Fire with Fire – Charles E Gannon


A hundred years in the future, Caine Riordan is snooping around, thinking he has discovered a conspiracy on the Moon. Secret governmental forces stick him in suspended animation for twelve years. When he is awoken, he has lost a hundred hours of his memory, and doesn’t know who to trust, and who not to trust. But he signs up to work for the very people who put him into deep freeze, and before you can say Really? Caine is actively engaged in a mission to, er, expose a conspiracy…

This is a science fiction story with a lot of challenges, most of which it fails. The central character – think a combination of James Bond, G.I. Joe, and Henry Kissinger (!) – is just about credible, even if his motivations often seem suspect. The rest of the characters are paper thin, not even rising to the level of cardboard cutouts.

There is a decent amount of action, and these scenes are the best.

There is a lot of description of aliens and technology, most of which is pretty damn good.

However, there is also a lot of diplomacy. Or, to put it another way, talking. But this dialogue is often overlong, and boring. It may well be vital to the future of humanity, but it sure didn’t sound like it.

There is also a serpentine plot, reasonably well constructed, but struggling to maintain reader interest because of the turgid dialogue.

This book needed an editor with a big red pen (and lots of red ink) to mark up what seemed like a first draft, and pass it back to the author for another attempt.

Apart from the action scenes, it was dull as dull gets, and then some. Avoid at all costs.