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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
A.K. DuBoff's Empire Uprising (Taran Empire Saga Book 2) is a fantastic and captivating space opera about the Taran Empire in the Cadicle Universe. The Tarans are ruled by a council of High Dynasty families based on the planet Tararia. The Sietinen family is a member of the council. Jason Sietinen is an officer of the Tararian Selective Service (TSS), a unique and vital Taran military strike force. The Erebus are transdimensional aliens, capable of reaching through spacetime into Taran space. Empire Uprising begins after the Tarans and the Erebus have worked out an uneasy tentative truce, following the destruction of a TSS base by the Erebus. In a very suspicious move, the Erebus provide Tarans with a new power core for their defense technology. The Alliance, a group based on the Outer Colonies planet Duronis, wants independence for the Outer Colonies. In an act of horrific defiance, members of the Alliance destroy Duronis. Vital infrastructures on Earth and other planets are also destroyed. Jason Sietinen takes on the extremely dangerous task of tracking down the Alliance group. There are ominous signs that a bioweapon with catastrophic properties is being developed. The Erebus may be involved. As the situation grows more unstable, archeological discoveries reveal ancient Taran technology buried on Earth.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Empire Uprising by A.K. DuBoff for its compelling characters and the multifaceted aspects of this epic space opera. I liked how the opening chapters provide a picture of the Taran Empire, its High Dynasty families, and various other groups. I found myself pulled into the story as each member of the Sietinen family is "introduced" through situations that show their capabilities, their interpersonal relationships, and how they interact with other Tarans. This provided a strong foundation for each character's role as the story expanded. The challenges that involved telekinesis and telepathy powers of the Sietinen family and the TSS agents were well thought out. The story gained great depth and incredible tension when Jason sends Taran agents on an undercover mission into the Alliance organization. I was riveted as Tararian Guard Kira and Leon Caletti, a scientist, find themselves in life-threatening situations. The character that took me by surprise was Lexi, a young woman working in the Alliance organization. I liked how her life story emerges, and how her role moves forward in the overall story. I was intrigued by the snippets of Earth's ancient history, and that Tarans are ancestors of Earth's humans. Empire Uprising is a terrific read, well-crafted and thought-provoking, a saga that will continue to evolve.