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The Creative Fire

(Ruby's Song #1)

3.05  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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
Paperback, 351 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Pyr (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  244 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Sarah (is only writing short reviews for now)
19/11 - I'm mostly enjoying this, but there are some irritations. Sometimes the writing is choppy, staccato. Cooper writes a few too many one or two word sentences, which pretty much go against the normal rules of sentence structure and grammar - a sentence is made up of a couple of specific things, a single word sentence simply can't contain all those things. Even worse is her persistence in calling a place common, as in "We're going to common", "I'll meet you at common", "Common was full of pe ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Two stars on a good day. Ruby is a gray (people are known by the color of their uniform). She’s apprenticing in robot repair and is almost finished with her last year of school when the section of the ship she lives on, Creative Fire, starts to come apart at the seams. At the moment it happens she’s walking in a simulated park and, within seconds, the roof splits open and a blue falls through. It’s the first time she’s met one since they’re trapped in the park alone for some time, they get to kn ...more
Alisa Russell
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What I appreciated most about Brenda Cooper's book The Creative Fire was the many layers of her writing. As I read each chapter, it seemed like a new secret came out, something that revealed the world of Ruby Martin and her shipmates just a little more, but not enough to reveal what the story ending was going to be. I also liked that Ruby was a multi-faceted heroine. To me, it seems that feminine characters nowadays only show one part of their psyche. Either they're only defined by being with a ...more
Adam Duclos
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well, I made it partway through this book, but it was just so boring! What I didn't realize when I started was that this book was intended from the start to be the first in an ongoing series!

Most series that I have liked started out as a single, stand alone book... for example, the Dresden Files, Wheel of Time, and so on. The first book is just a really good book, all by itself! However, sometimes an author will get it into his or her head that they have this grand story to tell, then bore the
Dec 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for this read—I mean c'mon, look at that cover! But I was sadly mistaken, and I stumbled down this treacherously thin plot with even thinner characters. The lack of details was irritating (isn't she supposed to be leading this revolution? Why do we never see or learn anything worthwhile? What on earth is going on, if anything...?), most of the dialogue and descriptions are completely inane (why do I have to know what everyone smells like? I really don't care to know about someon ...more
Lovey Dovey Books
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. S
Rhona Mitchell Tennant
3 stars

(view spoiler)
amy boese
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
Why the hell did Ruby have warm fuzzy sex feelings for every single powerful guy she ran across? Why oh why, would Ruby work so hard to be free and then then keep partnering up with the most powerful man?

Doesn't make sense! Certainly the climax of the book should not be Ruby handing power over to her latest conquest, and then visiting "the people" to prove how in touch her man is with the real workers.

Ruby was smart, talented, willing to fight and put herself in danger, and still gave up her po
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi

Sidsel Pedersen
100 % loved it. I brought the second one once I was 30 % though. It can be read as a standalone book! Will write a review tomorrow.

Read my full review: http://wp.me/p40HVI-nc
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I accidentally read the second book in the series first, then I read this book. I absolutely love the series! Brenda Cooper develops her characters so well, I feel like I know them.
Laura B
May 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Mild spoilers for generalized plot arcs, but mostly a rant.

As for the story.... it's like tea. The bag was put in the water for too short a time to get the real flavor and potential it could've been. I say save yourself the time you would expend reading this to find a different, better book.

This book feels like the light, antsy, sweat smell obsessed version of the "Lower decks" episode from Star Trek Next Gen. Why should we care about the "progress" made if these infants aren't learning anythin
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Originally posted at http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2013...

The Creative Fire was one of the latest releases in the YA line up of Pyr. I hadn't been able to read it that time but this month the second book in Ruby's Song, The Diamond Deep, will be released so time to catch up on this series! The first thing that cannot escape you is the stunning cover art of the book! just look at that. But what really got me going for Ruby's Song is the whole promise and the idea behind the series. Telling the
Teri B
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would say no one writes teenage characters quite as Brenda Cooper does. They are different, they are definitely not YA main stream and they make you think and consider your own reaction to what happens in the book, what your thoughts, your emotion and also your political position would be.

In this first book of the duology we meet Ruby who is on the brink of turning adult as she races with the all the others on this huge ship through space towards their home planet where they have not been for
-cookie Doughten
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I like science fiction so I saw the cover and read the back and gave the book a read . It was a good book about revolution. If I had read the Authors note I probably would not have read the book. It was about a girl trying to change life on her ship . it was a multi generation ship that cast system at some point. It will make a good read for high school kids.
Kathy Lyons
Nice scifi novel. Liked the story and characters but not driven to read the rest of the series. It's funny how some series grab me. Some characters feel so real that I want to read more about them. ...more
Jun 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A frustrating read. Ruby is a wonderful central character with a good supporting cast. The plot just doesn't work well enough and often isn't plausible. ...more
Nov 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
Revolution! The first few chapters sucked me right in, but my interest waned in the latter portion of the book, although it was well-written with a satisfactory ending.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
First, my disclaimer - I know the author, Brenda, personally and do some research and assistant work for her professionally. I won a copy of this book in a raffle last year, and decided it was time to read it as I've just finished helping her with work on Spear of Light, the second of the duology that is set after Ruby's Song, the first duology which is started by this book.

