Acqua's Reviews > The Consuming Fire

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
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liked it
bookshelves: adult, sci-fi, db, no-chemistry, q, qf, unpredictable

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 often are).

In this installment, Marce and Cardenia like each other because... plot? Because they're a man and a woman? I don't know, and it's been a while since I read a relationship so lacking in chemistry, and it's not like Kiva Lagos (whom I love) and her female love interest are that much more convincing either. Yes, I love that there was bisexual rep and an f/f relationship, but the romantic subplots are flat and the author didn't convince me that any of the characters were even only physically attracted to anyone. The "friendships" and mother-daughter relationship do not feel fleshed out in any way either.

Which is a shame, because this series is so much fun. It's such a wild ride, I couldn't stop reading, and the plot twists truly surprised me. It's twisted and political and full of intrigue and all the things I love. I only wish it wasn't so plot-driven it's almost impossible to actually get attached to anyone.

It even says a lot of interesting things about how societies and empires work, and about the role of religion in empires. The thing is, fast-paced fun books with flat characters and character interactions don't feel as fast-paced and fun when you reread them, and this means this series will ultimately end up being forgettable, no matter the interesting worldbuilding, themes and plot.
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Reading Progress

June 15, 2017 – Shelved
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
August 16, 2017 – Shelved as: adult
August 16, 2017 – Shelved as: sci-fi
November 15, 2018 – Shelved as: maybe
December 7, 2018 – Shelved as: dnf-lost-interest
December 7, 2018 – Shelved as: tbr-reread
December 7, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 10, 2018 – Started Reading
December 10, 2018 –
page 54
16.07% "This is such a mess I love it"
December 10, 2018 –
page 76
December 10, 2018 –
page 115
34.23% "I. love Kiva Lagos"
December 11, 2018 –
page 156
December 11, 2018 –
page 202
60.12% "What"
December 11, 2018 –
page 275
81.85% "This is intense"
December 11, 2018 – Shelved as: db
December 11, 2018 – Shelved as: no-chemistry
December 11, 2018 – Shelved as: q
December 11, 2018 – Shelved as: qf
December 11, 2018 – Shelved as: unpredictable
December 11, 2018 – Finished Reading

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