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The Consuming Fire

(The Interdependency #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  22,880 ratings  ·  1,972 reviews
The Consuming Fire―the sequel to the 2018 Hugo Award Best Novel finalist and 2018 Locus Award-winning The Collapsing Empire―an epic space-opera novel in the bestselling Interdependency series, from New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi

The Interdependency―humanity’s interstellar empire―is on the verge of collapse. The extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel betw
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Tor Books
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Todd That is actually answered in that very same prologue:

"In that sense it doesn't matter whether it was divinely inspired or the result of a temporary l…more
That is actually answered in that very same prologue:

"In that sense it doesn't matter whether it was divinely inspired or the result of a temporary lack of oxygen. What matters is that the aftermath -- and while you did have enough oxygen -- you decided to make the church your vocation. So let's you and I make the most of it, shall we?" Lenson decided to make the most of it, and plunged into seminary studies.

It's his origin story, nothing more. (less)

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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
Kevin Kuhn
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another fun and creative work with a good blend of palace intrigue, action, imaginative sci-fi ideas, and inevitable ‘Scalzi snark’. I enjoyed this book, coming off a poignant and emotionally difficult read, it was nice to escape into Scalzi’s ‘Interdependency’.

As to the plot, I think the strength is the mix and pacing. For as much politics, religion, and manipulative maneuvering as there is, this book still moves quickly. There is action, including assassination attempts, prison escapes, and s
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Scalzi hit it out of the park with this one!

Galactic travel is breaking down in this part of the galaxy and human civilization is in grave danger. The emperox of the Interdependency is convinced, but she’s surrounded by a lot of extremely wealthy, powerful people who aren’t so sure, and are actively conspiring against her.

It reminds me very much of Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, except updated with a more complex plot and better technology. Also more humor, way saltier language, and frank talk abo
Donna Backshall
Welcome back to all you crazy, agenda-driven characters from The Collapsing Empire. It's just freaking dandy to have your machinations, duplicity, and of course, sarcasm, here again to smack us in the face, in true Scalzi form.

In this second book of the Interdependency series, we again embrace the empire as Emperox Grayland II understands and rules it. But we also become privy to some fascinating revelations about the Interdependency's origins as well as the ability to navigate it.

"I was just
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
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Re-read in preparation for book #3:
4.5ish stars.

Liked it even more the second time. Felt a lot more cinematic. I’d love to see a movie of this. There are some great characters and I definitely connected with Cardenia/Grayland more this read. I’m deciding who to cast as her in my film version. Her “address” at the end is just as epic as I remember. So satisfying. Audio by Wil Wheaton highly recommended.

4ish stars.

Didn't love it quite as much as the first, but still a lot to love. Like Emperox
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
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

Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
So, I am definitely on a Sci-fi kick these days and I am happy to have books like this to read and to stoke the fire of that kick! Scalzi does not disappoint! I am very partial to his writing to begin with and the constant political games of power between the powerful houses of The Interdependency and the vast scope of stellar science fiction, make me even more attached to his particular style of storytelling. He never lets me down with the clever banter and sometimes tad too explicit manner, bu ...more
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
John Scalzi really bucks the trend of making book two in the trilogy little more than a bridge from book 1 to book 2! There's plenty going on here that I could talk about for pages and pages, but - review space.

So, there's a teensy bit of bridgeing, but really only what is necessary to keep the trilogy working in concert. Mostly what there is, is some absolutely phenomenal plotting, exploring, and figuring out of mysteries. Kiva, in particular, is given a shot at character development (one aside
Milda Page Runner
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Beginning is a bit slow, but after 20% once plot starts moving it's the usual Scalzi goodness. Very satisfying ending.
Look forward to the next book. Only two days to go! :)
For most of you this isn’t your first Scalzi read. For the rest of you, it better not be because this is book #2 in the series.

Those of us who know Scalzi appreciate his sense of humor, his imaginative plotting and his adept dialogue. What I hadn’t appreciated until this book was how nuanced his sense of evil was. So, this is a dark comedy about the veniality of those in power.

