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The Consuming Fire

(The Interdependency #2)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  10,465 ratings  ·  1,157 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
Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Audible Studios
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4.24  · 
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 ·  10,465 ratings  ·  1,157 reviews

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Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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 of another edition
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
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

4ish stars.

Didn't love it quite as much as the first, but still a lot to love. Like Emperox Grayland's monologue at the end? Fire. I still don't get a great sense of her character, but maybe it's because she needs to have so many different faces and it's hard to reconcile all of them as an outsider.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Alex Givant
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper, best-of-2018
Such an awesome second book in the series, cannot wait to read the last one!
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
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
4-4.5 Stars

Review to come.
Allison Hurd
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
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.

Kirsten "Ghost Deserved Better"
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!
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
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
David Holmes
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Consuming Fire more than its predecessor. It opens up new, unexpected aspects of the story, and it moves along at a good clip for most of the book. Also, surprisingly for the middle book of a trilogy, it comes to a satisfying conclusion, while also leaving enough possibilities open for the next one in the series.

At times, the action seemed a little bit diffuse, with too many perspectives on the issue. Compared Turtledove or Martin, Scalzi does not quite pull the multi-viewpoint sty
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super interesting! This book did not go where I expected it to which was fantastic; I definitely enjoyed it.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
4 stars for interesting ideas and plot twists. And a great ending. But the writing, mostly dialogue, seemed repetitive and had so many swear words they seemed like filler. Which is a shame. I think this could have been a tighter novella.
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "Consuming Fire" Buddy Read 50 67 Jan 12, 2019 05:57AM  

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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)
“Confidence isn’t about knowing you’re right. Confidence is about knowing you can make it right.” 9 likes
“the cynical could afford the luxury of their cynicism because of the stability of the system they mocked.” 6 likes
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