I might have had my expectations too high for the writer of Old Man’s War, but John Scalzi did not exactly dazzle me with this first installment of his Interdependency Series. This was also a Hugo nomination from last year that I’m still wrapping up(got caught up on my own TBR list).
The Collapsing Empire is really about the end of a civilization, one who has built their entire way of life around “the Flow”, which is essentially a wormhole highway that connects solar systems throughout the galaxy. Mainly taking place in the Hub system(it is exactly what it is named for) and End(again the same thing), we follow three main characters as they show how the collapse of the Flow will essentially screw humanity.
The world building of all of this is rather well done. The interlinking of the various houses that provide the ruling aristocracy, which is interesting, since it brings back some of those old pulpy tropes from space operas of the past. This and the implementation of the Flow, which is kind of like a galactic highway was compelling, especially at a sociological level.
This was my first Scalzi book and it wasn’t until about the end that I was getting more sold on it. There’s a lot of set up, which is expected since it’s the first book of a series. The characters are fun, if not a little one dimensional, although some were starting to become more fleshed out as the book went along. The focus is on three specific characters, but there are occasional interludes where it more benefits the reader than anyone else. They were fun if nothing else.
All in all, not a bad book, but nothing incredibly revolutionary either. Hoping to read the next book to see what happens next.