For most of this book we are on the home world of the Holy Empire of Interdependent States and Mercantile Guilds ruled b
K.J. Charles
I wolfed this down the day after reading the first one and enjoyed it a lot. I slightly get the feeling that Scalzi goes too easy on characters in this series--there's a sense of threat but fundamentally everything goes the MCs' way. This may well be what you're after at the moment--the knowledge I'm guaranteed things working out is why I read romance, and of course I haven't read #3 yet so maybe it all goes tits up then. Still, having built up a very effective threat framework, it was kind of d ...more
Manuel Antão
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Fully Formed Like the Jelly-Os: "The Consuming Fire" by John Scalzi

“The Flow was like a river that spaceships travelled between star systems, that could take the ships back and forth faster that if they travelled in normal space, where they could only go as fast as the speed of light. But while thew Flow was like a river - it was an extra-dimensional whatever-it-was that if you were ever exposed to it directly, you would just disappear
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 moti
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
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melindam by: Sammy
3,5 stars

Tight, fast-spaced, exciting and funny. My 2nd book by John Scalzi.

He doesn't waste many words on descriptions and navel gazing, which I quite appreciate, even though I wouldn't mind a bit more info occasionally.

Still, this series is very entertaining and I am right onto the last book.

Surprisingly, I find that the shining star of the series is a foul-mouthed, sex maniac, tough cookie of a bitch, which couldn't be further away from me and my tastes, but I guess this is John Scalzi for
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
What The Consuming Fire lacks in depth, it makes up for in entertainment and solid plotting.
While reading this sequel, I finally understood what exactly wasn't working for me when I reread - and loved a lot less - The Collapsing Empire. It's about the relationships. And with that I do not mean only the romance, even though it's part of the problem.
Every relationship the characters have in this book has basically no depth to it, even when the character involved aren't completely flat (and they of
Dannii Elle
This is the second instalment in The Interdependency series.

The Interdependency is a space empire spanning innumerable light years and travel between each human colony is viable via the Flow. The Flow runs like a river through space and allows the spaceships that enter it to travel at a speed faster than light and across the vast universe in months or years rather than centuries and multiple lifetimes. However, just like a river, the Flow is changing course and millions of lives might be lost in
Alex Givant
Such an awesome second book in the series, cannot wait to read the last one!
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 2020, sf-fantasy
I saw a Tweet a day or so ago in which John Scalzi revealed that his Publisher Tor had sent him a burrito blanket as a gift to mark The Last Emperox (volume three) achieving bestseller status. Scalzi then put up a poll that required his fans to vote on whether or not he should post a picture of himself as a human burrito. You can guess what the answer was. I will attempt to describe the picture.

Scalzi is a hilarious and irreverent presence in the Twitterverse, adding a measure of sanity and wit
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scalzi's did not disappoint with this second Interdependency instalment. Grayland is working really hard to get everyone to take the Flow collapse seriously, Marce is talking to scientists about the Flow collapse, Kiva Lagos is going through House Nohamapetan's finances, and finding plenty of financial shenanigans, while the Countess and Nadashe Nohamapetan are busy scheming.
The story and language are zippy, and frequently funny, even while the plans against Cardenia grow wide and fast. And the
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.

Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A competent middle book of the Interdependency trilogy that has the new Emperox trying to consolidate her position and form a response to the imminent collapse of the FTL humanity relies on, all while her enemies marshal a coup against her.

Lady Kiva, Lord Marce and Grayland II all feature along with the cast of evil evil-doing conspirators of evil. It's a struggle between people who understand just how much trouble they're in and a group of characters who wish to maintain their self-advantageous
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What can I say? But I love this series... this universe....

There's the space opera... the characters... the backstabbing... the silly names for spaceships... the existential threat that virtually no one treats as an existential threat (because it might threaten their bank accounts)... all this combined in a format of a rollicking space adventure!
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. ...more
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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)

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