As noted in the book itself, this story was inspired by that of Eva Peron, but apart from knowing who she is, I don't know
Dark Matter
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review was written by Rebecca Muir for Dark Matter Zine. This and more reviews, interviews etc are on Dark Matter Zine, an online magazine. http://www.darkmatterzine.com.

The Creative Fire is the first instalment of Brenda Cooper’s proposed two-part series, Ruby’s Song.

The book is set aboard the generation space ship, The Creative Fire. The ship set out from the home star system, Adiamo, about four hundred years ago. In the centuries in space, a culture has developed aboard the ship where th
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This one had a lot of potential, but overall it was only okay, ranging from a cover that was artistically nice, but didn't seem to portray the main character, to a story that sometimes didn't quite make sense. Based purely on the internal descriptions, the cover seems to show one of the minor characters from the book. The cover picture looks nothing like Ruby was described, anyway.
The story is about a generation starship gone wrong. Because the viewpoint character has had only limited access to
Dee Martin
Jun 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I had some trouble with this book. I will probably try to read the second hoping that the main character has grown because there was certainly room for growth. Ruby is a worker on a ship in space, a completely encapsulated world that apparently (though never clarified as to how or why) left the home world because of some catastrophe. After generations they are finally getting close to returning home and politics have changed on the ship. Groups are aligned by color. grays are workers, reds are s ...more
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: didnt-finish
After I put this book down, I never wanted to pick it back up. I don't have an aversion to it, but whenever I thought about reading it some more, I then began wondering what else was around to read. So after 3 instances of that I took it as a sign that I should just let the book go.maybe I didn't try hard enough?

This is a generation ship story, featuring a young maintenance tech woman who wants more education and more fairness in a stratified society. The first scene's actually a pretty good one
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
The novel follows mainly two characters in the book: Oron, best friend who is secretly in love with Ruby Martin. Ruby is a feisty young woman looking to free herself and the rest of her kind on the generational ship The Creative Fire. Ruby and Oron are greys: a labour class of people signified by their grey clothing. There are also blues (people of logistics) and red (the peacekeepers) and green (upper levels). As you can guess, Ruby and her fellow greys are greatly mistreated, mostly by the red ...more
Nancy H
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it
The 'Creative Fire' is a spaceship, where thousands of people have been living out their lifetimes while flying through space. Ruby is a 'gray', the lowest level of humankind on the ship, much akin to slaves. When a tragedy happens to part of the ship where Ruby is and she meets a 'red', a person from a higher level, she must make some life-altering decisions. Ruby is a rebel who wants to save the ship, to make things more equal on the ship for her fellow 'grays' as well as others in the 'red' a ...more
I like Brenda Cooper and expect to keep on reading her - but this is not one of her better books. That said, its YA and YA is apparently harder to pull off than complex world-building sf (which I like better and Cooper is quite good at). Then again this is YA with sex - so perhaps it wasn't supposed to be YA. Anyway - this is a multi-generational ship supposedly on a there-and-back-again voyage. And our hero Ruby is supposed to have been inspired by Eva Peron and Evita - something I'm not really ...more
Joyce Reynolds-Ward
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting use of the Evita Peron story set on a generation ship sent out for exploration and returning home. While avoiding the particular Peronista nationalist political themes (so far, this is a series, after all), Cooper embraces the populist and working class equity issues articulated by Evita in her protagonist, Ruby Martin, within the context of the need for a crew to work together for the survival of their ship.

It's not a perfect analogue, but a perfect analogue wouldn't work in this se
David Scrimshaw
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Good writing, but the story did not fill me with excitement.

I read this because I believe it's a prequel to Edge of Dark.

Unlike Edge of Dark, there's no robots and the only spaceship is the one that everyone lives on in a repressive society. My main problem was that the repressive society didn't feel believable to me.

Still, I imagine I'll read the next book in the series, The Diamond Deep.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recipe for The Creative Fire:
(I received my copy courtesy of the author via First-Reads)

Combine 2 parts Colored Uniforms/Ranks from Star Trek,
Add a dash of Everything-Is-Falling-Apart from City of Ember,
Mix above with Post-Apoctalyptic Feel of Fallout 3,
and garnish with a coming-to-grips-with-reality shock&awe of Hunger Games, and you get: The Creative Fire - a highly entertaining story about a girl and her friends and the world they are growing up in even they don't know it until they dive in h
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A good young-adult-ish generation ship novel, with strong characters and plenty of plot twists. Lacks a certain perverse sparkle that I enjoy so much in my favourite writers, but still quite solid, so I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

SPOILER: to me, a major plot hole. Any society that is sufficiently advanced to manipulate gravity (as is strongly implied by references to "gravgens" and fluctuating gravity levels on board of the titular spaceship) is not likely to be using a slow genera
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Brenda Cooper writes science fiction,fantasy, and poetry.

Brenda's most recent novels are EDGE of DARK and SPEAR OF LIGHT from Pyr and POST from ESpec Books. Edge of Dark won the 2016 Endeavour Award for a notable science fiction or fantasy novel by a Northwest author.

Other recent novels include the duology THE CREATIVE FIRE and THE DIAMOND DEEP, also from Pyr.

Brenda released two collections in 2

Other books in the series

Ruby's Song (2 books)
  • The Diamond Deep (Ruby's Song, #2)

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