Wagers brings their usual deft gift for action and pacing to this taut, tense, sometimes nail-biting novel. Exciting space adventure with real human consequences is a personal favourite of mine, and Wagers – with their inimitable flair – gives us a diverse cast of compelling and relatable people, in a story that has a heart, a sense of humour, and plenty of banter. Particularly notable, and particularly pleasing, is Wagers’s treatment of diverse gender experiences and a diversity of sexual orientations and orientations towards relationships: Hold Fast Through the Fire, like its predecessor, takes place in a world where bigotry regarding gender, relationships, and orientation is part of the past. It makes for a satisfying and rather reassuring reading experience. I can use more optimistic futures ... an intense, exciting, and delightfully entertaining novel. I hope Wagers returns to this setting, and these characters, in the future, because I’d read many more books like this one.
Hold Fast Through the Fire’s central mystery begins unrolling nearly at page one, giving the book a more sinister feel than its predecessor and pulling readers into a labyrinthine plot that surprises and delights. This does take away slightly from the Games aspect of the series, but readers who enjoyed A Pale Light in the Black’s focus on the competition won’t be disappointed ... This brilliant and entertaining installment in the NeoG universe is a great choice for readers looking for military drama, evocative writing and espionage.
Wagers’s sharp prose highlights the fast action and dialogue they’re known for, bringing to life this story of found family, talent, and hard punches ... further expands the world of the futuristic coast guard and details the faithful, delightful crew of Zuma’s Ghost.
... packs an emotional gut punch. What makes Wagers’ work stand out in the field of military science fiction is how characters rely on forgiveness, kindness, and trust to solve challenges. They’re vulnerable, share their emotions, and rely on each other, and Wagers shows how this can be people’s greatest strength—a bracing contrast to the typical braggadocio of the genre. Their talent for creating characters readers care about is on full display.
Seamlessly blending elements of military science fiction and space opera ... Although the storyline is powered by an impressively intricate plot that features mystery, intrigue, and nonstop action, it’s the deeply developed characters and the dynamic relationships among them that fuel this narrative. Wagers creates a cast of characters that are not only authentic, but endearingly flawed. Many characters are memorable, but it’s Chief Petty Officer Altandai 'Jenks' Khan who steals the show. So much more than a proverbial badass, she has an extensive backstory, and her relationship issues with those she loves are worth the price of the book alone ... Top-notch character-driven science fiction.
... serves up buffet-size portions of everything their fans have come to expect: dug-in friendships, action, impossible odds, and clever dialogue that always hits home ... Wagers’s characterization plumbs incredible depths, particularly with street rat–turned–engineering chief Jenks, a brain with vicious fists. Wagers’s fans should snap up this fun, thrilling latest.