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Dies the fire

Title: Dies the fire
By: Richard Sterling

The first book in S.M. Stirling’s Embervers series, Dies the Fire, was one of the first postapocalyptic/speculative fiction books I read that wasn't about zombies or nuclear war ravaging the world. Instead, this book addresses the question of what would happen if you took away modern convenience and weapons from everyday life.

This is done by allusions to a mysterious event like a giant EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that causes all electronics and explosives to stop working. The skeptical reader might balk at the tiny detail of the laws of physics being totally thrown to the wind here, but the action doesn't leave you time to really speculate.

The story follows three groups of survivors: The Bearkillers, led by Mike Havel, former Marine and bush pilot turned leader and warchief; Clan MacKenzie, led by Juniper Mackenzie, former folk singer and Renaissance Faire reenactress, whose cabin in the Oregon mountains provides an ideal headquarters for her growing clan of survivors; and The Protectorate, led by David Arminger, former professor of medieval history now warlord and conqueror of the former city of Portland. The three groups grow and eventually interact, with mixed results for everyone involved.

The book is well balanced between interpersonal drama and action. You grow to love and hate many of the characters as they struggle to address realistic issues of survival such as food sustainability, weapons training, and medical treatment.

So, if you like post-apocalyptic fiction but are tired of zombie survival stories, this might be a good option for you. Action, drama, and intrigue fill its pages and make it a quick but satisfying read.

View similarly tagged posts: science fiction

Posted on June 20, 2016 at 7:24 a.m.

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