The Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone is spectacular. Wow! What an imaginative, creative, marvelous read.
If you’re looking for original space opera, this novel certainly fits. The concepts were huge and small at the same time, depending on how you wanted to take it. It’s hard not to envy what goes on in Gladstone’s head and then how he puts it in written form.
The main character is a Steve Jobs type, who starts off the story by running from the feds. She is then transported into another time, and, it seems, another universe. Viv starts running and never stops in this world and on the others she visits during the course of this delicious adventure.
What’s worse than being locked away by the feds? Hmmm, maybe killer robots and warrior monks. Then there’s an empress who rules the galaxy, who attacked Viv and brought her into this crazy galaxy.
Viv uses her smarts to survive and attract a rag-tag group of misfits who work to help her get home. One review said this story was a bit like Guardians of the Galaxy. And, it is. It’s fun, it’s poetic (beautifully written), thought-provoking, and took me into a world like I’ve never read or seen before. Fantastic!
The character are unique and alien and amazing and familiar. There were twists and turns to keep the story fresh and brilliant. Can you tell I loved it? Max Gladstone is an author I now want to read more of, and I highly, highly recommend Empress of Forever.
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 tries to outrun people who are trying to steal her success.
In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, Viv sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, Vivian Liao 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.