Scott Westerfeld is a software designer, a composer of music for modern dance, and the author of four previous novels. He lives in New York City and Sydney, Australia.
In a universe where the Risen Emperor has discovered the secret of returning life to the dead, the individuals known as the Risen form an elite ruling class within an Empire that fears only the Rix, a faction of machine-integrated humans determined to overthrow the Emperor and seize the Empire for their own. In the face of a new onslaught by the Rix, disgraced Capt. Laurent Zai finds himself forced to accept a suicide mission to halt a Rix invasion with his ship alone. In the meantime, his lover, a Senator in the Empire, discovers that the Emperor has a secret that could undermine his authority were it uncovered. The sequel to The Risen Empire combines fast-paced space battles with scenes of high intrigue and subtle danger and features protagonists driven by their sense of honor and loyalty to each other. With particular appeal to fans of space opera and sf intrigue, this title belongs in most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"The concluding half of a superior space adventure yarn, filled with romance, betrayal, and terrific ordnance."--"Locus "on" The Killing of Worlds " "A superb job of depicting an escalating space battle between human and rival Rix (cyborg) forces, with its constantly amazing but logical weapons and tactics, as well as political maneuvering back at the imperial capital. Vivid characterization and a witty, laconic style lift this far above the space-opera average."--"Publishers Weekly "on" The Killing of Worlds " "The successor to "The Risen Empire" is just as fine a rip-roaring space opera, with its strength residing in the characters, all of them involved in believable dilemmas, even Herd, the supposedly emotionless cyborg Rix soldier who finds love."--"Booklist "on" The Killing of Worlds "
After Westerfeld's excellent first installment, The Risen Empire (2003), in which a far-future empire of 80 worlds depends on its ruler's ability to give his most loyal subjects immortality, this concluding sequel comes as something of a letdown. That said, the author does a superb job of depicting an escalating space battle between human and rival Rix (cyborg) forces, with its constantly amazing but logical weapons and tactics, as well as political maneuvering back at the imperial capital. Vivid characterization and a witty, laconic style lift this far above the space-opera average. Readers, though, will need to go back to the first book to understand what makes the struggle between the empire and the Rix significant to meet Laurent Zai, brilliant space captain, whose allegiance to the emperor is weakening, and his lover, Senator Nara Oxham, who believes that the promise of immortality is choking human evolution. Without this personal perspective, the displays of military hardware come across as merely clever. At the end, huge promising and threatening changes have just begun. Despite the billing as the second half of the story, some may suspect that there's at least a third half lurking offstage. (Oct. 22) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.