Allison Hurd's Reviews > The Consuming Fire

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
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liked it
bookshelves: lgbtqia-mc, man-author, scifi

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 motivations. Kiva's mouth never stops running.

-Scalzi's humor. A few timely self-references, a few acerbic comments on the nature of man and its institutions, and lots of snark. I was hoping for a quick, funny read and was not disappointed.

-The Auvergne and Dasalysans. That was a fun scifi twist.

-The "Got ya's". There were a few lines of dialogue or maneuvering where you just couldn't help but reflexively start to dial the Burn Unit. There were some real stunners.

Things that weren't as tight:

-The politicking. He's excellent at running down the list of consequences for everyone's bad decisions. He's less subtle in his machinations. In a book all about machinations, it gets pretty noticeable.

-Repeats. There's a lot of hand wringing, a lot of "hey reader, remember this?" moments, actual bits of dialogue repeated not for comedic effect or character affect, and scene structures ((view spoiler))

-Cartoon opposition. All the opposition is cartoonishly evil and moronic. Moreso than last book.

-Cliffhanger ending. The epilogue ends like a chapter break. I'm not as upset because I felt the main story was resolved, but it's clear we're jumping right into the third book. I don't usually love this, and while it's not as offensive as some I've read, it's still not my favorite writing trick.

-Crass. It was a bit more crass than last book--I know, that's saying something. It's weird, because I feel Cardenia (and to some extent Kiva) are pretty well built women characters...and then so many others are not given that care. A few lines about women's autonomy and experiences that really felt in poor taste.

I enjoyed it, I still zipped through it. But the first book was a masterpiece of everything falling down around two women diametrically opposed in personalities and desires. This one is a mediocre intrigue, a belabored book of rebellion and a skimpy space romance (I mean more in the space faring/adventure sense, but I guess maybe also the relationship-centric book sense). However, if you're reading or planning to read this book, you likely found the main characters of Collapsing Empire interesting, and you do grow to care more for them in this installment. Plus, it's still snarky. A fun, light romp. Turn off brain, insert popcorn.
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Reading Progress

May 14, 2018 – Shelved
May 14, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
October 24, 2018 – Started Reading
October 24, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqia-mc
October 24, 2018 – Shelved as: man-author
October 24, 2018 – Shelved as: scifi
October 25, 2018 –
page 54
16.07% "I think this is a great fit for his humor"
October 26, 2018 –
page 65
19.35% "Hmmmmmm"
October 27, 2018 –
page 103
30.65% "Had a great morning reading this in front of the fire while it rained. I particularly liked how the scheming was portrayed."
October 28, 2018 –
page 152
45.24% "End Book 1"
October 28, 2018 –
page 335
99.7% "RTC"
October 29, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Lowell Seems like about how I found the first one. I'll certainly pick this up... once it's available at my public libraries.


Allison Hurd Yeah...luckily this one was from my library otherwise I think I'd have been more upset at it.


Lowell Allison wrote: "Yeah...luckily this one was from my library otherwise I think I'd have been more upset at it."

Dead tree version, I assume? both SPL and KCLS do not have the ebook version in my searches...


Allison Hurd Yep, I got it in paper. My library system is not so great at ebooks. And, it IS Tor, sooo...


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