Burning Skies by David Williams (Autumn Rain 2)

Book two of Autumn Rain continues its block busting action on an enormous space station as the secretive Autumn Rain strikes for the ultimate net power.

Title: Burning Skies
Series: Autumn Rain 2
Author: David Williams
Genre: Military Science Fiction | Space Opera
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Spectra
Copy: bought by me
Order from: Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

In his electrifying debut, The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams created a dark futuristic world grounded in the military rivalries, terror tactics, and political wrangling of our own time. Now he takes his masterful blend of military SF, espionage thriller, and dystopian cyberpunk one step further—to the edge of annihilation . . . .

Life as U.S. counterintelligence agent Claire Haskell once knew it is in tatters—her mission betrayed, her lover dead, and her memories of the past suspect. Worse, the defeat of the mysterious insurgent group known as Autumn Rain was not as complete as many believed. It is quickly becoming clear that the group’s ultimate goal is not simply to destroy the tenuous global alliances of the 22nd century—but to rule all of humanity. And they’re starting with the violent destruction of the Net and the assassination of the U.S. president. Now it’s up to Claire, with her ability to jack her brain into the systems of the enemy, to win this impossible war.

Battling ferociously across the Earth-Moon system, and navigating a complex world filled with both steadfast loyalists and ruthless traitors, Claire must be ready for the Rain’s next move. But the true enemy may already be one step ahead of her.


The book is dedicated to the memory of George Cotton.

There are two useful resources at the beginning of the book one is a map of The Europa Platform where the story takes place; the other is a very useful organisational chart so you can keep track of all the characters and you will need it. The book starts more or less with character overload. I almost gave up on keeping the characters straight at the beginning, I would recommend you reread The Mirrored Heavens in close connection with this one.

The protagonists are mainly Claire Haskel and the Operative (Strom Carson)

I have one complaint about the book, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the novel. The binding is very flaccid in an unattractive way.

World building

The novel is so action packed that you don’t have time for more than short glimpses of the world outside the strife. The premises are well described and comes to life in vivid detail.


The Rain is attacking the President who has taken refuge on the Europa Platform to capture his net node and Claire and the Praetorian Guards tries to stop them. But there are treachery and hidden agendas that gets pealed off the plot onion as the story progresses. All the plot turns and twists that felt fresh in book one gets a little bit repetitive here.

The action is absolutely breath taking as is the scale of it. They crash asteroids and space ships into platforms as the ground troops scatters to survive.


It is so action packed that you don’t have much time for character development. The book could benefit from a slow down now and then to develop the characters that otherwise comes across as reaction machines.

My View

The Burning Skies reads as an action packed movie, not an unlabored breath from start to finish. The canvas is grand and the characters superhuman or even transhuman but it could do with a little bit more soul. If you want some fast action adventure this is a great book for you.