Empire by Orson Scott Card
Major Reuben Malich is completely loyal to the idea of democracy. As the US is drawn into a possible civil war after the President's assassination, Malich finds himself at the center of a vast conspiracy. As he and his assistant Cole, scramble to uncover what is happening and stop it, the layers of the plot get deeper and deeper.
Card hasn't lost his touch with weaving complex plots and characters although he really likes to write brilliant people. The scenario in this book of a civil war is chillingly plausible given the right kinds of people with enough motivation, ambition, and funding.
As great as Cards' writing is, his political views show up much to much in this book. You can hear his homophobia (among other things) coming through, and this can be quite off-putting despite liking his characters. I understand authors have a right to make their points, but that doesn't mean I have to like reading them.
Despite my misgivings, purely on writing along, this story is worth reading although the 'surprise' ending isn't much of a surprise. Major Malich and Cole are characters you want to root for and the story definitely has a lot of seat-gripping moments.
Star Rating: 3.5/5.0
For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.