Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dies The Fire - S.M. Stirling

Dies the Fire - S. M. Stirling Dies The Fire
S. M. Stirling
ROC Publishing
Copyright: 2004

According to the back of the book:

The Change Occurred When An Electrical Storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electrical devices and firearms inoperable - and plunged the world into a dark age humanity was unprepared to face....

Michel Havel was flying over Idaho en route to the holiday home of his passengers when the plane's engines inexplicably died, forcing a less than perfect landing in the wilderness. And as Michel leads his charges to safety, he begins to realize that the engine failure was not an isolated incident....

Juniper Mackenzie was singing and playing guitar in a pub when her small Oregon town was plunged into darkness. Cars refused to start. Phones were silent. And when an airliner crashed, no sirens sounded and no fire trucks arrived. Now, taking refuge in her family's cabin with her daughter and a growing circle of friends, Juniper is determined to create a farming community to benefit the survivors of this crisis....

But even as people band together to help one another, others are building armies for conquest.
I've read and reviewed Dies The Fire before, and loved it then - enough to run out and get the rest of the series over the rest of the past year. The book, the first in the series is detailed and vivid - right from the first, the moments just before the Change.

I believe I said this last time too, but Dies The Fire, both times I read the book, left me wondering if I would find myself among the survivors and how I would do should something like that happen here. General consensus I came up with is "not very well". But, it makes for a bit of a thought-provoking story. All of the details of survival just added to the tale - including the very human costs in terms of lives lost both at the very start of the crisis and in the year following.

The various ways that people end up restructuring their lives/ways of life from the clan to the feudal make sense and fit with the characterizations that Stirling has come up with.

I'd like to remember to double check a few names with the Nantucket trilogy (Island In The Sea Of Time, Against The Tide Of Years and On The Ocean Of Eternity), because I was noticing a few more possible connections between the two sets of books, and I did notice some details that connect Dies The Fire with the later books in the series - mostly names of people that I'm pretty sure turn up again in the later books. Thing is there's usually so much of a gap between reading the books that I've forgotten those little details by the time I'm reading those later books.

I'm going to have to say that this is my favourite book of the series, and I do recommend it to people who like reading post-apocalyptic set books. But, as other reviews show, it's not for everybody. There are those who find the levels of coincidence to be too high in this series for their enjoyment. Still, I really liked Dies The Fire and it's sequels. Its definitely worth a try.


redhead said...

I read Dies The Fire a number of years ago and had the same reaction you did: loved it, and knew if I was a survivor I'd do pretty poorly.

I never read the rest of the series tho, how many books is it now?

Elena said...

Thanks for commenting redhead. There's Dies The Fire, A Meeting At Corvallis, The Protector's War, Sunrise Lands, Scourge of God, Sword of the Lady and High King of Montval (Not sure of the spelling of the last book, or the order of reading off-hand for the middle ones).


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