The Creative Fire

The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper, Ruby's Song #1

Nothing can match the power of a single voice...

Ruby Martin expects to spend her days repairing robots while avoiding the dangerous peacekeeping forces that roam the corridors of the generation ship The Creative Fire. The social structure of the ship is rigidly divided, with Ruby and her friends on the bottom. Then a ship-wide accident gives Ruby a chance to fight for the freedom she craves. Her enemies are numerous, well armed, and knowledgeable. 

Her weapons are a fabulous voice, a quick mind, and a deep stubbornness. Complicating it all-an unreliable A.I. and an enigmatic man she met - and kissed - exactly once-who may hold the key to her success. If Ruby can't transform from a rebellious teen to the leader of a revolution, she and all her friends will lose all say in their future.
The Creative Fire was one of the latest releases in the YA line up of Pyr. I hadn't been able to read it that time but this month the second book in Ruby's Song, The Diamond Deep, will be released so time to catch up on this series! The first thing that cannot escape you is the stunning cover art of the book! just look at that. But what really got me going for Ruby's Song is the whole promise and the idea behind the series. Telling the whole story in the lines of Evita Peron. One single girl to make a whole difference. The Creative Fire is written by Brenda Cooper, who has written numerous short stories and other novels. 

The story of The Creative Fire is one to get into easily and from the start you follow the main protagonist Ruby Martin. You already get to learn about the strict rules of society. The story takes place on a giant spaceship named The Creative Fire who is journeying home. The society herein is strictly divided and Ruby and her friends are simple grays, people who live in the bottom quarters of the ship and carry out menial tasks repairing things, but it is they, the grays, that keep the ship functioning. Besides the grays you have the blues and the reds, they live higher up in the ship and have lives or luxury compared to Ruby and her friends. When an accident occurs, Ruby seizes this chance to climb up higher and start a revolution to unite all the colors, but this comes at a price... and is much hard to realize than Ruby had thought. 

The whole concept of what happens in The Creative Fire was executed in a nice detail, especially when you take into account that the whole story takes place on a spaceship and that the mood is to take control. The whole story thus takes place in an isolated area and this added for me quite another level to the whole story, because when things go wrong, they often go wrong horribly or that there is often no point to return. The rise of Ruby from the dregs of society to the higher rungs was mostly done in the first part of the book and in this you really see the hardships of the grays and they are treated as just workers. Ruby has one gift that will aid her in her journey, her voice, and this is recognized by Fox who rescues her from the gray levels, but from this point onwards Ruby's live will be different... Fox is a character hard to pin down of what his plan with Ruby are. And part of Ruby's transformation from rebel to leader owes to the events that happen in the second part of the book. I have to be honest and if I have to compare the first, second and third part of the book with each other, the second part of the book did feel a bit without a clear lead. Yes you see Ruby in the higher societies developing, but I missed something special here to really take the story further. Just the mentionings of the recordings in the studio and playing them felt a bit empty. But. Yes there is a but, the transition from the second to the third part of the story works to directly liven up the whole story once more and this sees all that has been built up in the earlier parts of the story start to collide. The third part of the book showed a lot of twists and turns and true natures of characters. This where the whole story was living up to, the final collision and to find unite, but like I said upfront if it were just that easy. Ruby's path to unite isn't easy and she even finds herself capture by the opposition. 

Now for the main protagonist Ruby Martin. I found her a most interesting character and when you look at her from the beginning and compare to how she is in the end there are plenty of changes that have fortified her character as a true leader (and this is something that I wanted to see, a simple claim to rise through society is easy so say but doing it can be harder). In the beginning she comes over as a fragile girl, but she has a certain rebel feeling to her characters, she thinks that the grays are treated unfair. What makes her great is that even though she is now taken to the higher levels of society she isn't forgetting her past and there are a few moments when you see Ruby reflecting on her friends and how she wished they were just beside her. In the end of the book Ruby has completely changed and has grown into a confident young leader with one goal in mind. This was the transition I was hope to see and it was carried out in full detail. But the focus isn't only on Ruby, there are a few other characters that you follow throughout The Creative Fire. One of them is Oron, a gray friend of Ruby who has a secret crush on Ruby. His storyline offers much more insight into what goes on behind the scenes, Oron is determined to protect Ruby that she sees no harm. Another character that I found untrustworthy was Fox, the guy who picked up Ruby. He felt just like a slick guy in a suite. Not to be trusted! Besides Fox and Oron the cast is filled with a lot of memorable characters that will stick with you once you finish the story. 

From start to finish The Creative Fire is a interesting story. Inspired by Evita Peron, Brenda Cooper neatly translated her story into a futuristic setting. Exploring perhaps even more themes than in the original. The story definitely draws a lot of strength from the creative writing style of Brenda Cooper and how she has divided the story into different parts. But where The Creative Fire excels in are the many great characters and how they are shows individually and in groups. The characters that take the forefront of the story are fully fleshed out but even the characters that just make an appearance feel like that have much more going on in the character. Brenda Cooper has made Ruby the star of the show but the others are just as memorable. The ending of the story sees some important developments and I actually thought that it would be over... but it seems not just yet. The Creative Fire is the first in a duology, The Diamond Deep, the second book was released earlier this month. 

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