Donna Backshall's Reviews > The Consuming Fire

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 132-in-2019, on-audible, comedy-humor, futuristic, space-opera, reviewed-goodreads, reviewed-audible, reviewed-amazon, reviewed-bookbub, fiction, series
Recommended for: all Scalzi fans

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 talking about you,” Cardenia said, coming up to him.
“To your imaginary friends, I see.”
"They’re not imaginary. They’re just not real.”
“Very subtle distinction."


We already knew it was all about The Flow, which (not a spoiler) is Scalzi's extended metaphor for Earth's climate change. What we didn't know was that Cardenia needs to start asking her "imaginary" predecessors the right questions or risk missing valuable information that could save the empire.

A library is not information; it is a means of preserving information. In every case, before memory or information can be stored, someone must decide what must be stored. Someone must choose. Someone must curate.

There are so many compelling activities happening all at once -- sex, betrayal, power struggles, religious skepticism, political manipulations -- but I never felt like I was reading the space equivalent of a soap opera. It was Scalzi's special brand of scathing humor that propelled the story forward, and kept it from getting bogged down with a gossipy or soapy feel. It's never clean, but damn, it works.

And finally, a hat tip to Wil Wheaton for again nailing the narration on the Audible audio version. It's almost uncanny how no one can perform John Scalzi's raucous writing like he can.
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Quotes Donna Liked

John Scalzi
“Don’t bring a spoon to a toothbrush fight,”
John Scalzi, The Consuming Fire

John Scalzi
“I was just talking about you,” Cardenia said, coming up to him. “To your imaginary friends, I see.” “They’re not imaginary. They’re just not real.” “Very subtle distinction.”
John Scalzi, The Consuming Fire

John Scalzi
“Hiding the past never works as well as simply neglecting it.”
John Scalzi, The Consuming Fire

John Scalzi
“A library is not information; it is a means of preserving information. In every case, before memory or information can be stored, someone must decide what must be stored. Someone must choose. Someone must curate.”
John Scalzi, The Consuming Fire


Reading Progress

February 4, 2019 – Started Reading
February 4, 2019 – Shelved
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: 132-in-2019
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: on-audible
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: comedy-humor
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: futuristic
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: space-opera
February 4, 2019 –
5.0% "So excited for another Scalzi book, and disappointed in myself that it took me like four months to get to this.

But it's all loaded up and now I've got Wil Wheaton in stereo.

It is like music. Crass, hilarious music. And I'm loving every minute of it."
February 9, 2019 – Finished Reading
February 18, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-goodreads
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-audible
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-amazon
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-bookbub
March 9, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
March 17, 2019 – Shelved as: series

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