Autumn Fire picks up where the The Inheritor leaves off. The American East Coast is without power in millions of homes and offices. Aziz is still pulling all the strings and is close to completing his plans. Thompson of the NSA is having issues dealing with the self-imposed guilt from providing incorrect information that cost many lives. Agent Johnson of the FBI is being called back to Saudi Arabia to follow up on the arrest of the man they interrogated. And The Wraiths are stationed in the States to help train National Guardsmen. Then the next attacks hit!
This book hits you with problem after problem in a way that makes you empathize with the feelings of helplessness that the main characters feel. Once that is established, Wither makes sure you also feel their pride when they accomplish something, their relief when they succeed, etc. The characters in Autumn Fire are easy to relate with, even the lesser characters. At one point I was actually yelling because I was worried that one of my favorite characters was going to die.*
Like The Inheritor, Autumn Fire also gives more insight into the workings of Saudi Arabian politics and culture. Little things that we may consider innocent, asking how one's family is doing, are considered rude "Family is an intensely private matter here, spoken of only among other family members."** While other things we consider rude, such as invading a person's personal space, is seen as customary "[t]he last thing he needed now was to appear evasive or give the appearance of having something to hide by backing away..."*** Moreover, it is the establishment of respectful relationships that results in what success the main characters to achieve.
Probably my biggest concern with this book was that there seemed to be significantly more detailed violence than in the first book. This could be because there were more deaths in this book, while The Inheritor had more focus on the actual energy infrastructure, but some of the details about the effects of the specialized Wraith weaponry seemed...excessive. They definitely got the point across about Wraith weapons being more powerful than standard issue weapons. They also served the purpose of showing how dedicated the Jihad's were to continue in spite of these grievous wounds, but it was a bit much for me. The only other problem for me was that, because I received a digital proof and not a final copy, I came across several spelling errors that were distracting from the story, but I trust Turner Publications to have these corrected for the final product.
There were several times, while reading, that I had to tell my husband not to bug me because I did not want to stop reading. The ending itself left me wanting more, hence my reaction stated above. I greatly enjoyed Autumn Fire and wish it well in its upcoming release, September 9, 2014. I also encourage you to pick up your own copy, especially if you have read the first book, The Inheritor. If not, please see my earlier review. All in all, I give Autumn Fire 4 hoots and cannot wait for the next book!
*Whether (s)he did or not, I will not say. I don't deal in spoilers.
**Page 363 in the digital proof.
***Page 325 in the digital proof.
****This book was provided, in digital format, by Turner Publishing. This does not have an effect on my review.