Dies the Fire (Emberverse) MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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"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) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
S. M. Stirling is the author of numerous novels, both on his own and in collaboration. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dies the Fire is set in the same world as the 'Island in a Sea of Time' series. But this book deals with the repercussions of the effects that transported Nantaucket back in time are felt across America. These effects change certain natural constants with the results that most of our technology ceases to work.
Using a similar format to the 'Island' series S.M. Stirling charts the lives of two main groups of people who live in the region around Portland, Oregon.
With the breakdown in technology the book is at first just concerned with staying alive as law and order breakdown. It then goes on to show how different societies form and how they learn to define their own rules for living.
Obviously the survivors are divided into goodies and baddies. The baddies are, in many respects, similar to the baddies in the 'Island' but in this first book, of what I hope will be a series, we do not have a real insite to the workings of how the baddies think.
Yet it is an interesting book. It did take me a while to get into it. The pace does not seem fast but it does keep on going and there are surprises all the way through. I wish, however, that, as a non - American there was a map showing the area in which the book takes place.
This is the first in a trilogy - with a second follow-on trilogy now in progress. I'm finished the first trilogy and have started the second. All the books in the series are like a box of chocolates - once you've started, it's hard to stay away and you end up forcing yourself to slow down and enjoy it properly !
I won't recap the plot (see Jim Harmer's review for a good summary) but just to say that while this is set in the same universe as the author's "Island in the Sea of Time" series, there is no real interaction or overlap between them, and it doesn't add anything to this book if you've read the other series. IMO this is an excellent first read by this author, if you're new to him.
The intriguing premise is - what if technology stopped working one day ? Basically anything from the industrial revolution onwards just suddenly stops - no electricity, no machines (water, wind and muscle-power still work but that's pretty much it) no nuclear power obviously, no guns, no explosives... It's an interesting idea, and makes you scarily aware of how dependant most of us are on food being produced, and imported, using all those machines.
I think the author does an excellent job of making this "Change" (as the survivors call it) believable - and the new societies that grow up in the aftermath. The results are filled in more with each succeeding book, and I found the developments that he describes to be very plausible. I particularly enjoyed the parts of the second book (The Protector's War) that are set in England.Read more ›
However, regardless of this the book was very well executed with an immersive world that is vividly described with pages of work. Personally this daunts me slightly as I prefer the book to move quite fast, yet I perservered and the sheer idea alone held my attention for the whole novel. Perhaps the book would feel very superficial if it did not have the level of description Stirling has embedded into it, due to the fact so many things have to be established to the reader after the Change.
After adjusting to the style I really enjoyed the story and I think anyone who finds the idea of a post-apocalypto world exciting then this book will fulfill the void. Yet the only reason it is four stars is that the descriptive writing can become tedious and not a lot happens throughout the whole novel and each task etc is very progressive over chapters.
The reason the reviews have been so varied (from "WOW" to "Meh") is because you have to like this genre. And that's the problem. Lots of people have become "fantasy fans" or "sci-fi lovers," etc. and they refuse to leave that "camp." This book has a little bit of everything. You can't just put it in one box. The concept: "what would happen if we'd lose all progress over the last couple of centuries" is definitely interesting. The why part is only speculated upon, leaving the as reader just as clueless as the characters the story revolves around. This is not a bad thing, I've found out.
A couple of notes:
#1: as you've read the plot I won't spell it out for you again.
#2: if you have a problem with good looking characters, this might not be it for you. My friend expressed her irritation (a.k.a. jalousy) for the beauty of some of the characters and whined about why the pretty guy always gets the pretty girl. Note I use the word "whined."
I must say the lead character Mike Havel sometimes comes across as "too good to be true:" he's handsome as hell, he's smart, he's witty. And he doesn't back away from a fight: in fact, he's very good at it. But he's human, which means he's flawed. The great thing about this book is that "supporting characters" REALLY are supporting characters. In order to survive they need to get together. And that results in some interesting situations.
#3: The flurry of characters surrounding the main ones are all multidimensional in their own right.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Dies the Fire" by S.M. Stirling is the first in a post-apocalypse series which tells the story of what happened to the world left behind when the island of Nantucket was... Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2014 by Marshall Lord
There are two main stories that you follow at the beginning of the novel. One is fairly readable as the survivors of a small plane crash learn to survive. Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2014 by Kublai
I read this book based on a friends view of the book and I also like post apocalyptic books on a whole however what I was met with was a ridiculous tale that made no sense what so... Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2013 by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed this first book of 7 but found it strange (and a first)that a satan worshipping cult always appears to be winning. Read morePublished on 18 April 2012 by pemsbooks