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 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.”
First 80% of the book: 3 stars
Last 20% of the book: 5 stars.
It was just one of those books. The Consuming Fire has the same feel for most of the time that The Collapsing Empire. I just kept waiting for the things to happen exactly the way they have said there were going to happen since the beginning of the previous book. There aren’t many highs and lows, just an unraveling of already predicted events.
Until the end that is, where everything lead up to this massive payoff that was worth reading two books for.
Like The Collapsing Empire, this book has a lot of characters we follow. They all have different things they are doing. None of it appears to be connected until the end. Yet every time the story with one character started to heat up, there would be a new chapter with a new character, and we’d have to build up that tension all over again. Not my favourite way to build a story, which is probably why I prefer first person narrative so much.
The story is still really interesting, yet it feels much the same as the story in the first book. No one believes anything bad could happen to the Flow. Until they see it happen, and then mild hell breaks loose and some people panic, and others still don’t believe things are going to be as bad as others say it will be. Yet the entire time, the entire book, the Emperox and her science advisor are trying to find ways to get the people to listen. And plan for the future.
All while everyone around them are backstabbing and trying to wrestle the future so they have more power in the future than they already have now.
Yeah it is one of those types of stories.
But the best part of the book was the universe Scalzi sets up. It is more multilayered than it appeared to be at first. The implications for what to come in the next book are interesting and I can’t wait for it.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Interdependency series page!