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The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

The Consuming Fire

by John Scalzi

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2472169,197 (3.85)26
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Good, easy to digest book with decent premise but slightly predictable characters. The writing flows well even if is a bit simplistic and repetitive in style. ( )
  muwaffaq | Mar 20, 2019 |
So, like all second books in a series, I’m not sure why you’re reading this. If you haven’t read the first one, what’s this going to do. If you have read the first one, you already know if you want to read the second. Nonetheless, here are my thoughts.

There is plenty here to sing praises about. The new world-building is fun and classic at the same time. It evokes the more sophisticated “low concept” stories of Heinlein and Asimov, using thick allegory and hard science to tell a story. One that’s not necessarily a happily ever after. It’s hard to tell he wrote this in two weeks.

Some criticize the book for a lack of depth, but I don’t see that. I see more depth than other Scalzi novels. The characters are as interesting as before… but not more interesting. The revelations are as gasp-creating as before… but not more gasp-creating. Nothing like as big as a Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker thing.

Which brings me to my biggest gripe–I never get the sense that anyone’s in real danger. Pages and pages of bad guy schemes, plans, and set-ups, enough to put Game of Thrones to shame. But then, right before they execute, someone calls them out, revealing they were one step ahead the whole time. And while it’s satisfying to see the bullies get their ass handed to them, it doesn’t give a sense of risk. All the good guys have more power than the bad. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

I’m still looking forward to the next. I don’t feel the second book made the storyline better, but it certainly didn’t make it worse. ( )
  theWallflower | Feb 14, 2019 |
This is book two, of what I would assume is a trilogy. It is classical hard science fiction, with all that entails; faster than light travel between the stars, colonized planets in economic and political rivalry with one another, a galactic Empire with revolutionary elements in play. If you have not read book one, do not begin here. Though there are frequent information dumps, making it theoretically possible to read this book without having read book one, why would you?

There is really nothing that separates this work from hundreds just like it; in fact, it was so similar to the framework of Dune as to be almost derivative. It is not a bad story, but is in no way original. If you are looking for perfectly acceptable, run of the mill science fiction, you could do worse. There are lots of strong, female characters (in fact, almost exclusively strong, female characters) and an abundance of sex and profanity. ( )
  santhony | Jan 16, 2019 |
The Consuming Fire is the second book in John Scalzi’s Interdependency series. I listened to the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton. Following closely on the heels of [The Collapsing Empire], Emperox Grayland II (Cardenia Wu Patrick) and Lord Marce Claremont are still dealing with the impending collapse of the Flow, the only means of transportation between the worlds of the Interdependency. Marce learns more about the mechanics of the Flow, while Cardenia, with the help of Lady Kiva Lagos, unmasks traitors to the Interdependency.

I enjoyed the sequel almost as much as the first in the series - perhaps its my great appreciation of Scalzi as an author and of Wheaton as a narrator. The two, IMO, are a perfect pairing for audiobooks. Aside from Scalzi’s intriguing world-building and absorbing characters (mainly strong female types in this series), he has a sense of humor that I really appreciate. And Wil Wheaton completely understands and communicates Scalzi’s humor perfectly.

I highly recommend this series for lovers of space opera. ( )
  rretzler | Jan 16, 2019 |
This is the second volume of the Interdependency trilogy(?). Just like the first book, [b:The Collapsing Empire|30078567|The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1)|John Scalzi|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1464097677s/30078567.jpg|50498420], it is a nice fast-paced yarn without heavy philosophizing. While per se it isn’t bad, for Scalzi is the talented writer but it is still not up to his other novels even despite the ending of this one calls for adding another star to the rating.

There is the Interdependency, a collection of human worlds/habitats, connected by the Flow, which allows faster than light travel and united under the Emperox. For a thousand years it flourished but now the Flow is changing and it can fall apart, which will doom the population for (almost) none of the worlds are self-sufficient. The current Emperox tries to minimize the fallout, but most ‘powers that be’ are too short-sighted to follow along. The Emperox attempts another way, for she is a leader of the Church as well.

For the first quarter of the book there are intrigues and plots up to a point, where I started musing about the term space opera in general: for some writers it is just a background, easily replaceable with another – say the Flow disaster can be changed to a plague in a medieval historical fiction and the dialogues and actions stay the same. For me a good space opera should have SF elements in it, irreplaceable by other genres. And, lo and behold, they do appear closer to the middle of the book. We learn more about history of the Interdependency, get hints about even earlier one and some space adventures to boot. The finale, as I noted is brilliant.

A solid continuation of the space opera, which reminds other classics, from Foundation to Dune. At the same time, not the ‘true art’ but a very skillfully crafted toy, which unlikely will call for the re-read.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
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