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The Burning Skies is the sequel to The Mirrored Heavens and pretty much picks up four days after the events in the first book. I'd suggest you read the first book before diving into this one, or the action won't make a whole lot of sense. The terrorist group Autumn Rain continues to harass the world, this time on the Europa Platform, a neutral territory that contains New Zurich and New London . . . along with a safe house for the U.S. President. And that's the target: the President. And who is loyal and who isn't as the fighting escalates is what drives most of the tension throughout the novel.
And this is also the book's major drawback: the question as to who is doing what for what reason and why makes it nearly impossible to know who's "good" and who's "bad." I didn't know who to root for, and the twists and turns became so convoluted that I ended up simply sitting back and not trying to figure out who was doing what to whom. Part of the problem was that the twists and turns were so numerous, but another part of the problem was how David J. Williams kept the motivations, etc, hidden by having oblique references to what was really going on at the end of a scene before jumping to another POV character. This has the effect of increasing the tension . . . but also the confusion because there is never a straightforward answer to all of the many questions. And when it's used too much, it can get annoying.
So, in the end, it was an enjoyable ride, but it would have been MORE enjoyable if I'd known who to root for and had been able to follow all of the twists and turns. Will I buy the third book (titled The Machinery of Light I believe, coming in May 2010)? Yes. I'm definitely intrigued by the story, the world that David has created, and the outcome of all of the twists and turns. There's some spectacular world building here, and some interesting characters.
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