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Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change | [S. M. Stirling]

Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2004 Stirling; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"The novel's dual themes - myth and technology -should appeal to both fantasy and hard SF readers as well as to techno-thriller fans." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1473 )
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4.2 (958 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Heather St Joseph, MO, USA 06-25-08
    Heather St Joseph, MO, USA 06-25-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What happens when the lights go out!!"

    This a well written and well read story about a change in the way we would live if the toys were taken away. This a captivating read and made the family trip from Missouri to Utah fly by. It is a bit of the Renfest or D&D adventure but if the lights go out that is the path that you would travel down. Good strory and I hope Audible picks up the series.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-28-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "fantstic"

    A fantastic book, well written, well read and a brilliant concept. All charactors and storylines are believeable with a hint of imagination and fantasy. Well researched . Please more of the same. S.M Sterling is one of the best Si-Fi writers around. This series as as good as the Terminator2 series. Sterling is what Ipods were made for!!

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 12-18-14
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 12-18-14 Member Since 2009

    An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I had high hopes but should have left it at book 1"

    It starts in the real world and slowly loses the plot. It is just another twist on the galloping 'Thrones' machine and it really doesn't get there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 08-14-14
    Scott 08-14-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please don't listen to or read this book"
    What would have made Dies the Fire better?

    The premise of the book was interesting but the characters were contrived and implausible even for fantasy fiction.


    What was most disappointing about S. M. Stirling’s story?

    That he took an interesting premise and the ruined, yes ruined, it with bad story telling and poorly developed characters was the most disappointing.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Todd McLaren?

    Yes, there was no way for Mr. McLaren to turn this dirt-clod into a diamond.


    What character would you cut from Dies the Fire?

    All of them from Corvallis and Portland, and most of the "Bear Killers".


    Any additional comments?

    I think the book should be given a sub title of "Revenge of the SCA Dorks".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 05-07-14
    Aaron 05-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Does anyone ere make it past the first chapter?"

    Bad writing is compounded by unlikeable characters, and annoying narration.

    As another reviewer stated, it seems the author really wanted to write about a devolution into a fantasy world.

    Save a credit...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan 03-26-14
    Alan 03-26-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Dies The Story"
    What would have made Dies the Fire better?

    Character development


    Has Dies the Fire turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    How could the performance have been better?

    Yes


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The setting is interesting as are the events of the story but the author's telling leaves a lot to be desired.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 06-07-13
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2012

    Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Middle of the Road"

    ‘Dies the Fires’ is a post-apocalyptic book, with a bit of magic and medieval history combined. Not only do electronics not work, but many of the things people would use post apocalypse to survive (Guns) do not work, which pushes everyone into a middle ages lifestyle. The story is slow in the middle but had a good beginning and end. The characters were likable, but overall people in general seemed to change drastically a bit too quick after the change occurred. Also there was just way to much wiccan talk for me, which I normally wouldn’t mind but since it really didn’t add to the story I could have done without it.

    Performance was pretty good but sometimes everyone sounded like they were either from Scottland or Ireland.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evert Burtonsville, MD, United States 11-05-12
    Evert Burtonsville, MD, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Interesting Premise, Irritating Execution"

    I purchased this book because I found the premise to be quite intriguing: survival in a post-technological age. However, I soon became so irritated with Stirling’s chosen vehicle for telling the story I wanted to through my iPod out the car window!

    How is it possible to have a native Oregonian (from Portland no less) be fluent in Gaelic and have a fully developed Scots-Irish twang? Doubtful, but OK, the whole story’s a stretch. But to make things worse, she and her followers soon have a fully developed (within three to five months) pagan culture complete with “Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!” and “Goddess of the harvest, field, wood and/or toad” sprinkled through every conversation. Agh! If I ever have to hear that “Merry meet” phrase again I think I’ll through up.

    There is a male protagonist whose story is more interesting. But he too makes suspending disbelief impossible when he organizes a successful assault on a fort by landing hang gliders on a tower at night with people who’ve never flown gliders before. That lost it for me. Use your credits on something else.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexis 10-18-10
    Alexis 10-18-10
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    "Great premise, horrible characters and dialogue."

    When I read about the premise of the story, I was excited to buy and listen to this book. I have enjoyed a few of the other post-apocalyptic, breakdown of society, survival type stories. But I am sorry to say that in this particular story the characters and the dialogue all but ruined the whole thing. I somehow forced myself to finish the whole book, but I will definitely not be moving on to the next installment from the series. While listening, I kept thinking, where does the author get the idea that people in 1998 America would actually speak this way? The speaking style is closer to that from generations past, like that of our great grandparents maybe, but it certainly did not sound to me like modern American banter to me. I almost quit listening a number of times after one of the main characters, Mike Havel, started off yet another sentence with "Christ Jesus, but..." (he says this about 50 times throughout the book). Also, how are readers supposed to buy that people in this situation could realistically pick up so many lost arts so quickly?? One minute, it's the modern age. Then a few months later, everyone who has managed to survive is busy farming, preparing for harvest, hunting and fighting with crossbows and swords, and riding horses like they were plucked straight out of the middle ages without more time than the blink of an eye. I'm sorry, but there is no way these things could possibly happen so quickly. All this combined with the constant barrage of Wiccan preachings and Gaelic proverbs was just too much annoying garbage to make any of the good stuff worth my time.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey minneapolis, MN, USA 06-15-09
    Casey minneapolis, MN, USA 06-15-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Ren-fair nerd revenge fantasy"

    I've been reading/listening to alot of "apocalyptic fiction" lately, and this is one of the best. Solid characters, believable dialogue. Despite the fact that it is clearly a D&D nerd's wet dream, I would recommend it to just about anyone. Hours of fun (23 of them!).

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
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