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The Consuming Fire—the New York Times and USA Today bestselling sequel to the 2018 Hugo Award Best Novel finalist and 2018 Locus Award-winning The Collapsing Empire—an epic space-opera novel in the bestselling Interdependency series, from the Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi
The Interdependency—humanity’s interstellar empire—is on the verge of collapse. The extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible is disappearing, leaving entire systems and human civilizations stranded.
Emperox Grayland II of the Interdependency is ready to take desperate measures to help ensure the survival of billions. But arrayed before her are those who believe the collapse of the Flow is a myth—or at the very least an opportunity to an ascension to power.
While Grayland prepares for disaster, others are prepare 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 between spaceships and battlefields.
The Emperox and her allies are smart and resourceful, as are her enemies. Nothing about this will be easy... and all of humanity will be caught in its consuming fire.
The Interdependency Series
1. The Collapsing Empire
2. The Consuming Fire
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Scalzi makes good use of the setting and characters established in The Collapsing Empire for a space opera sequel centered on the battle for control of the interstellar Interdependency. The ruling House of Wu clashes with the ambitious Nohamapetan family in the face of undeniable evidence of changing physics that could isolate whole worlds: the Flow, the naturally occurring interstellar travel network that forms the empire's infrastructure, is collapsing. Wildcard Emperinox Grayland II claims to have religious visions as part of her calculated attempt to save humankind. Scalzi's key players remain individually distinctive and delightfully outrageous in their interactions without becoming caricatured. A section about the exploration of a newly reaccessible world falls into a tired mode as old computers reboot and a meeting with a degraded remnant of the population feels like alien first contact, but the story brightens again when the shipbound avatar of an old king breezes in to do historical exposition. This novel sits perfectly in its second-book role, leaving the reader deeply invested in the developing story, with plenty left to tell.