The Consuming Fire
By John Scalzi
In no particular order, I write my thoughts as they come. I may spoil. Honestly, I’m not sure yet. This is a stream of consciousness blog, doncherknow.
The Consuming Fire is the second in a series called The Interdependency. I reviewed the first, The Collapsing Empire, about a year and a half ago.
It is not a novel.
It is the middle section of a novel. I suspect that Tor has a business strategy to get more revenue out of a popular author because… well, because they can. You can’t read TCF without having read the first in the series. It doesn’t have much of a story arc as far as a complete novel goes. What it does have, however, is a kind of sort of answer to a question (questions, really) that I had in the first of the series. The questions are pretty simple, where do these people come from? What happened to Earth? Why are they all living on rocks in the middle of nowhere, when they could much more easily live in one system (say Earth) for a lot less cost and bother than going through rifts in space to non-habitable areas between the stars that takes years, sometimes decades to get there?
The answer was not satisfactory. It was a hint, a morsel, a tidbit– so to speak– of an answer.
Things I liked included things such as, exploring mysterious ancient ruined habitats in lost colonies of man, the relationship between the Emprox and her pet hyperspace rift scientist, and some snappy dialog.
I did not like the opening chapter (which was unrelated to characters in the rest of the book), the repeated use of the f*** bomb (with one character, maybe, but the rest of them seemed self indulgent), and the lack of description (you don’t get a sense of place, or character appearance).
For another perspective, please do check out this review from a good friend.