Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon

Science Fiction

What Goodreads says:

"Original trade paperback. New Science Fiction Thriller Series! An agent for a spy organization  uncovers an alien alliance in nearby interstellar space—an alliance that will soon involve humanity in politics and war on a galactic scale.2105, September: Intelligence Analyst Caine Riordan uncovers a conspiracy on Earth’s Moon—a history-changing clandestine project—and ends up involuntarily cryocelled for his troubles. Twelve years later, Riordan awakens to a changed world. Humanity has achieved faster-than-light travel and is pioneering nearby star systems. And now, Riordan is compelled to become an inadvertent agent of conspiracy himself. Riordan’s mission: travel to a newly settled world and investigate whether a primitive local species was once sentient—enough so to have built a lost civilization.

However, arriving on site in the Delta Pavonis system, Caine discovers that the job he’s been given is anything but secret or safe. With assassins and saboteurs dogging his every step, it's clear that someone doesn't want his mission to succeed. In the end, it takes the broad-based insights of an intelligence analyst and a matching instinct for intrigue to ferret out the truth: that humanity is neither alone in the cosmos nor safe. Earth is revealed to be the lynchpin planet in an impending struggle for interstellar dominance, a struggle into which it is being irresistibly dragged. Discovering new dangers at every turn, Riordan must now convince the powers-that-be that the only way for humanity to survive as a free species is to face the perils directly—and to fight fire with fire."

Fire with Fire is the first book in the Tales of the Terra Republic future history.  It does not say that on the book, I had to go to Charles Gannon’s web site to fine that important information.  I did know as I got near the end of Fire with Fire that it could not be a stand-alone.  It just ended with too many things up in the air. I recommend reading Fire with Fire but you need to know that this is the first book and there is no mention of when book two will come out.  However there is much more information about the world Gannon has created at  The site is worth a visit.

World Building:  The world building in Fire with Fire is massive.   It starts with the first page and continues through out the book.  You start with Earth politics and continue to interstellar politics and the possibility of war.

Plot:  Each section of the book features a different plot point. One of the interesting sections of Fire with Fire is where Caine finds evidence that humans were on Delta Pavonis around 20,000 years ago.  They have disappeared and no one knows what happened to them.  That is one of the threads that is not pursued.  I think it is a very important element in the plot and will be important in the next book.  Most of the sections come together as part of the overall picture but some are developed but not pursued in Fire with Fire.  Look for a surprise at the end.  Part of the plot is Caine trying to remember the 100 hours he lost when cryocelled.  That is answered near the end of the book.

Characters:  Caine is the main character and everything and everyone that appears does so in conjunction with him.  He is very smart and sees thing that the others do not.  That makes him very valuable but because of the cryocelled incident and the missing hours he does not trust the people he has to work with.  I found that I somewhat liked and very much disliked the same people.

Writing Fire with Fire is a well-constructed story.  The writing is on point and keeps everything moving often in an unexpected direction. 

I do hope Baen has contracted for book two and it will be out sometime soon.  I really want to know if my take on the title is correct.  Fire with Fire?  If Earth humans are fighting with fire who are they fighting?

Baen published Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon in 2013.

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