Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dies the Fire

Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling has been in my tbr stack for some time. I can't remember how I came to pick it up. I enjoyed reading this, but I'm not sure I'll read the rest in the series. Details on military plans and exploits aren't my cuppa tea, although I did enjoy the description of the evolution of a Wiccan back-to-the-land community and the organizing of different groups and survival tactics. There's a cat named Pywackett at the Wiccan community, which -as my sister did that with a different spelling to her cat when she was a teenager- struck me as an unwanted touch of cuteness. I do tend to notice the overuse of any one word, and the adjective "ruddy" appears 3 times in the space of 12 pages early in the novel and again later on, which seems a bit much -especially considering two of the characters are named Rudy. I also got tired of Lord of the Ring references.

from the back of the book:
Michael 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 Michael 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 thrust 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....
SF says it's "an intelligent, meticulously crafted, but overlong and sometimes pokey end-of-the-world epic". SF Site describes it as "a passably enjoyable but over-long and oddly focused story, set in a fascinating speculative world" and concludes, "Fans of novels focused on action, wilderness survival, fighting, and warfare, would be the most likely to enjoy this book, but anyone looking for something deeper is likely to come away disappointed." SF Reader gives it "Two stars for the repetition and rather weak story-telling plus four stars for the plot-line and astonishing depth of the ideas".

The picture at the top of the post is from the Wikipedia entry.

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