09 January 2012

Book review: Fly Into Fire

Fly Into Fire, by Susan Jane Bigelow. 2012, Candlemark and Gleam

Fly Into Fire picks up three years after Broken left off. Be forewarned that this review contains a few spoilers for the ending of Broken.

Sky Ranger has spent the last three years hiding from and fighting the Confederation government, which he had helped to uphold. He believed them to be honorable. He was wrong. He's bought passage on a refugee ship bound for Räton space.

When the ship crash lands on a desert planet which the Rätons had given to the Confederation, Sky Ranger and the handful of survivors build a small tent city while they figure out a way off of the planet before the Confederation finds them.

He befriends Renna, and he tries to take care of Dee, a young girl who was orphaned in the crash. Dee runs off one afternoon, and when he goes looking for her, he finds a massive sandstorm coming in. The survivors take refuge in an abandoned Räton house, except Sky Ranger, who searches futilely for the last two members of the search party for Dee. They're captured separately.

Sky Ranger finds unexpected friends and allies in his captivity: remnants of the Extrahuman Union. He also finds unspeakably cruel captors in his former employers, the Confederation.

Fly Into Fire is just as compelling as Broken. It's a fast-paced adventure story, where well-drawn characters have to figure out how to survive the government that oppresses them long enough to escape.

Another aspect of this book that may appeal to some readers is that Renna is a trans woman. It's not a book about transitioning or being trans*; Renna's just this woman who's a refugee, who falls in love, who makes friends, who fights for her friends...and she's trans. Granted, being trans is the reason she's a refugee, but that's still not the main point of the story.

Fly Into Fire comes out January 24. If you want to whet your appetite and you haven't read it yet, you can pick up Broken here.