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The Consuming Fire

The Interdependency, Book 2
Written by: John Scalzi
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (240 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Wil Wheaton narrates this space opera full of political intrigue and charismatic characters. The young Emperox Grayland II does not have an easy task ahead. The Interdependency is in jeopardy due to the collapse of various planets in the empire. Powerful families are looking out for their own interests, even if that means killing their enemies and threatening the empire. Wheaton delivers an expressive narration using a humorous tone when needed and employing his acting talent to bring the characters to life. This audiobook is a treat not only for Wheaton's fans but also for anyone who is into well-written science fiction." (AudioFile magazine) 

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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wil Wheaton should read all audio books

I would buy more audio books if Wil Wheaton read them. His voices and accents, enunciation and enthusiasm just leave me looking for more.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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good story, hard to differentiate characters.

story was good, a couple of twists, but hard to differentiate when listening to identify which character is speaking

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  • MJR
  • 2019-03-31

A great listen

My favourite thing is Wil Wheaton's French accent. It amused me greatly and painted a very clear picture.

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better then the last one

I liked this book quite a bit, i thought it was better than the first one in the series. it further explored the flow and the history of the interdependancy and creates a fantastically in depth, interesting and dynamic universe that I have come to expect from scalzi.

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cannot wait for the next in the series

great continuation. when is the next installment available? how is the empire going to survive?

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Outstanding book!

Another great novel by Scalzi! An absolute tour de force! I cannot wait for the next one in the series!

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Wheaton! Mute your phone!

Great narration but yeesh you can hear his text notification go off while he’s narrating. Pet peeve of mine maybe. But like I say still very good overall.

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Better than the last one at least.

Decided to carry on with this series because I love the idea and delivery of the narrator. This book feels much more complete and the ending was transitioned so much better this time around.

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Thoroughly entertained.

I expect this to be turned into a tv show. So hurry up cause I'm dying for more.

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  • Rob
  • 2018-11-06

Excellent, but short

This is a great story and is well performed. I wish that it was longer because it barely felt like the story got going. Still, I'll spring for any additional books

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  • C. White
  • 2018-10-16

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).

36 of 43 people found this review helpful

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  • ryan m
  • 2018-12-15

I love Kiva!

Awesome story. Went through part 1&2 within a week and I'm now anxiously waiting for the third book.
Only other Scalzi that I've read was old man's war, which I loved, but this was on another level.
Wheaton did a great job differentiating the characters and didn't over play the roles.
5 stars in every aspect!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roman A. Kobzarev
  • 2018-11-25

Artificially short

The story is fluffed up to fill the pages. Enough content for half a book. Mr Scalzi could defentley do better.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David M. Polakiewicz
  • 2018-11-15

Coulda done without the whole Kiva storyline

I would have given the book all 5's if it wasn't for the whole Kiva storyline. If that part was taken out I would rate this book a 5+. Loved the rest of the storyline. Scalzi does an excellent job of creating a futuristic universe with collapsing wormholes, and different cultures, and species and futuristic technology. There's action and suspense and then adds just enough at the end of every book to make you want to read the next. Unfortunately, there's also Kiva - a woman who drops the F bomb more than any normal person would, spewing sarcasm and drama in every conversation she has with anyone - that's when she's not screwing someone. I actually fast forwarded the recording a few times when she was the focal point of the story - and I still got a lot out of the book and didn't feel I missed anything. Didn't particularly enjoy her in the first book, and she seemed to drop the F bomb a lot more in the second. I don't think it really added to the storyline. And Wil Wheaton - work on your British accent - you were awesome other than that.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • the mistress reviewer
  • 2018-10-17

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • K. Piening
  • 2018-10-17

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!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Donald Arquilla
  • 2018-10-17

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.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Shovat
  • 2018-11-09

good story bad dialog

the concept of the story I like. However, there are very few central characters I like. The ones that could be likable are tertiary characters and the characters the story focus on are all easy to hate.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ofer
  • 2018-10-20

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenan Tan
  • 2019-01-09

Excellent Performance!

What an excellent performance by Will Wheaton! Great story and plot too! It was worth the wait, this second installment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful