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The Consuming Fire

The Interdependency, Book 2
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Series: The Interdependency, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (246 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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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story was boring.

narrator was the best thing about this book. story was boring, and predictable, it reminded me of the star wars episode where it was all about politics and hardly any action.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Loved the secret meta jokes snuck in there

Again a great book and a great performance of it. Also listen for the meta jokes, I'm sure I missed a few but those I noticed I loved.

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Excellent book

An amazing follow up from the first book. interesting all the way through and you know shit is going to hit the fan and you just can't wait.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Len Krois
  • Altona Gate, Victoria Australia
  • 02-02-2019

Great entertainment<br />

Loved the story. Hanging out for ep 3 to be recorded. Hurry up Will Wheaton!

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Good but not as good as the first one

Will Wheaton delivers another stellar performance as narrator but the book did not grip me as much as the collapsing empire. High standard was set with the first book in series by the author so i guess thats forgivable (the two towers) i look forward to the conclusion.

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Awesome read

Really enjoyed the predecessor and this one absolutely lives up to it. I always love the political and economic side of sci-fi universes and this one had done that very well. Also the idea that rather than developing an FTL drive humanity could only expand through the Flow and there was still a time delay was I felt a much more realistic interpretation of space travel so all that narrated by Will Wheaton I mean what's not to love.

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  • C. White
  • 16-10-2018

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
  • 15-12-2018

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
  • 25-11-2018

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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  • David M. Polakiewicz
  • 15-11-2018

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
  • 17-10-2018

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
  • 17-10-2018

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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  • Donald Arquilla
  • 17-10-2018

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
  • 09-11-2018

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
  • 20-10-2018

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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  • Brandon Peters
  • 06-08-2019

Will Wheaton is so hard to listen to

This story is okay and the whole build up is mediocre. I like the twist at the end a lot but I really didn't enjoy listening to the story. both the story and will.

I wanted to note that make sure you listen to Will before you buy this book. If it weren't for scalzis awesome stories, I couldn't have finished this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-10-2018

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

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Krok84
  • 04-04-2019

Scalzi at his best, narrated so poorly. So poorly

Great story loved it. I'm really looking forward to the next book. Just wish Will Wheaton (an actor I've always really enjoyed on screen ) would please stop narrating Scalzi's books. He's dreadful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Haviland
  • 24-10-2018

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
  • 22-10-2018

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
  • 18-10-2018

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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  • Sabine McKenna
  • 11-09-2019

Scalzi does not disappoint... Nor does Wil Wheaton

This is probably the fifth or sixth audio book by Scalzi/Wheaton that I have listened to, and it's great to see that the author does not run out of fresh ideas. Wheaton seems to truly enjoy the story, which is also a big plus. I won't go into the details of the plot, spoilers and all that, but it does get me thinking about our future in space, as well as being a very enjoyable listen.

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  • Phil H
  • 19-06-2019

Good to be back

It’s always nice when you get back into a story, remember the characters and build some more memories.

This continues on nicely from the first book in the series and will leave you looking forward to the next.

The only downside is the first half is much more political wrangling than sci-fi. That’s said it does serve to get you up to speed on what you may have forgotten.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SueW
  • 22-05-2019

Good but also Meh

I usually enjoy Scalzi's works, but the political soap opera outweighs the actual sci fi

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  • Kodachrome
  • 26-04-2019

If you liked book 1, book 2 even better!

A follow on to Book 1 that builds the universe in many meaningful ways with a few surprises along the way. Very strong central character development and excellently performed by Will Wheaton. A great space opera!

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  • "ballbearing"
  • 23-04-2019

good sequel

This sequel is good however it suffers from the typical sequel issues such as the plot becomes very complex, there is little or no extra character development and one starts to feel very little for the characters. The first 1/3 of the book is pretty boring and then gets quite interesting.