The first book in a new Space Opera series, centered around battle between dynastic mercantile families, and The Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.
It’s got a fascinating premise, interesting characters, and brings the same charm and approachable narrative for fans new to SF that all of Scalzi’s books offer. It’s a great starting point for new, potential fans as well as great read for older fans familiar with his style and wanting their next fix ... it’s not without its darkness and loss—but it never feels pessimistic ... Overall, The Collapsing Empire is a fun book filled with drama, intrigue, and quippy characters it’s easy to root for (and against—the book has a great set of antagonists). It’s a promising start to a new series, and I highly expect that it will leave readers clamoring for the next volume as soon as they reach the last page.
The Collapsing Empire offers plenty of Scalzi’s usual wit—reading about a doomed society is rarely this much fun. Rarely, too, is it this timely ... Blending Scalzi’s sturdy world-building with jolts of action, fast-paced politics, and a bit of Austen-flavored romance, The Collapsing Empire is the first in a series, and readers who get in now will find much to look forward to.
Scalzi has constructed a thrilling novel so in tune with the flow of politics that it would feel relevant at almost any time ... Scalzi is good at writing two-faced political cutthroats and usually manages to make their machinations interesting. He balances humor with action throughout the book, and always keeps the plot twists coming ... One annoyance is that The Collapsing Empire does not bill itself as the beginning of a new series (in the vein of Scalzi’s breakthrough Old Man’s War saga) and yet it leaves most of its story untold by the end. Scalzi does a good job of building this unique world and setting up a lot of dominoes, but only a few have fallen by the end of this book’s 300 pages.