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Fire Will Fall Hardcover – May 3, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152165622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152165628
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—In Streams of Babel (Harcourt, 2008), a terrorist organization poisoned the drinking water of a small New Jersey town. Fire Will Fall begins two months after the events in that book. The four surviving teens have been released from the hospital but are not yet out of danger. Suffering from chronic health problems and under threat from those members of ShadowStrike who evaded capture, they are taken to an isolated mansion near the Jersey shore where they can recuperate under 24-hour guard while scientists around the world race to find a cure for the deadly virus to which they were exposed. In the meantime, members of USIC are working around the clock to find the terrorist cell before its members can strike again with a new and even deadlier biological weapon. The compelling characters, dramatic situations, and page-turning pace of this thriller will keep readers enthralled right up to the climax.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Scott, Owen, Cora, and Rain are the Trinity Four, teen survivors of a bioterrorist attack in Trinity Falls, New Jersey, that has left them famous in People magazine but also seriously ill and sequestered in a remote compound, where they receive intensive medical care and wait for the terrorists who planned the attack to be apprehended. The Four alternate narration, along with two other teen spies, also ill and hidden in another location, who hack into chat rooms and collect information on the terrorists. This thriller’s pacing is slow, considering the multiple narrators, the promising premise, and the elements of danger and espionage. Most of the story takes place over a few days in the spring following 9/11. After security is breached, and the hackers are announced dead in a house fire, figuring out whom to trust gets harder for everyone, including the reader, and the narrative picks up speed. Sexual tension and fragile relationships are part of the story as much as the terrorist hunt is, and the two couples’ fears about their own possible impending mortality will captivate a high-school audience. Grades 9-12. --Cindy Dobrez

Customer Reviews

Both of these are interesting subjects and Plum-Ucci does a good job of keeping us enthralled on both fronts.
just someone who reads a lot
Everything flows brilliantly, but it won't be as much fun for you if you are tired and can't quite remember who is who.
The book is split between the six teens, although there seems to be no pattern to the order in which they narrate.
E.B. Bristol

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a great read. FIRE WILL FALL was just great fun, although I have to complain a little about it keeping me up too late at night. In fact, the tension was so great at one point that I had to resolve not to read the book too close to bedtime because it was freaking me out.

The story is a follow-up to a previous book --Streams of Babel-- that I haven't read, but which I am definitely going to track down. It's principally about 4 teenagers who are recovering from a poisoning that took place in the previous book where terrorists dumped toxic bio-hazards into their small town's water supply. Most of these teens lost parents and friends, and they are still barely surviving on a pharmaceutical cocktail of meds that have some odd side effects. They are brought to a restored house to recover with the assurance that they are out of danger from the terrorists. 'Dogs don't return to their vomit', they are told. BUT unfortunately that doesn't turn out to be the case as they just happen to have been settled near the next target site.

I don't do "terrorists/spy" books, and I don't do popular thrillers (no Dan Brown for me), but maybe I should broaden my reading and take a look at more books in this genre, because I really enjoyed FIRE WILL FALL. I thought Plum-Ucci did a fabulous job with building tension and with differentiating the characters. In fact, I guess that's why I like the book: I got hooked on the characters and how they interacted. The mind-tingling excitement of trying to figure out who would die, was just delicious icing on that cake!

All good things said, this shouldn't be a book you pick up when your exhausted because the chapters are divided amongst 6 points of view, and first person at that.
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Format: Hardcover
It's the year 2002, and Americans are hyperaware of international terrorism. The first attack by ShadowStrike came only months ago with the release of a designer bug into the water of one small town. The Q3 virus poisoned many and left four teenagers physically damaged but famous, branded as the Trinity Four by the press, for life. With stage IV poisoning, Cora, Owen, Scott and Rain are now under constant guard by USIC agents, confined to recuperate under monitoring while undergoing indefinite drug treatments. A cure has been promised but has yet to materialize. But ShadowStrike isn't done toying with them just yet. V-spies for the Americans have identified a new threat through the Web, an even deadlier biological attack that will fall like fire on the innocent.

Becoming actual survivors of a terrorist assault has left Rain, Owen, Cora and Scott simultaneously unified and scarred. All four are having difficulty processing their emotions, albeit in vastly different ways. Rain's bouts of sensitivity are driving the other three nuts; she cries or complains all the time while demanding the support of her friends. Owen is caught up in his own private psychological drama over God's role in their attack and an imagined Armageddon, beginning with ShadowStrike claiming the lives of their loved ones. Owen's brother Scott doesn't put much thought into such grand ideas but is definitely depressed and dejected even while he tries to remain grounded. Focusing on nothing but his physical agony is clearly affecting Scott's prognosis for the worst. And though Cora remains quiet and patient as always, she is undoubtedly suffering privately too. It's becoming clear to them that she's been hallucinating more on the drugs they're all on.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Fire Will Fall" is a very special 'young adult' novel--- an entry in that genre of fiction that purportedly is aimed at an audience of teens.

It's special not because the story is especially compelling, although it's good enough; neither is it because the characters are well-drawn and alive. It's because author Carol Plum-Ucci respects her audience, something that is all too rare in the young adult book sector.

