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The Creative Fire (Book One of Ruby's Song) (edition 2012)

by Brenda Cooper

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415279,442 (3.17)1
Member:Shrike58
Title:The Creative Fire (Book One of Ruby's Song)
Authors:Brenda Cooper
Info:Pyr (2012), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:science fiction, book group, 2013

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The Creative Fire (Book One of Ruby's Song) by Brenda Cooper

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Nothing can match the power of a single voice...
Ruby Martin expects to spend her days repairing robots while avoiding the dangerous peacekeeping forces that roam the corridors of the generation ship The Creative Fire. The social structure of the ship is rigidly divided, with Ruby and her friends on the bottom. Then a ship-wide accident gives Ruby a chance to fight for the freedom she craves. Her enemies are numerous, well armed, and knowledgeable. Her weapons are a fabulous voice, a quick mind, and a deep stubbornness. Complicating it all-an unreliable A.I. and an enigmatic man she met - and kissed - exactly once-who may hold the key to her success. If Ruby can't transform from a rebellious teen to the leader of a revolution, she and all her friends will lose all say in their future.
Like the historical Evita Perón, Ruby rises from the dregs of society to hold incredible popularity and power. Her story is about love and lust and need and a thirst for knowledge and influence so deep that it burns.

My Thoughts:
This book was very disappointing. From the blurb I expected it to be about an inspiring heroine who does things to help her people similar to Eva Peron whom it is claimed that Ruby is modeled upon. I was very wrong. The characterization of Ruby and her friends falls flat in a world that encompasses a spaceship on its way "home" from a long multi-generational mission. Society on the ship is deeply segregated and people are bound by the colors of the clothing they wear. Ruby, being a grey, is only allowed on the lowest levels of the ship but aspires to be more than just a grey. Some of the relationships between Ruby and other characters fall flat as the story progresses. I enjoyed the sociological themes of the book but the delivery was less than perfect.

If you are looking for the details of inter-generational space flight this is not the novel for you. It is more about the relationships that develop in this small microcosm of a society stuck on a ship. It wasn't what I expected and I had a hard time finishing it. I will not be reading it's sequel. ( )
  LisaBost | Mar 11, 2014 |
Set on a generation ship, Brenda Cooper's novel The Creative Fire centers around Ruby Martin, a lowly bot tech who aspires to be more than her bottom-run gray status. When there is a serious accident on the ship, she uses it as an opportunity for advancement, falling in love with someone who has a higher status, since his uniform is blue. Inspired by the life of Eva Peron, Cooper creates a tense world inside the Creative Fire generation ship. A dystopian situation set inside the generation ship's pressure cooker environment forces Ruby to make some tough decisions. It also gives her an opportunity to advance because of her magnificent voice and the edifying songs she writers. Unfortunately, Cooper's prose is bland and flat. Reading this novel brought back memories of Robert Heinlein's much-beloved tale of interplanetary revolution, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. My reaction was much the same. "Wow, cool ideas! Why is the writing so horrible?" My other reaction to reading The Creative Fire was that I'm exactly not the right demographic for this. Teenage girls who enjoy the romance and political struggle of The Hunger Games might find this novel entertaining. Still, even if one writes for the tween audience, there's no excuse for writing this inert.

Out of 10/5.9, higher for fans of The Hunger Games and speculative fiction series with plucky female protagonists.

http://www.cclapcenter.com/2013/05/cclap_mini-review_the_creative.html

OR

http://driftlessareareview.com/2013/05/22/cclap-mini-review-the-creative-fire-by... ( )
  kswolff | May 22, 2013 |
"like the historic Evita Peron, Ruby rises from the dregs of society to achieve incredible popularity and power. Her story is about love, lust, need, and a thirst for knowledge and influence that is so deep it burns"

That their has been a power struggle on a multi generational ship and the way that it is supposed to work has been ammended by those in charge in thier favour is not a surprise. That their is a plucky young person who is going to shake this up is a common thread in many books I have read. The outcome and much of the action that takes place is familure to me in this book. However this book managed to keep me engaged. The character of Ruby managed to feel real, perhaps the link to the Evita story kept it real while the author was writing this.
This is a new author to me and I will be looking out of more
  jessicariddoch | Mar 8, 2013 |
Reading much like a Young Adult story set in C.J. Cherryh's "Alliance-Union" universe, one follows the story of how protagonist Ruby Martin uses her talent as a singer to help foment a political uprising on a failing generation ship where the social order has turned corrupt. I have to admit that the story didn't exactly engage me and the author's admission that she cribbed much of her theme from the story of Evita Peron (no hero of mine) was an actual turn-off. That said, tensions are set up in the climax of this novel that might take the plot in interesting directions when the ship returns to its home world. ( )
  Shrike58 | Jan 23, 2013 |
The Creative Fire is a phenomenal story that completely blew my mind. Between the theme of revolution, the memorable heroine and the suspenseful plot, Brenda Cooper has become one of my favorite authors. This was my first time experiencing her writing so it was a bit unpredictable, but even so it constantly headed in a direction I appreciated.

