The Near-Earth Orbital Guard (Neo-G)—inspired by the real-life mission of the Coast Guard—patrols and protects the solar system. Now the crew of Zuma’s Ghost must contend with personnel changes and a powerful cabal hellbent on dominating the trade lanes in this follow-up to A Pale Light in the Black.
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.