Friday, September 18, 2009

Fusion Fire

Title: Fusion Fire

Series: Firebird Trilogy #2
(Reviews here for book one and book three)

Author: Kathy Tyers

Genre: Adult Sci-fi

Excerpt from “Night Attack,” Chapter 1 of Fusion Fire:

Even rain on wet leaves can sound ominous after midnight.

Firebird stopped walking and listened intently. The dark hours were slipping away, but she’d awakened with both calves bound up in excruciating muscle cramps. Pausing on her third lap around a long, windowless training room, she felt positive she’d heard something—someone—out in the pass-way.

She would’ve known if that were Brennen.

Barefoot, she crept across the cushioned mat. Once a storage area, this room bristled with weapons, simulators, and exercise equipment. A home-security master board glimmered behind the flight simulator. She bent toward it.

One of her unborn sons kicked her ribs in protest.
Firebird straightened and pushed red-brown hair back from her face. She’d hoped to command a star cruiser someday . . . she never hoped to resemble one. Now, six and a half months pregnant with twins, she suspected she did.

She snugged the belt of her flimsy nightrobe. On the security board, an image of their two-story hillside home gleamed in pale yellow holo. Each entry and window shone red, fully covered by sensors and dispatch circuits. Brennen had invested his Federate severance pay in a lovely, defensible location near Thyrica’s primary military base, then installed the best available home sec system. In ten years of intelligence work, he’d made enemies.

The board showed no sign of intrusion.

A night attack forces Firebird to flee her new refuge and her husband Brennen to track down renegade telepaths on their home planet.

The Craft: As is often the case in a trilogy, the second installment in the Firebird Trilogy, Fusion Fire, is not quite as well constructed. The cadence of the plot is somewhat off and some of the flashbacks feel clunky, disruptive, and hard to follow.

Yet Fusion Fire carries all the strengths of the previous book, Firebird, and the quality of the craft started at such a high level, these problems fade into minor irritants, probably barely noticeable to most.

So I was and remain in awe of this writing.

The Content: There may be flickers of problems in craft, but the content of Fusion Fire suffers no such set backs. Ms. Tyers continues to plumb the depths, offering many insights into spiritual life before Christ’s incarnation as well as more practical issues still faced today, such as the importance of blood atonement and the depth of evil in the human heart.

In other content issues, there is some violence, but only a couple times does it turn even remotely graphic, and each time is necessary (such as in the animal sacrifice scene). There are also a couple suggestions of the sexual—Firebird and Brennen are a married couple—but the suggestion is done so well, you probably won’t notice unless you know what you’re looking for or are married yourself.

Summary: While there are a couple minor flaws in craft, Fusion Fire is superbly written, with delightful heroes, treacherous villains, and a fast-paced plot. To top that off, the content depth has much to offer, much to chew on, and everything is portrayed such as to make the story accessible to even the youngest teen. Highly recommended!

Rating: Craft—5, Content—5, Overall—4.7 out of 5 stars


Rachel Rossano said...

When I first read the set, I sped through "Fusion Fire" eager to see how things played out. Firebird's struggles with pride are done so well. I don't remember ever thinking that the author had over done it or belabored a point too much.

Chawna Schroeder said...

I think that Ms. Tyers did an exceptional job! She examines and wrestles with the problem without becoming preachy--a mark of great content. And it is as good the second time as the first.