The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Series: The Interdependency #2
Published by Audible Studios on October 16, 2018
Source: Purchased
Genres: Science Fiction
Length: 8 hrs 19 mins
Format: Audiobook
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four-half-stars

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 to take those measures to help ensure the survival of billions. But nothing is ever that easy. Arrayed before her are those who believe the collapse of the Flow is a myth—or at the very least, an opportunity that can allow them to ascend to power.

While Grayland prepares for disaster, others are preparing for a civil war, a war that will take place in the halls of power, the markets of business and the altars of worship as much as it will take place between spaceships and battlefields. The Emperox and her allies are smart and resourceful, but then so are her enemies. Nothing about this power struggle will be simple or easy... and all of humanity will be caught in its widening gyre.

I loved The Consuming Fire! It’s the middle book in a trilogy and do read #1 first. Galactic travel through the Flow is breaking down and human civilization is in grave danger. The Emperox of the Interdependency is convinced, but she’s surrounded by a lot of wealthy, powerful people who are actively conspiring against her.

Grayland II is a tough lady. She’s convinced her empire is in danger -and it totally is. She’s doing everything she can to figure out how to save as many people as possible, but as always there are others who are in denial or simply trying to spin things so they come out on top. There’s politics and adventure and even a sweet romance that doesn’t take away from the story as a whole.

The Interdependency is full of strong women, royalty, religious women, heads of merchant families, assassins, and everyday women whose common sense and unrestrained-ness make them just as valuable. I like that for the most part, the women are the ones controlling the story.

The collapsing Flow is Scalzi’s metaphor for climate change, but I never felt like I was being hit over the head with it.

I loved Grayland’s speech at the end of this one. I may have literally clapped. And now I have to wait till next year to see how it all turns out.

For the COYER Treasure Hunt, this counts as my book set at least 20 years in the future (or more) (#92) worth 4 points.

About John Scalzi

John Michael Scalzi II (born May 10, 1969) is an American science fiction author and former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He is best known for his Old Man’s War series, three novels of which have been nominated for the Hugo Award, and for his blog Whatever, where he has written on a number of topics since 1998. He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2008 based predominantly on that blog, which he has also used for several charity drives. His novel Redshirts won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel. He has written non-fiction books and columns on diverse topics such as finance, video games, films, astronomy, writing and politics, and served as a creative consultant for the TV series Stargate Universe.

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