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The Consuming Fire

(The Interdependency #2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  4,728 ratings  ·  586 reviews
The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilization may go with it—unless desperate measures can be taken.

Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, is ready
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Tor Books
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Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was excited for this second installment of the Interdependency series. Lots of fun and clever storytelling. Interesting characters. A true space opera. But damn. So much exposition. So many characters explaining various histories and technologies instead of finding other ways to get that information across. There is far more explaining than actual story and the story is so good! Leave the explaining. Give us more of the political and romantic intrigue of these characters. Still can’t wait for ...more
Kevin Kelsey
I have to admit that I’m blown away. This is how you do a middle book in a series! I had a few misgivings about The Collapsing Empire (and some of Scalzi’s earlier novels), but he has completely outdone himself with this second Interdependency book. It’s fun to see his writing get better and better as he goes. The pacing is tighter, the story flows with more fluidity, the characters are much more distinct from one another now, the prose is drastically improved over the last one, and the payoff i ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two things:

What this novel does right, it does very right. Namely, he's got some very tight prose. His barebones linear plot always manages to explain everything in crystalline fashion, leaving nothing occluded, and it shows in just how much he accomplishes in such a short novel. I'm reminded of some of the best short novels of the Golden and Silver age of SF in both the style and function with one caveat: there's nothing at all racist or homophobic or sexist about it. :)

Second thing: His underl
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

In my review of The Collapsing Empire, I wrote that while it marked a strong return for John Scalzi to the realm of space opera, ultimately it is the next book that will determine whether The Interdependency series will sink or swim. So now that I’ve read the sequel, what did I think? Well, I’ll be honest—I was hot and cold on it. There were moments where I felt the novel floundered, but others where things really soared t
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review for The Collapsing Empire

I always enjoy Scalzi's books. They are fast paced, witty, and reside in fascinating, well developed worlds; The Consuming Fire is no exception. Following hot on the heels of the events of The Collapsing Empire Scalzi wastes no time in continuing the fast paced story of an Empire whose foundation turns out to be built in the equivalent of cosmic sand.

I think this book's strongest point is its story. Scalzi does a wonderful job both creating the framework for it to
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
In his second Interdependency novel, John Scalzi picks up the threads he left dangling at the end of The Collapsing Empire: Kiva Lagos settles into her role as custodian of the House of Nohamapetan only to get a front-row seat to its matriarch’s treachery; Marce Claremont makes a stunning discovery (or re-discovery) while studying the collapse of the Flow streams; and Grayland II uses every tool at her disposal to consolidate power and convince the masses that the Flow collapse is real and urgen ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Let me start by saying that if you don't smile when I say "Kiva Lagos" then you are dead to me.

Loved this book as much as I loved the first book in the series.
Background: I read books for the characters and yes there should be a plot but characters are what really jazzes me and gets me "into" a book.

Scalzi can write.
I mean he can really write great characters.
Sure he has a lot of swipes at (let's just call them what they are...idiots) climate change deniers in this book so there are greater them
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my absolute favorite novels of the year - it's vintage Scalzi, it feels like perhaps the most Scalzi-ish novel, if that makes sense. It's clever, witty, keeps you on your toes, and the ending is among the most "HOLY CRAP YES!" moments in a novel I've ever read. This was an outstanding read that I thoroughly enjoyed start to finish. Close to my favorite Scalzi novel.
kartik narayanan
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The Consuming Fire is a mildly enjoyable book and is better than its predecessor. But, for the most part, it shares similar attributes while emphasizing the intrigue and politics more and de-emphasizing the 'science' aspects. its tone is a bit ragged fluctuating between seriousness and humour. And while the climax is a bit satisfying, there is a huge deus ex machine that occurs.

Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not disappointed by this sequel. P.S, actually I enjoyed this one more than the first one. P.S. writing this on my phone.

I don’t actually have much to say about the book. I enjoyed it a lot, and I was worried that I would have forgotten everything that happened in the last book, and I sort of had, but Scalzi makes it easy for you to catch up. Cardenia is still Emperox, Kiva is still a profane little firecracker, Marse is traveling around giving lectures about the flow collapse, and the eff
Peter Tillman
FIRE continues with Scalzi at his best, and he avoids middle-book slump in his new space-opera cum political-intrigue novel. You definitely need to read The Collapsing Empire first, and, as always, start with the publisher's summary at the top of this page.

"I was a teen-age Emperox." Grayland II comes of age early in her (unexpected) reign, and decides to publicize the coming disaster that losing the Flow will bring by..... having religious visions! It's not quite as nutty as it sounds, and usef
Allison Hurd
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Another fun installment in a comedic space opera about dire consequences. I don't think it was as amusing or taut as the first book, but I still read it quickly and with a few good chuckles.

CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)

Things to enjoy:

-Kiva and Cardenia. The stars of the show again, this time Kiva is in charge of finances, and Cardenia is announcing she's a prophet. They were still fun characters with their very own motiv
David Holmes
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was not too impressed with the first half of this book. The books in this series don't work well as stand-alones, but Scalzi tries to do his job and fill in the reader nonetheless... and those pages are mostly tedious. There's also more dabbling with Game of Thrones in Space, but it really doesn't work for me.

The second half worked much better for me than the first, though, leaving a fairly good taste in my mouth.
Executive Summary: Another fun book by Mr. Scalzi, although I wish it had been a bit longer.

