"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

30 June 2010

Hidden Empire

Card, Orson Scott. Hidden Empire. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2009.

This sequel to Card's Empire is simply excellent. Colonel Coleman is still working with the remnants of Reuben Malich's jeesh, and they are training on a new exoskeleton that the military is using. The exoskeleton, nicknamed "bones" by the group, magnifies the user's movements so he can literally leap buildings in a single bound or run tirelessly for miles and miles at top speeds.
Meanwhile, a small boy in Nigeria is helping his family catch monkeys. One of the monkeys spits on him, and soon he and his entire village become ill with what is called the sneezing sickness. This plague begins to spread through Africa, killing 30-50% of its victims and leaving the others too weak to move.
The president of the United States places a quarantine on the continent of Africa and dispenses Coleman's jeesh to help keep order there. Soon, Malich's eldest son Mark thinks it's his duty to go to Africa and help the sick and dying people.
The United States is still recovering from its second civil war, and everyone is grateful that a good man is in the White House. But Coleman and his jeesh have their doubts. Is it possible that the president of the United States could plan for a plague just so he could redraw the map of Africa?
This book is well worth reading. I finished it in two days, and would have finished sooner if I didn't have to take time out for sleeping. If you haven't read Empire, read that one first, and then this one. You'll thank me later.

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