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The Creative Fire (Ruby's Song) Paperback – November 6, 2012

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Brenda Cooper:

"Brenda Cooper gives [the multigenerational starship] scenario a thorough, intelligent shaking and reworking, hewing to lots of the glorious old props while infusing a new strain of social justice and semi-YA, Hunger Games vitality into the milieu. …Employing nicely compact chapters and an engaging prose style, never letting the action flag while also illuminating a true trajectory of personal growth for Ruby, Cooper charts the first third of the career of The Creative Fire's songstress savior in a very entertaining and compelling fashion that leaves us eager for further installments."
-Locus Online

"Cooper puts a science fiction spin on the life of Eva Perón in this fast-paced, teen-friendly series starter...."
-Publishers Weekly

"[A] wonderful work of social science fiction."
-Kirkus Reviews blog, "Best SF/F Reads of November" roundup

"Tackles a timeless theme in an interesting context."
-Astro Guyz

About the Author

Brenda Cooper is the author of a three book series starting with The Silver Ship and the Sea, which, though not intended as a Young Adult novel, Library Journal selected as one of the years 100 Best Books for YA. The other books in the series are Reading the Wind and Wings of Creation. She is the author of Mayan December and has collaborated with Larry Niven (Building Harlequins Moon.) Visit her online at www.brenda-cooper.com, www.facebook.com/BrendaJCooper, and on Twitter @brendacooper.

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Product Details

  • Series: Ruby's Song (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616146842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616146849
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brenda Cooper has published fiction in Analog, Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Nature, and in multiple anthologies. She is the author of the Endeavor award winner for 2008: THE SILVER SHIP AND THE SEA, and of the sequels, READING THE WIND and WINGS of CREATION. Brenda co-authored Building Harlequin's Moon with Larry Niven. She also writes nonfiction and poetry from time to time.

Her most recent novel is EDGE OF DARK from Pyr, and the two before that are THE CREATIVE FIRE and THE DIAMOND DEEP, also from Pyr Books.

Brenda lives in Bellevue, Washington, with her partner Toni, Toni's daughter Katie, two border collies, and a golden retriever. By day, she is the City of Kirkland's CIO, and at night and in early morning hours, she's a futurist and writer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lovey Dovey Books on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Creative Fire is a phenomenal story that completely blew my mind. Between the theme of revolution, the memorable heroine and the suspenseful plot, Brenda Cooper has become one of my favorite authors. This was my first time experiencing her writing so it was a bit unpredictable, but even so it constantly headed in a direction I appreciated.

The Creative Fire is Ruby's story of fighting for freedom with her voice and passion for uniting all the people aboard the space ship, The Creative Fire. Separated by class, the grays are the lowest and enforced by the red and, seldom seen by grays, blue peacekeepers. Ruby is not alone in her quest as there were rebels who came before her and those who work secretly. The third person perspective really works for this story because the writing stays centered on Ruby while opening up to another character: Onor, one of Ruby's best friends. It was so exciting to see the two characters start off on the same plot line, then one placed on a subplot that converged with the main plot line by the end of the novel. Writing two different methods of revolution was an ingenious move for Cooper!

Ruby's efforts to gain unity for all colors was a naturally building process. It didn't happen over night and there were mishaps along the way. I wouldn't say that there were many shocking plot twists, but the progression of the story was weighed with suspense. The danger of not knowing who could be affected by Ruby's rebellion or where the commanding power on The Creative Fire actually lies, will truly keep readers on their toes. You'll never know what result will come about or how it will affect the plot until it happens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MGM on December 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book very quickly and didn't want to put it down. My husband has started it and my daughter says she gets it next! This is a fun science fiction story featuring a young heroine who is wonderful to cheer for as she comes of age and into her own in ways that you will not be able to predict. I find myself not only eager to see what happens to the overall situation (to the ship and people aboard), but to Ruby and to several of her friends. I ordered the next book (at my local bookstore, sorry Amazon!) the day after finishing this one. I'm actually disappointed that the story will wrap up with only one more book! I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys coming-of-age type books and wants to try sci-fi, or to any sci-fi readers who would enjoy a good read with characters that you really end up caring about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Louise Marley on February 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
Finding character-based hard science fiction has for some reason become increasingly difficult in the last five years. This novel follows in the footsteps of the great Greg Bear or even those of David Brin, with human characters a reader can relate to, depicted in a scientifically (and socially) plausible setting. Brenda Cooper is well known for her science fiction short stories as well as earlier novels, but in this case the influence of her career as a futurist is evident in her projection of a complicated society struggling to develop and survive on a generation ship. Well written, brilliantly conceived, solidly plotted--I can't wait for the next one!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gilly on January 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I so wanted to love this book, the concept was great, and the cover attracted me. But I found it incredibly slow moving, with weak characters. The overall quality of the writing and editing was quite high, but the lack of action or even much empathy for the characters was too low. In many ways this felt like a bad mash up of hunger games and a civil rights oriented teen fiction book with a touch of Heinlein teen space angst thrown in. This novel felt like it was trying too hard the whole time. The cost for such a weak book is also a huge problem.
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Cooper continues to grow as a writer, and this series is the one that should put her in among the ranks of the top names in SF. Supposedly, she based this on Eva Peron and the story of her rise in Argentinian politics. There are certainly paralells and likenesses in this enclosed society. Ruby Martin is one of the underclass on a generation ship that may or may not be headed to nowhere -- and the author keeps their destination, even the fact that they HAVE a real destination, deliberately vague, as if it were a popular fiction spread among the inhabitants to keep them in line, and not a real hope. Ruby starts as more a pawn, more acted-upon than taking action. But gradually, she learns the power of her voice, her sexuality, her charisma, and starts using them to manipulate her fate and the fates of those around her, determined to end the class struggle that's tearing her society apart. A story as old as time, but Cooper gives it a fresh, gritty twist. You can almost smell the stale, recycled air on the ship and see the endless, featureless corridors that define Ruby's world.
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I got about 1/2 way through before I became so bored I gave up. It would probably be an OK book for a teenager but it has little to offer an avid reader of sci-fi. The main characters are likable enough but that is pretty much all they have going for them.

I really wanted to like this book, but alas it wasn't to be.
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