Review: The Consuming Fire (The Interdependency #2) by John Scalzi

Genre: Science Fiction/Space Opera
Publisher: Tor
Hardcover: 320 pages
Audio: 8 hours and 19 minutes


3/5 Stars

This one is going to be short, and pretty much to the point.

You know all of those times when you highly anticipate a sequel and then are immediately let down? Yeah, this is one of those.

First things first: I LOVE Will Wheaton’s narration. He makes each and every novel even better with his spoken word, but it wasn’t enough to force my hand into giving more love.

Beginning on the heels of The Collapsing Empire, The Consuming Fire takes us on a journey that, well, reminds us of what happened in Book 1 and adds some ooohs and aaahs along the way. The Flow [for recapping purposes: since the universe is still bound by the laws of physics (no faster than light travel), Scalzi has introduced a network between connected systems to create quick travel pathways. All pathways go through the Interdependency, aptly named because all settlements connected via The Flow need one another for survival] is dissipating and the systems connected are starting to feel the effects.

While Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, attempts to help the billions that will surely be wiped off the board, others who believe that all of this talk is for political gain ensure that their own agendas are met. Everything becomes a power struggle and it is up to key players to root out a way to win and save humanity.

I can’t quite tell if the letdown was how friggin short this book was or the fact that there just wasn’t much “wow” factor to it. The political machinations, sciency tidbits, and love of how The Flow was created/operates keep The Consuming Fire an interesting and intriguing read, but it suffers hugely from 2nd book syndrome. Not enough truly happens and a lot of what Scalzi is forcing into the book (very progressive ideals) come across like he is trying too hard.

I’m hoping Book 3 isn’t a letdown, but I’ll give it a go when it releases; if only for another Wheaton performance and to see how the series ends (if it does).

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    I have a copy of this I’ll be reading next month. I am a little worried after reading your review, though. Second books are always a risk for me, and because I didn’t LOVE the first book, I may have a similar reaction to yours. We’ll see!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who knows, you may love it! Can’t wait to see what you think!


  2. Oh no! Sorry to hear it was a let down. I have both books, but havent read either yet

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Off The TBR says:

    I’ve read book one and almost picked this one up today. Will probably still get it but will not get my hopes up too high.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad I’m not the only one who felt ho hum about this one. I agree with the lack of “wow factor” here, this one failed to excite me the way Scalzi has with his other books. I suspect it had something to do with the book having an obvious agenda, and he let it become more important than the story and characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Preach 🙌🏻🙌🏻.


  5. booksofb says:

    Thanks for a great review. Funny though – I actually enjoyed this one more than the first book. Felt like I finally found a Scalzi novel that really worked for me. Cheers, Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We can’t always agree! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. booksofb says:

        Indeed – this time – you and Mogsy – whose opinions I totally respect and which I’m almost always in line with – felt the same way. I may have to go back and reread the darned thing. 😉



        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hah! Lucky for you it’s a short book.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s