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Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
As a Marine and resident of western Montana I was predisposed to identify with Mike Havel the character, but then I found out that Mike was former Force Recon (Sniper qualified too!), Gulf War veteran, master of the Finnish fighting knife and raised as an Indian tracker/hunter. I am not quite sure if such a person exists in reality but I am willing to go with it if the author doesn't beat me over the head with it multiple times throughout his book.
This compounds with the problem that our protagonist's very survival isn't just a matter of elite breeding and an unlikely intersection of family trees but also they happen upon expert bowyer/fletchers, horse hand/blacksmiths, and SCA guru's not to mention library's containing everything you ever wanted to know about ancient warrior societies, growing crops and mounted combat. Maybe this is necessary for an interesting story, but couldn't they just get lucky killing people instead of getting lucky knowing how to kill people?
There is also the problem with explosives, electricity, and pressurized gases. Every author does some hand waving to sell a story, Stirling backs himself into a corner with his Change and barely goes through the motions to explain it.Read more ›
Well, Stirling has taken that premise and twisted it here. What if our modern day society was suddenly bereft of its technology? Anything powered by electricity, batteries, or gasoline suddenly useless? Gunpowder chemically altered to loose its highly explosive tendencies?
What would society do, without irrigation and machinery to run the massive farms, without refineries, and trucks, and refrigeration?
With six billion people on the planet, the resulting chaos is not at all cheerful. We never actually see the savage toll in a city larger than Portland (and even there not directly), but allusions to what it must be like in New York or Tokyo, and to what happened in St. Louis say plenty.
The story unfolds brilliantly, as people slowly begin to band together, and struggle to survive in this new world. They must learn how to farm, ride horses, make weapons, and then use them. And Stirling does an excellent job portraying the difficulty of each, with a particularly inspired source of metal for swords.
This book is one part nightmare, one part medievalist's fantasy, which makes its villain all the more fitting.
If you're wavering, pick up a copy, it's well worth the read.
This was easily one of the worst post-apocalypse books I have ever read in that the necessities for survival were
made conveniently available, so much so that you have to wonder how the author managed to keep the good guys from discovering alien technology that could render them invisible or something.
Where do I start?
Heroine Juniper and her merry band make it to her mountain hideaway where they discover that their closest neighbors are not only conveniently dead (no difficult problems about sharing their stuff) but left behind a house jammed to the rafters with everything from medicine to food to blankets. The barn is stocked with seed potatoes and hay (because surprise, the seed tater delivery guy was there the day of The Change), there are chickens and cows for meat and milk, and the deceased former owners even managed to make sure the pasture gates were closed so the critters couldn't wander away. Hooray! Bonus: Juniper's own nearby cabin can't be seen from the road and is conveniently located near a clear stream and wonderfully poetic meadows.
As for everything else needed to make make it in this exciting new world, have no fear, wonderful coincidence and a generous author will provide.
The party will need trained horses for transport and armored cavalry: Up walks Bob, the expert horse wrangler. I know I know, this isn't horse country so what am I doing here.Read more ›
Dies the Fire is a companion novel to the Nantucket series. You needn't have read the trilogy to understand what's going on-it just lets you in on a few characters mentioned in the other books. Dies starts the night of The Event, when Nantucket disappears (tho' these characters don't know that) and suddenly anything remotely electrical stops working. Batteries die, cars won't run, even gunpowder won't explode any more.
The hero, Mike Havel, is a bush pilot flying a rich family to their place in Idaho when their plane just quits mid-air. He manages to bring the plane down in one piece, but the mother is injured pretty badly. After discovering that nothing works, the party sets off in search of help/civilization. They've got two things going for them-Mike is a combat veteran and knows how to survive in the woods, and the youngest daughter, Astrid, is a fantasy-loving Tolkien freak who has her own extremely well-made bow and arrows, and knows how to use them.
Meanwhile, in Corvallis, Oregon, Juniper MacKenzie, a folk-singer/Wiccan priestess is performing in a tavern when there is a blinding light, and then all is dark. Except for the fires flaming out of control from a 747 that crashed in the middle of town.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating premise on this post-apocalyptic novel. You easily become attached to "the good guys" who are carefully developed. Read morePublished 4 days ago by C.Warhammer
I'm basically afraid of authors this excellent. They're probably good people when not armed with a loaded pen, but with that powerful weapon, Stirling keeps his reader from... Read morePublished 9 days ago by thechesscoach
It is a world changing book - literally!
Suggested for Historical Recreationists, Survivalists, Renn Faire aficionados, and any fans of a plain good read. Read more
I really enjoyed this story, read the whole series, it`s great, but the first book is my favorite.Published 28 days ago by ALEX SOLO
Great read! Save yourself some time and put the second book in your cart while your at it. I could not put this book down. S. M. Read morePublished 1 month ago by me
What would happen if the entire world changed completely overnight? What do you think would happen? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jay Griff
"Dies the Fire" by S.M. Stirling is the first of what has become his longest and most prolific series, Emberverse, spawning over a dozen works of long and short fiction. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Morgan Johnson