My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Like many follow-ups to tightly-focused first novels, Pacific Fire expands the story started in California Bones into a larger landscape and a larger problem. To avoid telling the same story again, escalation is necessary. Unlike many sequels in the bigger-and-better tradition, Pacific Fire doesn’t get too large and unwieldy. It keeps an intimate focus on a small number of characters, and keeps the scope of the plot reigned in on the objective.
Sam is a great character, his arc very different from Daniel’s, and I enjoyed following his story. However, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first. Sabotage stories are good, but heist stories are better. California Bones is suffused with a kind of wicked joy, where everyone in Pacific Fire is weighed down by guilt and the feeling that time is too short.
I’m intrigued to see how book three’s con job stands out in the line-up.