The second novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series
THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION
Led by its founding father, the psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and utilizing science and technology, the Foundation survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Now cleverness and courage may not be enough. For the Empire—the mightiest force in the Galaxy—is even more dangerous in its death throes. Even worse, a mysterious entity called the Mule has appeared with powers beyond anything humanly conceivable. Who—or what—is the Mule? And how is humanity to defend itself against this invulnerable avatar of annihilation?
Filled with nail-biting suspense, nonstop action, and cutting-edge speculation, Foundation and Empire is the story of humanity’s perpetual struggle against the darkness that forever threatens to overwhelm the light—and of how the courage of even a determined few can make all the difference in the universe.
A Mysterious Thread
Sequels and installments of larger works, struggle under a heavy weight of expectation. They often cannot stand on their own, as they need the strong pull of thread of the larger narrative to keep the audience engaged. They have to tell a story in their confines but fit neatly into a larger whole. Too be independent while marching in lock step with the others.
This conundrum is why many follow-ups or parts often fall short of the original. I don’t envy anyone who tries to extend a story from one chapter to the next. All of those moving parts and the “glue” that keeps it together must be hard to sort out. That is what I see lacking in Foundation and Empire. The thread that connects it to the first book is stretched very thin. Perhaps that is Asimov’s intention. To not have this book be so heavily dependent on the first so that it cannot have its own meaningfulness.
The glue that holds the series together gets revealed nicely in the end. The book itself is nicely tied out and the scale and stakes of the overall arc across the books is take to new heights. Much like the main antagonist of the book, Asimov lulls you to sleep until the surprise is revealed in the end pulling you in deeper.
The Foundation Trilogy
I first read the trilogy when I was in my early teens. I think this is my 4th or 5th time reading the books. That tells you all you need to know about my opinion as to whether they are a good read. My only other comment is that, in my view, the recent Apple series does a dismal job capturing the essence of the books. Read the trilogy first!
This is my second ever Asimov book, and I love it! My dad convinced me to read the foundation series and I convinced him to read warriors. I am so into Asimov now! 10/10