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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 (1565 )
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4.2 (1044 )
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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
    14
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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
  •  
    Geoffrey Rolla, MO, USA 09-25-09
    Geoffrey Rolla, MO, USA 09-25-09 Member Since 2014

    I love just about anything written well with good narration. I love spy novels, WWII spies in particular. I love doggies! And Scott brick

    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
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    21
    5
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    "Silly"

    The storyline in this book might very well be stellar, but I cannot get past the obvious Wiccan propaganda shoved down my throat during every scene. The power goes off in the world, and all of a sudden everybody is speaking with a ridiculous irish accent and is wiccan. Good fantasy books are good because they can make you forget they are likely written by D&D fanatics, and can make you identify with at least a few of the characters. This one does not. Try doing without the Goddess rants for a few chapters, and let the characters speak naturally and within their own time period please. It is a shame because the story looked really good. The authors religious and political views were all too evident in this story for me to enjoy. I felt as though I was being preached to. Would not recommend.

    30 of 44 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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    101
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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
  •  
    Tanja Gardner East Tamaki, Auckland, NZ 11-08-14
    Tanja Gardner East Tamaki, Auckland, NZ 11-08-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why? Why does Juniper have an Irish accent?"
    What did you love best about Dies the Fire?

    I've been a long time fan of these books, so I was looking forward to listening to them. Unfortunately, every scene with Juniper in makes me cringe to hear :-(


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Too many to name - I love competence and there's a vast amount of it in this set.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Todd McLaren?

    I'd have loved to hear what James Marsters did with the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes - every time the narrator voiced Juniper, I wanted to cringe. It's a plot point that she's an American who occasionally puts on an Irish accent for the effect it has - voicing her thoughts with one just shows the narrator hasn't read the book before recording.


    Any additional comments?

    It's amazing how something so small can totally ruin what should be an awesome listening experience

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 11-01-14
    Beth 11-01-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So so"
    Would you try another book from S. M. Stirling and/or Todd McLaren?

    This book has some good parts. But way too many long descriptions


    Would you recommend Dies the Fire to your friends? Why or why not?

    No


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Narrator did a decent job. Only mispronounced a few words and was sometimes a blessed distraction from boring descriptions.


    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 Member Since 2015
    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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    "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
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  • Andrew
    Gillingham, United Kingdom
    7/7/11
    Overall
    "Good but jumpy"

    I enjoyed the story and the narrator is very good however there are quiet a few times that it suddenly jumps forward or to another part of the story line with no particular pause or change of chapter. I'm not sure if it is the way it is written or the way it has been edited but for a few moments you are left wondering what has happened. Apart for that it was very good and if it hadn't been for that I would have given it 5 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • CM
    England
    4/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dreadful"

    Self-indulgent fantasy for middle-aged male Renaissance Faire enthusiasts who enjoy dabbling in racism and misogyny. None of the characters were believable--not one. There is too much luck bestowed upon the protagonists for it to be even marginally believable. Need to make some bows? Oh, how convenient. Here's a random person who knows how to do so, and he wants to join up with you!

    Sometimes, a bad book can be made less painful for me with a good narrator. This one was horrible. Not only did he butcher every accent he attempted, he didn't even pronounce several place names in Oregon correctly. "Corvallis" was repeated again and again, and every time he said it wrong. Not content with butchering place names on one continent, he also made me cringe with his attempt at saying "Edinburgh."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    Teignmouth, United Kingdom
    12/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How to spoil a story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. The narrator obviously doesn't know when to pause for paragraphs etc. Book was spoilt by having to second guess which part of the story he was reading.


    What other book might you compare Dies the Fire to, and why?

    Similar theme to many post-apocalyptic novels


    What didn’t you like about Todd McLaren’s performance?

    There was no pause for paragraphs, changes of scene etc which spoilt the novel for me. His voice was fine but it became annoying to second guess where in the story we were at. I am not talking even slight pauses, but straight from one sentence into another which bore no resemblance to the thread of that particular part of the story. In a novel that is following 2 or 3 different threads that is not good enough.


    Could you see Dies the Fire being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Novel spoilt by lack of basic punctuation rules.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brent
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    3/19/13
    Overall
    "Luke warm"

    I don't know whether it was the book, the narrator or me, but I just didn't engage with it. I found myself going through the motions of putting the earphones in and turning it on without really listening or taking anything in . After a while I just decided to get another book. The characters didn't stick with me and the book seems to jump around quite a lot. Nothing particularly wrong with the narrator - just not the gripping stuff I want to listen to! love the genre and I tell myself I will come back to the book in a few weeks/months, but I know I wont.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    Galway, Ireland
    3/31/12
    Overall
    "Good story but butchering of accents!"

    I enjoyed this story well enough but was really distracted by the poor attempts at accents by the narrator. If you are Irish or are familure with the accent (& to a lesser extent the English & Aussie accents), I might suggest buying this book to read. Plus the woeful attempts at the Irish language in places (some of it may have been Scots Gaelic, but who's to know!) were indecipherable & made me wince every time. The latter might not bother too many people but be warned if it could... A shame, as I missed most of the story because of this & don't know if I can face listening to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • H
    BOSTON, United Kingdom
    12/28/11
    Overall
    "Can you suspend disbelief?"

    A great series of books if you can get over the initial premis. The world suddenly changes and engines, guns and electricity no longer works. How will people adapt? What price civilisation and law?

    Cleverly written with a closely observed and diverse population, the first three books in this series are well worth a read (or rather listen). Personally later volumes got a bit too "new age" for my taste - but the initial trilogy were a great adventure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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