Fire Season, by David Weber and Jane Lindskold, is the second book in the spinoff Honorverse young adult series set in the far future of the 37th Century on the human-colonized planet of Sphinx. The protagonist is a teenage Stephanie Harrington, who is an ancestor of Honor Harrington (the main character in the main series) and the first human to bond with (or be “adopted” by) a treecat.
This book starts about three years after the first book in the series, A Beautiful Friendship, in which Stephanie is adopted by Climbs Quickly (though Stephanie named him Lionheart since she can’t talk to him). The fire season on Sphinx has begun, and Stephanie is busy working with her fellow Probationary Rangers in the Sphinx Forestry Service to control the fires as much as possible to prevent humans and treecat settlements from being damaged or destroyed.
After a group of visiting scientists gets lost due to the leader of the scientists lying about where they were going, Stephanie becomes involved in the search for them until two large fires break out and the search is called off. She is especially concerned about the son of one of the scientists, to whom she has taken a real liking.
I really liked how Weber and Lindskold continued to flesh-out Stephanie’s and Climbs Quickly’s characters. We learn even more about the treecats and just what their capabilities are, and also get more insight into inter-clan workings. The book has an easy tone and moves just at the right speed to move the story along while still letting you get to better know the characters as you read along. The book also lends insight into some of the traits later exhibited in Stephanie’s descendant, Honor.
While you can read this book on its own, I recommend reading the first book in the series before reading this one as it gives a lot of background which helps you more fully enjoy this story. I have really enjoyed this series so far and I’m looking forward to the next book, which is currently scheduled for release in October 2013.
Release Date: October 2, 2012 (USA)
ISBNs: 145163840X (9781451638400)
Publisher: Baen Books
Language: 1 (minor expletives)
Violence: 2 (some fisticuffs)