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Publisher's Summary

The Consuming Fire - the sequel to the 2018 Hugo Award Best Novel finalist and 2018 Locus Award-winning The Collapsing Empire - an epic space-opera novel in the best-selling Interdependency series, from the Hugo Award-winning and New York Times best-selling author John Scalzi.

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.  

The Interdependency series: 

  1. The Collapsing Empire
  2. The Consuming Fire
©2018 John Scalzi (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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Building upon a collapse, this follow-up exceeds!

Fine... I'll state it up front. I am an unabashed John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton fan boy! BUT there is a reason why, and the Consuming Fire is just another entry onto that long list of reasons. Given that this is the second book of the Interdependency series, I'm assuming that anyone who is reading this review has already made it through the Collapsing Empire, and you are wondering how this seconded entry holds up to the first. Overall, I actually enjoyed this book better. Whereas the first book focused mostly on the political maneuvering between two families and the physics of the flow. This entry dives more deeply into the Church of the Interdependency and how it is the practical glue that holds the Interdependency together. But just when you think this may turn into a plodding exploration of ecclesiastic devotion within the Interdependency, you are thrust into the politics of treason and outright betrayal across ALL the houses of the Interdependency, and stuck in the middle is Emperox Grayland II. Scalzi does a fantastic job in holding a mirror up to our own society to highlight the tendency of humans to ignore or dismiss inconvenient facts in favor lies that maintain the norm, or the lies that allow those in power to position themselves to take advantage of the chaos of the truth. Although I do not think that Scalzi intended to make a direct passion play to reflect our current debate surrounding global warming, throughout this book, I was forcibly reminded of the direct parallels. Before you get too worried that the book is a bit philosophically heavier than the typical Scalzi offering... fear not. The snarky wit and cleaver dialog that is a hallmark of Scalzi's writing is there from the very first sentence to the last. Throw in a bit of action, a few things blowing up and the unexpected discovery of the fate of Dalicia... you have a great Scalzi space opera. Finally... what John Scalzi review be complete without mention of his other half in these endevors: Wil Wheaton. Over the years, the voice of Wil Wheaton has become synonymous with John Scalzi. I have a hard time imagining listening to a Scalzi read by anyone else (sorry William Dufris, you've done a great job on the Old Man's War series, but Wil is still my goto for the voice of Scalzi).

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Loved it but too short! High Fantasy spoiled me!

I really enjoyed this installment. Great world building as you would come to expect from Scalzi. My one complaint is that after listening to Dune, The Sword of Truth and Malazan Book of the Fallen, I've become used to 34-40h epics per entry so this took about a day to get through. no Fault of the author, just wish I had more.

fantastic performance by the narrator.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Scalzi and Wheaton or the new dynamic duo?

seriously, I love scalzi's writing. his characters have great conversations and listening to will Wheaton swear in 6 different attitudes really gets you into the book.

the story also opens up in this one. the whole of the first book is establishing the plot so this book can really focus on the story.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Wheaton is amazing

The story continues and it’s quite a fun ride. Scalzi balances fun and snark with a certain amount of realism I don’t find in most sci-fi. Too much sci-fi is aloof, this takes occasional trips into the gutter and that’s what makes it great for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Ingenious!

Super plotting and characterization, with Scalzi's trademark satirical touches. Okay, sarcasm. Wheaton must always do Scalzi.

In sum: Better than cats. Better than pie.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Super good!

A great sequel, and a super funny and exciting book. Everything that we should expect from Scalzi. The story was a bit predictable at times, but it was still very fun to read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The universe becomes much larger and very interest

The idea behind this series has always been an analogy with global climate changes. When the means by which the Interdependency is jeopardized by a natural (or possibly not so natural) shift in the Flow, humans behave as expected. People dither out of habit, wealthy interests try to dny the reality because it hurts their bottom line and politicos try to maneuver for power despite it being counterproductive or outright detrimental to survival. Yet we also see those in power try to make things better and work despite all this, and perhaps that is a hopeful sign for humanity (well that and having rulers that are able to sweep aside all of those above). But the truly fascinating part of this book is the "ancient" history that is discovered and that the universe is much larger than what was thought. It also introduces so truly interesting characters who are likely to be a treat in future novels.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Already waiting for what happens next!

Ya know how how rare it is to fall in love with a series and finish the next book in one sitting? Well... That's the magic of Scalzi & his new series... Luv Wheaton's frolicking reading, the riotous potty mouth of some and the plot intrigue in this expanding universe... Just get it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Usually sequels are not as good as the original. This is better than the first

My Daughters high school English class has a year long assignment with each student choosing an author, reading four novels from them,essay on each and then an essay about the author. I asked my Daughter why she picked John Scalzi and she said that he is so funny that it takes the boredom out of reading plus Will Wheaton is great to listen to if I listen to the audio book. She is right Scalzi dialogue is filled with humour. I imagine that he must be a funny guy to be around because he is just humorous. This second novel is better than the first because the back story was already there and he was able to jump right into the story. I expect the next novel to be even better. He is one of the top science fiction writers alive right now. Everything he writes wins awards. He is also a prolific writer that will be like Stephen King by the end of his life with novels taking up entire wall of a book store.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing plot! Dialogue was serviceable.

Reminiscent of Dune, the plot and machinations of characters involved have satisfying ups, downs, twists, and turns. I've never been a big fan of the author's dialogue but it's serviceable and pretty easy to overlook. If you're a Dune fan you'll most likely enjoy this one!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Haviland
  • 10-24-18

Great Stuff

Have to leave a review in order to rate it, it appears :-)

An engrossing sequel to the Collapsing Empire - politics and power seeking take priority over an event that will lead to the loss of life of millions. Wil Wheaton's narration is engaging, subtly managing to differentiate between the many characters. Difficult enough when you're reading bed time stories to your kids, never mind for a mass market audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David S
  • 10-22-18

I can not wait for the next instalment!

The fascinating and addictive world created by John Scalzi is magnificently performed by Wil Wheaton

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin
  • 10-18-18

A Marvellous Read

Funny with an excellent plot, extremely well written characters with whom it is easy to empathise, this book deserves to be a classic sci-fi novel.
Almost certainly there is an even more scintillating sequel in the works which is a really exciting prospect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-18-18

are you fed up of Will Wheaton?

Sorry Will, but I'm one of the group who is fed up of hearing you read Scalzi. Perhaps you appeal to the Americans, but hearing you over *emphasize* almost *every* other word, eventually gets *irritating* and ultimately I'm not the only one who now will buy future Scalzi books to not have to listen to the *same damn* basic *over emphasizing* that comes woth *every* reading

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Asbjørn
  • 11-17-18

Great science fiction

In science fiction it is difficult to imagine a more perfect team than Scalzi and Wheaton!
It is a true pleasure to listen to.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-18

Fast moving but short.

Moved the story forward, but not quite far enough to satisfy my wish to see "what happens next".

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  • Fergal Breen
  • 11-08-18

Must have more

Great book. Interesting story told masterfully that has expanded the plot greatly.
Can’t wait for book three.
Bravo

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  • Grazzer
  • 11-07-18

Another great yarn by Scalzi

I am really enjoying this series of books, eagerly looking forward to part 3. They concentrate on the to and fro of politics with s bit of adventure and tech in the mix. very well written and read.

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  • nick
  • 10-20-18

Scalzi's worst effort so far

Too many names and not enough characters to be interesting, read old man's war instead.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful