wheaton's narration. I never suspected he had narration talent. Bring in the next instalment.

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wil wheaton

Wil Wheaton should not be narrating novels, so cut and dry with all the wrong emotions for the characters

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Engrossing

Very well written, changes things up enough to keep you interested. Characters are also very interesting and believable. Will Wheaton also does a pretty decent job. #Audible1

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  • Ron P
  • Monroe, WA USA
  • 2017-03-29

Just feels small - no sense of scale, so why care?

This is humanity at stake. Gravitas isn't Scalzi's thing, but geez, this one feels like ... who cares? I know I'm in the minority, but this felt like a draft that still needed some pretty hefty structural revisions.

69 of 86 people found this review helpful

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  • pat
  • 2017-03-25

Definitely not my favorite scalzi

An interesting and engaging story...... Until it peters out with no resolution.

The stopping point of the book feels less like a planed ending and more like the last 50 pages were missing when the book went to the publisher.

83 of 104 people found this review helpful

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  • clifford
  • United States
  • 2018-02-05

Dumb

This is Sci-fi with minimal world building. Essentially today’s tech with space ships and little else in the way of technological advances even though it’s set 1000’s of years into the future.

The plot revolves around a muted Game of Thrones character structure. The characters are dumb and shallow.

All in all this is a big letdown for any fan of the first couple Old Mans War books

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Gonzalo
  • MIAMI, FL, United States
  • 2017-05-11

Not the best of Scalzi

I like John Scalzi's work and in audio book I prefer it read by Will Wheaton. I was excited by this new book and series. Unfortunately the book in not the best Scalzi. often because of trademark Scalzi traits. The plot of an empire united by a subspace effect that allows for faster than light travel; now endangered because that effect is going away, is very interesting. I wish the author had taken this book more seriously. I like Scalzis humor but it gets in the way of the plot and makes some of the characters shallow and uninteresting. It wouldn't be a Scalia book without sarcasm and wit but it gets too crass and over the top for the needs of this story. The first book of his I read "The Androids Dream" needed it and was hilarious, but "Lock In" toned it down and was better for it. Wish this one had too.

60 of 76 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam K Stevens
  • 2017-06-10

What Happened Scalzi?

Being a fan of both the, "Old Man's War" series as well as the author's contributions to the METAtropolis anthologies, I blindly purchased The Collapsing Empire. This unfortunately was a complete mistake as I ended hating the writing, loathing most of the characters and rolling my eyes over the the sci-fi concepts introduced in the series. Worst of all was the sarcasm. My god, the main character, Kiva is like some hyper-foul mouthed, self-entitled space-Millennial. Now, I've read my share, and thoroughly enjoyed several stories featuring dislikable protagonists or anti-heroes. However, I think the author's intention was to make the reader find Kiva charming or a tough no-nonsense female Han Solo-esque scoundrel. Instead of charming, I kept hoping she would get dumped out an airlock every time the narrative focused on her. Other characters include a dying space Pope who reminded of Grandpa Simpson and his snoozetastic daughter. I was also disappointed with sci-fi elements of the story which included an intergalactic space highway and a theocratic super government which was hardly fleshed out at all. This book is such a departure from Scalzi's usually superb work, it almost feels like it was ghost written by a far less talented writer. I sincerely hope Mr. Scalzi returns to form in his future efforts and we can dismiss this novel as an unfortunate deviation from an otherwise immensely talented author. Also, Wil Wheaton narration style always bugs me for reasons I have yet been able to explain.

103 of 131 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MatieB
  • 2017-04-12

Just "ok"

I'm a huge fan of sci-fi and have listened to nearly every sci-fi series on Audible... So when I saw this one was a NY best seller I thought for sure it would be great, but it wasn't. It was just "ok". There are a lot of better sci-fi series on Audible. This book had very little action and was mostly political. Also the narrator doesn't come close to R.C Bray's narrations! And the author of this book over used the word f*ck. I have no problem with a well placed curse word for effect but this author over used it so much I had to turn the book off at times because it was too much, and I'm not conservative or anything. He leaned on the swearing way too much to evoke emotion. But I still gave it 3 stars because it did slowly getting better though out the book and by the end I was interested to find out what happens. So overall it's an "ok" sci-fi book if you can't find anything better. If you can find something narrated by R.C Bray! All his sci-fi projects turn out amazing!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • busylady
  • 2017-04-03

Very disappointing

I have enjoyed his other works, but this just felt sloppy and juvenile. I would recommend passing on this.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • ketil vestby
  • 2017-04-01

Thin storyline, profanities to "compensate"

Overloaded with profanities, combined with a vacuum - thin storyline.

Both author and narrator have released good stories before, so they clearly wanted something different.. Too bad they have stooped to the level in this book.

It's one of the purchases I really regret.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2017-04-01

THE STUPIDITIES OF COURT

YOUR ALWAYS ALONE INT HE MEMORY ROOM AND NEVER ALONE IN THE MEMORY ROOM
This is filled with lots of LOL moments and some great funny characters. SCALZI humor includes giving funny names to ships, such as the following: TELL ME ANOTHER ONE, I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW, IF YOU WANT TO SING OUT, SING OUT, YES SIR, THAT'S MY BABY and it's sister ship NO SIR, DON'T MEAN MAYBE. The humor is fairly steady throughout the book without being overwhelming.

SORRY, I GOT DISTRACTED THINKING ABOUT SEX
The book is a tiny bit Dune, Game of Thrones, Foundation and The Last Empress. I listened to the whole book and will be buying the sequel, but had it been a different author, I might have given up within the first three to four hours. That is because it is mostly a political book, with Guilds, Courts, Emperors, and Great Houses. The book builds and because the characters are well developed, gets better the longer it goes on. It does not have a lot of science and their are no aliens. It is mostly politics and back stabbing of nobles. STOP WHINING ABOUT IT FOR F SAKE. One of the main characters is a female who cusses like a sailor and has a high sex drive. I found her hilarious.

Wil Wheaton is the best for this. He not only does sarcasm better than anyone else, if you listen during what would normally be considered filler, you can hear him putting everything into to make it sound interesting.

183 of 236 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Zoe Downton
  • 2017-06-14

A premise, not a story

Let's get this strait, the reason I gave this a bad review is not because the book sucked, it's because it's incomplete. What you get is the beginning of a story, that's it, you have character introductions and an outlining of a world and what will become the conflict of the series but that's it. I get that this a series, I do, but even then, a novel in a series should be mostly self contained, this is anything but. It feels like Skalzi couldn't finish the book on time so he just published what he had so far. long story short, I don't think it's worth the money or the credit on its own.

33 of 42 people found this review helpful