This is really 2.5 stars. I go back and forth on this book, but the fact that I dreaded reading it downgraded it to two stars. *EDIT* I upgraded it to three stars for the interesting perspective this gave me on Africa and because I felt evil for rounding down.
The Fires of New Sun continues the story of the Blending Time, about a bunch of kids from dystopian North America (or NorthAm) to be part of the Blending Program. It's a system to set up to hopefully repopulate Africa and to get some of the excess population out of dying NorthAm. The story follows Jaym, D'Shay, and Reya as they encounter different horrible things in this war-torn future Africa. In New Sun the three are fighting back. They want to take control of the New Sun program and use it for it's original purpose.
Here's the good things. New Sun has three intensely different characters that have realistic attitudes and ways of dealing with the crap that they get hit with. The world is really well set up and made me want to visit Africa. Kinch doesn't try to enforce stereotypes of any kind. He handles really bad scenarios- rape, violence, etc- without resorting to pandering.
The bad things are the fact that I felt completely unconnected to the characters. A lot of difficult action was happening and I felt like I was watching them happen to someone. That's great for a movie but for a book that sense of disconnect is fatal. Plus the unrelenting horror that the characters face is almost impossible to stomach without loving them, which I didn't. All in all I probably won't read the next one.