Review: Fire with Fire

Fire with Fire
Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meet Caine ‘Mary Sue’ Riordan, all around astounding guy who gets everything right because… reasons. This book is good, but not great. I give it three stars, however, because it ends on a high note that made me want to pick up the next one, and I felt it deserved credit for improvement along the way and for not leaving major plot points lying around for the next book. I see potential for the sequels to be better.

The book is well written gramatically. The plot is exciting, if a bit on the miraculous side in some instances, and a bit choppy at the front. The characters are well developed (by the end). Not a whole lot of detailed science, but enough that a good imagination can work with it to follow the story.

The book begins when Riordan’s astounding journalistic nosiness puts him in a situation that forces him to be a super-spy (think Bond crossed with Triple X). He goes through a bunch of hoops to show the people of Earth (and space colonies) we are not alone… but his shang-hai-ing spy bosses already knew that, they just couldn’t say it for… reasons (silly ones IMHO).

NOTE: What follows is a heavily sarcastic, possibly spoilery review of plot points and style – mostly for me to remember later. Read at your own risk. If you are easily influenced by negatives, then don’t read it at all, because I do recommend the book.

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The main character is, unfortunately, a Mary Sue. Go Google that if you don’t know what that is.

Oh, and dear God, the foreshadowing. It will slap you in the face, point to the thing you are supposed to be seeing while holding your cheeks and saying LOOK! Then the characters will say “Oh, noes, that’s going to be something bad someday….. dum de dum de dum… we all go on our way.” Bad. Ungood. Ick. Thanks, but a bit less obvious next time would be really appreciated.

Evil Exploitation Empire of Exxon. No. Next.

Bad Good-Guys who make people do things they don’t want to do. They are so evily evil, and they have Mary Sue under their heavy handed thumb! Problem was, there was no real reason for Riordan not to say shove it up your a$$ sideways. His character was perfect at everything except saying no to the bosses leash. Did. Not. Fit. Personality.

No explanation for the really evil guy’s love of olives. It was so over emphasized that it seemed it must mean something, but no ‘explains’ were given. Grrr.

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The back end of the later half of the book is much more entertaining. Once you get into alien political intrigue stuff, it really took off for me. I liked the aliens and trying to figure out their motivations.

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