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Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
What is the foundation of our civilization? asks Stirling (Conquistador) in this rousing tale of the aftermath of an uncanny event, "the Change," that renders electronics and explosives (including firearms) inoperative. As American society disintegrates, without either a government able to maintain order or an economy capable of sustaining a large population, most of the world dies off from a combination of famine, plague, brigandage and just plain bad luck. The survivors are those who adapt most quickly, either by making it to the country and growing their own crops—or by taking those crops from others by force. Chief among the latter is a former professor of medieval history with visions of empire, who sends bicycling hordes of street thugs into the countryside. Those opposing him include an ex-Marine bush pilot, who teams up with a Texas horse wrangler and a teenage Tolkien fanatic to create something very much like the Riders of Rohan. Ultimately, Stirling shows that while our technology influences the means by which we live, it is the myths we believe in that determine how we live. The novel's dual themes—myth and technology—should appeal to both fantasy and hard SF readers as well as to techno-thriller fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
For survivors of a mysterious event that caused electricity, internal combustion engines, and gunpowder to fail, the Pacific Northwest furnishes enough land to support subsistence existence in a future that belongs not to today's rifle-toting survivalists but to people who know older ways. Musician Juniper takes refuge on her family's land with a growing group of friends that becomes "Clan MacKenzie." Reenactors know useful things (see Jenny Thompson's War Games [BKL Je 1&15 04]), such as how to build log houses and craft bows for hunting. Meanwhile, Mike Havel, a pilot who was flying when the Change happened, and his passengers, having survived crashing in a frigid lake, gather followers, too. Thanks to a former Society for Creative Anachronism (a real organization of eclectic reenactors) fencer, and after hard work and the accident that gives their group the name "Bearkillers," they have the knowledge to sell their protective services. There are villains, too, such as a medieval history professor who starts a feudal revival, in Stirling's intriguing what-if about modern humans denied their treasured conveniences. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top customer reviews
However I felt the author spent too much time in picky details about peoples dress and setting description.
I bought this copy for my son who wants to read it and I only have it on my Kindle. I think he will enjoy it.
If you are into science fantasy, end of the world or alternative timeline novels I highly reccommend this series.
The characters are believable and represent the good, the bad and the innocent. The protagonists are easy to identify with and root for. The villains tend to be rather bad and give you no reason to hope for them other than a quick death by cross bow arrow. If there is one critique here, it may be that the good guys (and gals) tend to have some very good luck. But then again that is what most myths are based on; the truly good or lucky that win over the odds tend to be written into myths as the gods or goddesses.
The book will leave you with nightmares and yet beg you to pick it up repeatedly to see how your favorite character is doing. Whether it be Juniper, Havel or Signe (my favorite) you feel as if you are there with them and can sense and smell the scene unfolding before you. It kept me awake on many a night as I wanted to learn more about this fascinating world created by S. M. Stirling. For those curious about what happens next. "The Protectors War" is the next book in the series and he has gone beyond the trilogy to create another trilogy based on the children who have grown up since "the change". In fact, there are rumors of another book set in England (far away from Oregon) after "the change" that may be coming soon. Exciting stuff.
Some will be too wrapped up in the reasons behind this change and the inexplicability of it. DON'T! Just sit back and enjoy the read and the characters and realize it is called fiction for a reason.
Sam Hendricks, Author of "Fantasy Football Guidebook: Your Comprehensive Guide to Playing Fantasy Football"
Stirling obviously knows a lot about Oregon, but there is some sloppy editing, such as several times calling the town of Amity, where I live, "Amityville," which is in New York. The map is also inaccurate, placing Larsdalen about 30 miles west of the Eola Hills, where he says it is located. Table Rock and Mithrilwood (Silver Falls State Park) are also not really sited very accurately on the map.
In the second book, "The Protector's War," he also adopts a non-linear timeline which can be very confusing, especially when characters refer to other characters as being deceased before you see how they were killed!
If you are bothered by things like this, you probably won't like the book, but if you can just enjoy an adventure yarn, then have at it. This book has plenty of battles. Stirling isn't as good at battle descriptions as Bernard Cornwell, but he isn't bad either.
This book keeps you reading and clamoring for more.
Great concept but I found myself speed reading through a great deal of the book (especially the Wicca themes) - just to get to the action! There were times during the fight scenes that suddenly it was over and I thought I had skipped some paragraphs (read it using Kindle app).
I downloaded the Kindle sample of Island in the Sea of Time and it seems like it will be more enjoyable than Dies the Fire.
It had interesting premise but I sort of lost interest and just wanted to get through it to finish it.