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Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling

Dies the Fire

by S. M. Stirling

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Emberverse (1), Nantucket event series (4)

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Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
This book was not for me. Just not my taste. I quit after 135 pages. Originally, I picked it up because the local sci-fi reading group had selected it. I guess they chose it because it is set in Oregon. You might like it if you are into Wicca since many of the main characters are adherents. Zero stars means I don't think I can rate it fairly because I did not finish.
  nngrey | Jan 13, 2017 |
I wasn't sure if I would like this, but I started reading last night and was 100 pages in before I could put it down. Oh my! Then I find out that the Protector is based 1/3 on Earl Ed! That Havoc members all know the route to get to his property in case there was something similar to this to happen. Countess Ilaria keep bees and chickens and I know they have cattle. Wonder what else they have out there? ( )
  pnwbookgirl | Feb 7, 2016 |
I just couldn't begin to care about the people in this story. And unfortunately, it is a looong story. ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
S.M. Stirling is one of our local writers; a member of the Critical Mass writing group out of Santa Fe that includes George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham, and Melissa Snodgrass. One of those names is certainly widely recognizable, but the others are either known within their markets or regions – an unfortunate situation. Undertaking this book was a function of supporting a local and expanding my reading into the more hard core fantasy world.

[Dies the Fire] is based on a terribly intriguing concept – everything powered by electricity quits working. Further examination reveals that even guns and combustible materials don’t behave in the same way, burning slowly instead of quickly – so no guns or explosives either. Obviously, the world changes – the apocalyptic event is called, “The Change” in the book. What results is a return to agrarian and feudal organization. The story is told primarily through the eyes of Mike Havel, a US Army Ranger veteran, and Juniper Mackenzie, a Wiccan minstrel. Both establish communities within the Oregon wilderness, along the Willamette River. Portland is taken over by a history professor who establishes the evil kingdom with which Havel’s Bearkillers and Juniper’s Mackensie clan must battle.

Stirling is a master of research and minute detail, to the point of extraction, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how much rein he gives his predilections. Discussing the book with a friend wise in the ways of hardcore fantasy, I learned that this is a common expectation amongst readers of the oeuvre, and a common criticism amongst the outsiders who deign to enter the world. There is a necessity of much of Stirling’s explanation, but it can be wearying sometimes. There is only so much I need to know about the length, width, angle, construction, etc. of every weapon. But beyond the extreme attention to detail, and the occasional bout of fantasy tropism, the book is readable and engaging. The characters are a little stereotypical – that’s where those tropes seem to descend most often – but they are interesting and complete.

There appear to be several other books in this part of Stirling’s series. I say, “this part of the series” because there are other books that relate to how the Change occurred and deal with other locations and times. In any case, Stirling has me wanting to come back for more.

Bottom Line: A great concept and interesting characters, even if the detail can be burdensome – a readable start to a series that I want to read more about.

3 ½ bones!!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Mar 21, 2015 |
I would rate this book higher but for the religious bent of the book. I don't mind that the author wanted to include pagans but the total exclusion of other faiths or other faiths sustaining anyone looks a bit fake. Other than that loved the idea and the story was fairly well written. :) ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
S. M. Stirlingprimary authorall editionscalculated
McLaren, ToddNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Gina Taconi-Moore, and to her Andrew, currently serving the great Republic in a far-off, sandy, unpleasant place. Long life and happiness!
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Michael Havel pulled his battered 4×4 into the employees’ parking lot, locked up and swung his just-in-case gear out of the back, the strap of the pack over one shoulder and the gun case on the other.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451460413, Mass Market Paperback)

The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable. What follows is the most terrible global catastrophe in the history of the human race-and a Dark Age more universal and complete than could possibly be imagined.

"Dies the Fire kept me reading till five in the morning so I could finish at one great gulp..."—New York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When a strange electrical storm over the island of Nantucket suddenly causes all electronic devices to cease functioning, the world is faced with an unimaginable transformation, one that is complicated by some individuals' ruthless quest for ultimate domination.… (more)

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