Empire (In Her Name: Redemption, Book 1)

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EMPIRE is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. Captured and enslaved, Reza must live like his enemies in a grand experiment to see if humans have souls, and if one may be the key to unlocking an ages old curse upon the Kreelan race. More
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Published: Sep. 04, 2009
Words: 133,070
Language: English
ISBN: 9780984492749
About Michael R. Hicks

Born in 1963, Michael Hicks grew up in the age of the Apollo program and spent his youth glued to the television watching the original Star Trek series and other science fiction movies, which continues to be a source of entertainment and inspiration. Having spent the majority of his life as a voracious reader, he has been heavily influenced by writers ranging from Robert Heinlein to Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven, and David Weber to S.M. Stirling. Living in Florida with his beautiful wife, two wonderful stepsons and two mischievous Siberian cats, he is now living his dream of writing full time.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Edsel on March 16, 2014 : star star star star star
This is an extraordinary read. I bought it because I needed a long book and this was long and looked interesting. That turned out to be an understatement.
The groundwork is so well done, the worlds believable as are the characters. There is enough information but the author does not try to over explain an alien race. I love the way he handles the passage of time and travel. If you like stories of the future I think you will love this. Be warned there are three books in this series and they are all excellent unlike so many trilogies where one will stand out over the others. Together or alone they are engrossing.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sue Brumfield on Feb. 27, 2014 : star star star star star
Wow! This book kept me awake hours past my bedtime! I can't wait to finish the series! I'm also going to read the other "In Her Name" series to get all the details of things briefly touched on in this book! Thanks for keeping me up late Michael R. Hicks! :)
(review of free book)

Review by: Antonio Simon, Jr on Aug. 12, 2013 : star star star
Empire: In Her Name is the first in Michael Hick's Empire sci-fi series. The novel tells the story of Reza, a human boy orphaned during the invasion of Earth by a race of savage warriors. Young Reza endures all manner of trials as he grows up and seeks out his place in life. Interestingly, there is more to the invading species than appears at first glance. They are an honorable race of warriors who eschew bullets in favor of melee combat.

Just two things irked me. First, the French girl from planet France. The love interest at the beginning of the novel is from a planet of non-human, human-like people. Her father is a Frenchman from Earth. It's never explained how two distinct species from separate planets produced offspring, nor is it explained how the culture of an entire planet's inhabitants might all so closely resemble that of the country of France.

My second gripe is that it was like Avatar in reverse: instead of humans invading blue aliens, it's the other way around.

That aside, these gripes are insignificant and do not break the story in any way. On the whole, Empire: In Her Name is a fun sci-fi romp packed full of swordplay, which is a refreshing combination given the genre's reliance on laser beams and death rays.
(review of free book)

Review by: Larry B. Gray on July 26, 2013 : star star star star star
Michael R Hicks has done it again with Empire – Book one of the In Her Name series. This is science fiction at it’s’ best. If you love sci-fi space opera you will love this book.

Throughout his different trilogies dealing with the human and Kreelan empires Michael R Hicks has created a universe full action and adventure. This novel Empire is no different. In addition to all the action he has begun to develop and explain the warlike Kreelan culture and mentality. He has made it so real and believable it is easy to put yourself into the story and be consumed by it.

The author has done an excellent job of developing the lead characters, making it easy to identify and follow them throughout the story. Through his story telling style and word usage I could feel the raw emotion of the heroes of the story.

I have read several of Michael R Hicks' books and all I can say is that they are great.

I really enjoyed reading Empire by Michael R Hicks and I highly recommend this book to all readers.
(review of free book)

Review by: Lee Willard on July 12, 2012 : star star star star star
First let me agree with everyone else that this is a great, well written book. It easily beat "The Windup Girl" as the best book I've read this year. The characterization, the cultural details, the action, the emotional involvement are all off the chart. I have to go all the way back to 'The Memory Bank' by Wallace West to find a book that impressed me as much, and we're skipping over 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Rite of Passage,' 'Hyperion,' 'Stand on Zanzibar' and many other Hugo and Nebula winners.

