Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci
Short Review: More character driven (but still fairly suspenseful) sequel to Streams of Babel. Round robin of readers still pleasing.
Long Review: This sequel to Streams of Babel picks up shortly after the end of the prior story. I cannot review it without sharing some spoilers of the first story, so if you think that a post-9/11 suspenseful teen driven spy thriller sounds fun, go look at Streams of Babel.
For those of you who read the first book, Fire Will Fall starts with Cora, Scott, Owen and Rain (now known internationally as the ‘Trinity Four’) on their way to a secluded location to recuperate.
Shahzad and Tyler are also in their own recovery – but many miles away. The two v-spy computer geniuses just won’t let go. They are desperate to follow through and catch the bad guys who got away at the end of the last book.
The easiest thing to say is that we get another suspenseful mystery to solve with our overly clever teens who have the shadow of illness hanging over them. Plum-Ucci shares with us the emotions and fears and confusion of these teens, who in addition to dealing with normal teenage stuff (does he like me? should I call her?) spend a lot of time worrying that the people who tried to kill them might try again. In fact, they may already have killed them – just in slow motion.
I liked the first book a bit better, but this one was still worth the time for me. I like knowing what happens next to characters I care about, so this book succeeds at least on that front. The suspense is slightly lower, the action slower than in the first volume. In fact, the author shares on her Amazon.com blog “I think of FIRE as more of a character piece..” – and that was very clear to me.
Shahzad and Tyler also get more airtime in this book than the last one. I will admit to having a large soft spot in my heart for Tyler – and this book gives him more room to try to harness his mania to save the day. I don’t have the skills to analyze the plausibility of Shahzad and Tyler’s computer hacking brilliance – but for me it wasn’t hard to just suspend disbelief for the v-spy details and stay around for the character development.
If your favorite thing about Streams of Babel was the suspenseful thriller and you don’t care much about the teen protagonists, then you should probably give this book a pass. If you are dying to know what happens next to the six teens from the last book, I think you will enjoy this book!