Audiobook: Once again, John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton make a perfect fit. John Scalzi books are always full of snark, and Wil Wheaton is great at delivering it. He also does a few voices along the way that makes this a definite audio choice for me.

Full Review
I found the start of this book a little slow. I'm bad at names, so maybe I missed the significance later in the book, but I don't really get the point
Oleksandr Zholud
This is the second volume of the Interdependency trilogy(?). Just like the first book, The Collapsing Empire, 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
Frederico Araujo
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Superb book with an interesting end.
Although a quick book, still entertaining.
Definitely some room to develop more the characters. Now can't wait for the 3rd book.
Ryan Fry
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently reread The Collapsing Empire and though I loved it the first time I found it stale the second time around. I felt it lacked character development, well anything it lacked in the first book IT FREAKING KILLED IN THIS ONE!

An amazing amount of character development from all of my favorite characters from TCE and it really built up the universe that is the Interdependency. Scalzi did an amazing job weaving the stories and points of view into an amazing and intimate space opera.

Highly re
Jon Adams
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in a day (without reading it at work) and stayed up way too late to finish it. It's prefect continuation to The Collapsing Empire. Even with all the intrigue and politics, I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud. Read it!
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I have such mixed feelings about this series. The world is fascinating, and the central conflict with its parallels to climate change is a worthy challenge to tackle in a space opera, but sometimes I wonder if Scalzi is really up to that challenge. I feel like if he and Kim Stanley Robinson could just meld minds for a bit, they’d write my ideal sci-fi novel. But I also feel like they would NOT get along.

My main beef with both this and The Collapsing Empire is that these novels are too short to
Michael Hicks
Readers who enjoyed John Scalzi's previous entry in his latest series, The Interdependency, should find The Consuming Fire a fun romp. That said, being a second book in a trilogy, it does have a fair bit of middle-child syndrome, even if it is, overall, an engaging and fast-paced listen.

The Collapsing Empire, 2017's most appropriately named book release, set the stage for this series with its central premise of interstellar travel by way of the Flow (think rivers in space) and what will happen t
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Scalzi just makes scifi fun and easy to read. Action, thrills humour and more!! Hes never overly complicated with his structure or world buidling. If youre new to scifi 100% check this out.
This is such a good series and I couldn't wait to read this. It is fabulous! So funny, action-packed, scandalous and thrilling. I think it suffers just a little from being the 'middle book' but it's such a fun read in its own right. And now I cannot wait for book 3! Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Just Notes:

- I want the third book to be out now.
- Story development for the plot took too long.
- The climax was not given the right amount of development. It made it seem like a tasteless tie up rather than a well thought out conclusion.
- I felt like I fell into a weird vortex and ended up in Bobiverse. If there is an intentional connection to the series, that's awesome.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This one is going to be short, and pretty much to the point.

You know all of those times when you highly anticipate a sequel and then are immediately let down? Yeah, this is one of those.

First things first: I LOVE Will Wheaton’s narration. He makes each and every novel even better with his spoken word, but it wasn’t enough to force my hand into giving more love.

Beginning on the heels of The Collapsing Empire, The Consuming Fire takes us on a journey that, well, reminds us of what happened in Book
The second installment of the Interdependency series is fast and fun, everything you want in a rollicking Space Opera adventure. Scalzi really packs in a lot of stuff, too, from space battles to palace intrigue to exploration of long-lost civilizations. It’s Star Wars, Rendezvous with Rama, and Dune distilled into one lean package.

He also manages to make the collapse of the Flow, the interstellar river/highway which connects all the worlds of the Interdependency, into a non-obvious commentary on
Barb in Maryland
3.5 stars for the second episode in Scalzi's latest space opera.

Good fun after a slow start. Lots of palace politics, conspiracies, double and triple-crosses, all leading to a dramatic showdown. And hanging like the Sword of Damocles over all is the knowledge that the Flow (the space-time anomaly that allows for FTL travel between the different worlds of the Interdependency) is collapsing, isolating the member worlds from each other.

I had a good time with this once I got into it. I had not re-re
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Where Asimov's Foundation novels at least, the eldest ones, are very earnest in putting across his clever idea, Scalzi has an idea that is strong and the skill to make it dramatic and entertaining. I am delighted to have read two new scifi novels by two writers I respect for representation, as well as dramatic tension. So much of what is lauded from the so-called Golden Age is sexist and racist and interested in pronouncing the glory of the straight white western engineer it might as well be Ayn ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-19-season
Like all recent Scalzi fiction, the good underlying story is smothered by the larding on of his political causes. All Scalzi's faults are once again on display. The book is readable, but a pathological refusal to physically describe his characters, a neurotic need to give characters ethnically clashing first and last names, intentionally disguising minor characters gender, denigrating all forms of religion, making bi-sexual the default setting of everyone who discusses sex, and the general samen ...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "Consuming Fire" Buddy Read 48 61 Dec 05, 2018 02:09AM  
John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)

Other books in the series

The Interdependency (3 books)
  • The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1)
  • The Last Emperox (The Interdependency, #3)
“A church is an institution separate from the religion it serves. It’s filled with people. And you know how people are.” 3 likes
“the cynical could afford the luxury of their cynicism because of the stability of the system they mocked.” 2 likes
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