THE CONSUMING FIRE by John Scalzi sees John pretty much perfect his frictionless high-speed platinum-pulp science fiction storytelling. I read it in two sittings. John’s stripped his style down to what people are saying and what people are thinking, with the bare minimum of staging, and the thing flies along magnetic rails. If John was a straight crime writer, he’d have five hundred million in the bank and Lee Child would be bending the knee. If you want to study how commercial fiction writing works, take a look at this.
This is the second in his Interdependency sequence, and if you’re missing Game Of Thrones or The Expanse, this is both. Also, if you ever liked the Mission Impossible or Leverage tv series, you will fucking love this. It’s court intrigue, spaceships, and a lovely long con.
He also finds time to complexify the setting, which in future books will slide it out of the science-fantasy trappings into a harder science fiction with some deep history to it.
Anyway, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, and if you want to drop out of the world for a couple of days, this is a great choice.