98 points, 5 STARS!
Alert: Complete and unabashed gushing ahead
Now at the helm of Hellfire, Ia and Prophet of a Thousand Years now has the authority from the Terran Government to act as she must. She has to prove herself, though, as her carte blanche runs out in less time than you would think. Ia can’t stop the coming war, but she can act in the good of everyone, even if the Terran Government doesn’t see how two events might be connected.
“So…Captain. Statistically speaking, what is the safest spot in the universe?” “In bed, with the covers pulled over your head, having been kissed good night by your parents[…]”
My standard warning for this series: Don’t read this review if you haven’t read read prior books in this series and want to. I cannot guarantee no spoilers for previous books in the series, and I don’t want you to spoil yourself.
This is the fourth time I have read this! Why do I still cry?!?!
Hellfire is the start of Ia being Ia. This is who Ia was always going to be, who she is meant to be: the one in charge, the one calling the shots, and the one everyone looks towards for the answers. Ia’s secret has been outed at the correct time and with it people are starting to learn that she knows more than they could have possibly expected. They still have to learn to trust in her and her abilities, though. Ia takes everything she has learned in her viewings of time and over her career in the military and makes things happen. Watching Ia work without being constrained is an absolute delight.
It isn’t always an easy process for Ia in Hellfire, though. Ia struggles. She cannot do everything on her own. She messes up occasionally (she is only human, afterall). She has to win over her crew and her commanders, she has to win over the other alien races. She has to make a name for herself, and not just Bloody Mary. She has to become the Prophet of a Thousand Years that she is claiming to be.
I just love seeing the people Ia surrounds herself with. I love learning about them and watching them grow into the people Ia knows they can be, the ones she has seen them become in the timestreams. We only really see a handful of them – the story is much more about the events than the people. It is a shame that we see so few of them, really. She has such a large crew to work with, afterall. Yet, it works. The story wasn’t set up with the people in mind, the story was to show the events that are happening that are going to save the future. Too many more people and the story would become overwhelming and you just wouldn’t get the same effect.
I love all the foreshadowing for what is to come. The first time I read this, I couldn’t stop for anything at all because I just had to know. I had to, every atom in my being needed to know what was going to happen. Now, on my fourth go around, I know what is going to happen, and I still don’t want to stop reading because I know what is going to happen. I feel like Ia does, almost, with her precognition. I know what is going to happen and I just need it all to click into place. And I also shy away from certain events I dread that are coming. This isn’t an easy ride, even for a prophet.
The next book beckons. Ia’nn Suddha. I must listen to my prophet.