So this story continues in the same world set up in Empire and I think that makes it better then the first. Now instead of building up it draws from the foundations already established and in my opinion improves upon itself. The story deals with many different plots and threads but balances them well in my opinion. In the first book it dealt with what if this unknown things happens and deals more with conspiracies and politics. Hidden Empire draws the focus more what is right. Sure there is still thoughts and threats of being unsure who is behind what but in the end Hidden Empire draws more on what is the right thing to do and what does your religion and beliefs drive you to do. This book also focuses more on the characters and putting them in spots and situations that draw out the emotions a lot better then Empire did. The characters felt more believable and I connected with them more which made their struggles more impactful. If you liked or tolerated Empire this is a good book to follow up on.