The second book in a series (often a problem when it's your starting point, as it was for me), enough of the back story is given to make things manageable. While it certainly would have been better to start at the beginning, it isn't really a necessity here as it seems to be in many another series.

In the first book, apparently, a group of four teens suffered the effects of a bio-terrorist attack; they drank water that had been contaminated. In the second book, they are fighting their illnesses while under government protection; they have become something of a group of celebrities; and medical labs around the nation are looking for a cure for them.

Now, a second attack from the same terrorist organization is in the works, again threatening the New Jersey shore area where the teens live.

This sounds like a great story, and there's a lot more to it: New York based hackers, intelligence agents, the whole nine yards. Yet the story is undertold and doesn't have the gripping excitement that it might have.

The narrative technique is multiple first person. This seems quite popular in recent books; the idea is that the various characters narrate the story, chapter by chapter, sometimes by turns and sometimes a few chapters in a row. This technique is a two-edged sword.
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More About the Author

Carol Plum-Ucci received one of the nation's top literary honors for her first novel, THE BODY OF CHRISTOPHER CREED, a suspense story set in the historic woods of Southern New Jersey. The novel received one of four Michael J. Printz Honor Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association, recognizing the best literature published for young adults. The novel also was a finalist in the Edgar Allan Poe Awards and was named to the Reader's International Children's Choice Awards List.

She is happy to report that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has purchased a SEQUEL TO THE BODY OF CHRISTOPHER CREED. It will be released in the spring of 2011. "For years, people asked if I would write a sequel. In fact, I don't think I've ever spoken for an audience where someone hasn't asked that," Plum-Ucci said. "I always said no because I couldn't think of anything good that would happen next. Well, one stormy Saturday night in the dead of winter, I got this totally hot idea and just went with it. It's a lot of years later, but I held out for artistic integrity--a story line that I knew would keep readers turning pages--and didn't try it just to piggy-back a book selling well. As the saying goes for me and HMH: 'We will sell no idea before its time.'"

The CREED SEQUEL focuses on Chris Creed's brother Justin, who, after four years have passed, is now 16. "The theme of bullying didn't carry over to this book--I'll be honest," Plum-Ucci said. "But that theme was always, to me, secondary to a relentless pursuit of truth theme, which engaged Torey Adams throughout. And that theme is still very present. I'm asking kids to look beyond what they can touch, see, smell--something they're not often asked to do by school districts, and I think it's both fun and important."

FIRE WILL FALL, a sequel to STREAMS OF BABEL was released by HMH in the spring of 2010. In STREAMS OF BABEL, terrorists poison the water supply in New Jersey (released in the spring of 2008), and in FIRE WILL FALL, the teenagers who drank the most WMD are fighting for their lives. "I think of FIRE as more of a character piece, so it surprised me pleasantly to see all the reviews coming in, calling it a page turner," Plum-Ucci said. Both books were immediately named Premiere Selections the Junior Library Guild upon release.

WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER, Plum-Ucci's second novel, is story of prejudice, friendship, popularity, tolerance, and individuality. The story raises a most important question: Might angels exist on earth? The novel has been selected as a featured book both in Seventeen Magazine and YM Magazine. It is named to the 2003 Best Books for Young Adults List, sponsored by the American Library Association, and is a 2004 Teen Top Ten nominee. It was nominated for the Michael L. Printz Awards for excellence in Young Adult Literature.

Plum-Ucci's third novel of THE SHE, was was nominated for BBYA (Best Books for Young Adults, The American Library Association) and received a starred review in Booklist. Her fourth novel, THE NIGHT MY SISTER WENT MISSING, was named a finalist in the Edgar Allan Poe Awards.

Plum-Ucci spent her childhood growing up on the barrier island of Brigantine, New Jersey, where her father was a funeral director. She lived overtop of the funeral home.

'My bedroom was such that if the floor were made of glass, I would have been gazing down into the face of a casket dweller,' she frequently tells audiences. 'When people ask me how I became a writer, I say it was in the middle of nights while growing up there.'

Plum-Ucci loves to tell her childhood funeral home antics, which have captivated teenage audiences across America.

She attended the Brigantine Public Schools, Atlantic City Friends School, and Holy Spirit High School, graduating in 1975. She earned her bachelor's degree in Communication from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1979. She attended Rutgers University and received her Master of Arts degree 2004.

Plum-Ucci worked as Staff Writer and Director of Publications for the Miss America Organization in Atlantic City from 1984 through 1999. She is the third generation of women in her family to contribute to Atlantic City's well-known fanfare. Her mother, Ellen Plum, was the first woman President, and her paternal grandmother, Ads Plum, was a member of the Hostess Committee.
She retired from corporate employ in June of 1999, 'about two days after my advance arrived for The Body of Christopher Creed,' she says. 'I loved being part of something historical like Miss America, and I have many great memories of working there. But I'd spent many years trying to become a published novelist, and I wanted to started enjoying that lifestyle as quickly as possible."

Her husband Rick owns the Ucci Piano Service. Together, they love gardening, going to the Margate Beach in the summers, watching Academy Award winning movies, and raising their daughter, Abbey.

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