The Creative Fire is Ruby's story of fighting for freedom with her voice and passion for uniting all the people aboard the space ship, The Creative Fire. Separated by class, the grays are the lowest and enforced by the red and, seldom seen by grays, blue peacekeepers. Ruby is not alone in her quest as there were rebels who came before her and those who work secretly. The third person perspective really works for this story because the writing stays centered on Ruby while opening up to another character: Onor, one of Ruby's best friends. It was so exciting to see the two characters start off on the same plot line, and then one placed on a subplot that converged with the main plot line by the end of the novel. Writing two different methods of revolution was an ingenious move for Cooper!

Ruby's efforts to gain unity for all colors was a naturally building process. It didn't happen overnight and there were mishaps along the way. I wouldn't say that there were many shocking plot twists, but the progression of the story was weighed with suspense. The danger of not knowing who could be affected by Ruby's rebellion or where the commanding power on The Creative Fire actually lies, will truly keep readers on their toes. You'll never know what result will come about or how it will affect the plot until it happens. The story is sectioned into three parts that follow Ruby's progression from a gray with no knowledge of all the ship's history to a woman with a dream that may come to fruition.

Another element that drew me into the story was Cooper's characterization style. Ruby is an extremely compelling character with well-stated ideals and goals and she wasn't a perfect character. Based on the perception of characters that surrounded her, she was arrogant, too stubborn for her own good, and sometimes too wrapped up in her own needs. I loved getting a clear picture of how some of the secondary characters might have felt about Ruby, and that it wasn't so overpowering that I couldn't come up with my own observations or see why those secondary characters weren't always on Team Ruby. It's true I believed Ruby to be naive with childish perceptions, but she proved herself to be resourceful, brave, and fueled by an admirable thirst for knowledge. While I thought that Ruby was a well-developed character with layers and obvious growth, I didn't get the same impression from her love interests or the other character with a starring perspective, Onor. Onor seemed like a single, smooth facet that didn't give away much with words. I pictured his facial expressions and body language as the real zinger for reading his thoughts, but I wanted to see him actually speak his thoughts to others. I realize that he hasn't come into his own person yet, but he didn't exhibit too many qualities that drew me to wanting to know more about him and dive inside his head for more exploration.

The love interests were too rushed into that particular role to completely satisfy me. The Creative Fire is very science-fiction oriented so the romance was more like a quick break from any hard-hitting facts. The plot and perception from other characters painted a very shallow picture of the men Ruby became attracted to. I saw their importance to the plot, but not much else before an attraction with Ruby was established. Ruby didn't show interest in someone other than Fox until the near end, so I felt that her instant attraction to other men was not elaborate enough. I liked that the men that drew Ruby were anywhere from a few years older two almost twice her age. It's not something seen too often in the books I read, and I always appreciate the concept since it's so rare. I do hope that the following novels of the series give Ruby a chance to show readers more of how she sees her love interests, and dig deeper
into those secondary characters with big roles in the plot.

Brenda Cooper gave me more than I hoped for in The Creative Fire. It will absolutely be considered a novel to be read over and over again, whether to capture moments possibly missed during the first read, or to again experience the hope that Ruby instills her followers. I have a grand feeling that the Ruby's Song series will continue to impress me and I'm dying to jump back into Ruby's story!

Also posted on Lovey Dovey Books
*Book provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review* ( )
  LoveyDoveyBooks | Dec 31, 2012 |
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Ruby Martin expects to spend her days repairing robots while avoiding the dangerous peacekeeping forces that roam the corridors of the generation ship The Creative Fire. The social structure of the ship is rigidly divided, with Ruby and her friends on the bottom. Then a ship-wide accident gives Ruby a chance to fight for the freedom she craves. Her enemies are numerous, well armed, and knowledgeable. Her weapons are a powerful voice, a quick mind, and a deep stubbornness. If Ruby can't transform from a rebellious teen to the leader of a revolution, she and all her friends will lose all say in their future.… (more)

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