Friday, May 9, 2014

Fire with Fire Review

This week I decided to review Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon. The book begins shortly after investigative reporter Caine Riordan has been put into a cryogenic cell during an investigation of a secret project intended to create a faster than light drive, after a security guard panics, convinced that Riordan is breaking into the quarters of a high ranking military officer.  Riordan is awoken thirteen years later, a gap which humanity has used to complete the interstellar drive and establish a number of colonies. Riordan is asked to aid a secret intelligence agency by investigating rumors of sentient non-human life, which would be the first sentient alien life humanity has found,  on one of the colony worlds. Riordan finds this life but also finds an ancient structure which would be perfect for human use but incredibly uncomfortable for the native species to use, and despite the natives being at roughly a stone age level  of technology one of them points directly to where the Sol system would be if it were visible in the colony world’s night sky after meeting Riordan, apparently somehow knowing where humanity came from. Riordan returns to Earth, dodging assassins apparently sent by the corporation who ran the colony in question and whose operations were disrupted due to what Riordan discovered. Then Earth’s powers struggle to unite and form a World Confederation but success is soon followed by the mysterious deaths of a number of the leaders of the intelligence network Riordan works for. And next the Interstellar Accord, an alliance of alien races makes contact with Earth and requests a delegation from Earth which  Riordan is assigned to. But when humanity meets the Accord it soon becomes clear that internal disagreements over the regulations of the Accord will soon lead to the largest Interstellar war in local space in hundreds of years.
I give this book an 8.5 out of 10. The book is mainly focused on investigation, politics, and diplomacy rather than combat, but the story is well written, if long-winded at times, and the author manages to keep all of the plot threads going at an interesting pace despite jumping between multiple plotlines. I, for one, am very interested in what the choice Humanity makes near the end of the book leads too, and am hopeful that the next book will be better than this one.

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