But now the soapbox. Sci-fi does not just foretell the future, it creates the future. And yes, the Sci-fi reading public today demands bodycount above all else and this book provides plenty. To a large extent the public creates the future by what they will read and the authors must follow or forever remain obscure. However, it saddens me to see this prodigious talent used to bring us further along the path that leads thru 'Soylent Green' and 'The Windup Girl' thru 'Road Warrior' and 'Adventures in the Forbidden Zone' toward a world of violence, oppression, misery and death, all in the name of glory, when we could opt for a world of peace, love and transcendence. There is no doubt in anyone's mind, even my own, that Reza's life on an alien planet is more exciting reading than Alan's in 'Yoonbarla,' but if it was YOU who had to live it, which would you choose?
(review of free book)

Review by: Steven K on June 17, 2012 : star star star star
The plot in the opening chapters seemed thin at first, and most of the the characters one-dimensional. But I was glad I pushed on since Hicks finally hit his stride at the point in the story Reza is abducted as part of the Kreelan's "great experiment" to determine if humans possessed anything like their definition of a soul. From that point, I found it nearly impossible to put down.

Although there seemed little doubt where the plot would end up, there were unexpected twists, as well as a backstory for the Kreelans -- revealed bit by tantalizing bit -- that seemed equal parts ancient history and richly detailed mythology.

By the time this book ended -- after yet another delicious twist that leads the reader into the second book -- I could hardly wait to find out where each character's next actions would lead.
(review of free book)

Review by: Anthony Gillis on June 07, 2012 : star star star star star
An amazing read! The hero, Reza Gard, comes of age in the midst of an interstellar war between humanity and the warlike Kreelan Empire. It takes some surprising turns which I will leave to the reader to discover, but will say that the Kreelans are simultaneously very alien and yet comprehensible, even sympathetic.

This one grabbed my attention immediately and kept it. I look forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy!
(review of free book)

Review by: Lynette on April 27, 2012 : star star star star star
Fantastic series. Downloaded the free book and right away got the others in the trilogy once I realised how enjoyable it was. I was totally captivated by the characters and the complex story. As another reviewer put it, the alien culture was so believable that I was rooting for them rather than humanity. I cried and laughed right alongside the hero and his friends. To me it had just the right mix of science fiction, romance and fantasy to keep me hooked to the end of the third book. Lynette. Australia.
(review of free book)

Review by: Solitaire Parke on April 17, 2012 : star star star star star
In Her Name: Empire by Michael R. Hicks was a real treat! I gobbled it up in two sittings and read until my eyes hurt. I was captured by the story within the first three pages and felt the struggle of the Protagonist as if it was my own. When I got to the end, I discovered I was angry. Angry that I hadn't purchased the next two books! It doesn't take rocket science to know what I'm going to read next. Great work Mr Hicks!!
(review of free book)

Review by: TheSFReader on Feb. 26, 2012 : star star star star
The human race is under attack, fighting for survival against the ferocious Kreelan warriors, lead by their priestess caste. Reza Gard, a young orphan, is taken prisonner during a Kreelan raid and lead to their home planet. Considered soulless, he's given to be trained like an animal to a young warrior, Esah-Zhurah. To survive, Reza will have to learn the ways of the Kreelans, to prove his worth to Esah-Zhurah, to the other warriors, to the priestesses, and to the Empress...

Starting like some old-school Military SF, it diverts quickly to a more "Sword and Planet" book, in the straight line of E.R. Burrough (Barsoom/Mars), Jack Vance and his Tschai quadrilogy, or in France Ayerdhal's Mytale and Balade Choreïale.

Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, Cherryh's Foreigner, Andrea K Höst's Touchstone... I'm not sure I've yet talked about my love of such books, where someone is sent straight into an unknown culture, but here again, it works for me, guiding the reader's discovery of an entirely different world. It works well, really well...
(review of free book)

Review by: TheSFReader on Feb. 26, 2012 : star star star star
The human race is under attack, fighting for survival against the ferocious Kreelan warriors, lead by their priestess caste. Reza Gard, a young orphan, is taken prisonner during a Kreelan raid and lead to their home planet. Considered soulless, he's given to be trained like an animal to a young warrior, Esah-Zhurah. To survive, Reza will have to learn the ways of the Kreelans, to prove his worth to Esah-Zhurah, to the other warriors, to the priestesses, and to the Empress...

Starting like some old-school Military SF, it diverts quickly to a more "Sword and Planet" book, in the straight line of E.R. Burrough (Barsoom/Mars), Jack Vance and his Tschai quadrilogy, or in France Ayerdhal's Mytale and Balade Choreïale.

Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, Cherryh's Foreigner, Andrea K Höst's Touchstone... I'm not sure I've yet talked about my love of such books, where someone is sent straight into an unknown culture, but here again, it works for me, guiding the reader's discovery of an entirely different world. It works well, really well...
(review of free book)

Review by: Anna Tan on Dec. 17, 2011 : star star star star
Reza Gard, an orphan from House 48, is captured by the Kreelans, a race of female warriors with blue skin, fangs, and razor sharp talons, as part of a grand experiment to discover if humans have souls. Immersed in the brutal conditions of Kreelan life, Reza forms a new Kreelan identity in his struggle to survive, slowly gaining the grudging acceptance of his captors. However, time is running out and Reza must prove that he has a soul or be killed after his seventh and final Challenge.

The book started off pretty slow - whilst much of this back story is important to the novel as a whole, most of these could probably have been dealt with as a flashback within the story proper. As it was, the first few chapters dealing with Reza’s life as a human felt rather like a prolonged prologue, with the real ‘meat’ only starting with his wary dealings with his guard and tresh, Esah-Zhurah.

Despite the rocky start, I was captured by Hick’s writing as he navigated the fragile teen through the complex, rigid, and unforgiving Kreelan society. Within the 491 pages (on iBooks), he fleshes out realistically a harsh and yet beautiful world, a culture so alien from our own - one trying to survive an ancient curse and pursuing release through an ancient prophecy.

This is a story of a boy growing into manhood on a world not his own, a society that doesn’t understand or accept him, and how he survives through sheer determination, grit, and guts. This is also a story of learning to understand different cultures, not just by knowing the way they do things, but to understand the reasons behind them.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy, Confederation.
(review of free book)

Review by: Brandy Hunt on July 06, 2011 : star star star star
This is a very interesting read. The main character, Reza, is a superstar as an underdog orphan. I will say that there comes a time as the main plot begins to heat up that you kind of have to stop analyzing the Reza and just go with the story. However, I'm very happy to say that my trust in Mr. Hicks was definitely justified. I'll be putting the next book on my list, and hopefully will eventually get around to it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Richard Adin on June 22, 2011 : star star star star star
An excellent beginning to an excellent series. I read this first book and before I finished this first volume, I was buying the other 4 books that are currently available. Every book has been a pleasure and hard to put down. Well-formed characters, and nearly no grammar/spelling mistakes to distract the reader.
(review of free book)

Review by: Laney Stealey on June 18, 2011 : star star star star star
I'm in love with Reza Gard! From the very beginning of the book he stole my heart! Michael R. Hicks captures the readers attention on an emotional level & never lets go. The reader feels every emotion each & every character has as if it were their own. Great for new lovers of syfy as well as veteran syfy readers.
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Review by: Jamie Antonia on June 10, 2011 : star star star star star
A wonderful, action packed start of this series.

Michael creates a believable tale on believable alien worlds.

Great storyteller.
(review of free book)

Review by: Will Cushman on March 07, 2010 : (no rating)
This is going to be a short, to the point, review.
This novel is one of the very best I have read in my 60+ years of reading.
It is not "just" a fantasy or a science fiction or an adventure or a romance novel but a wonderful story that combines these elements into a spellbinding adventure.
(review of free book)

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