The fire of fundamentalism, that is! In his best-selling novel We All Looked Up, Wallach gave us 4 Seattle teenagers struggling to come to terms with the purpose of life when everyone and everything you know will most likely be dead in 6 weeks - an incoming Meteorite named Ardor has a 66% chance of destroying the planet. Other than that plot device, it's a very realistic story of young adult choices.
The end of We All Looked Up remains open - we don't know if Ardor will blitz earth or not. But I like to think Wallach got started on the Anchor and Sophia series by asking, "what would happen if it did hit but a tiny amount of people did survive somehow?" This first book of the series begins with a group of traveling missionaries who celebrate " God and His Daughter" and we later learn that this "daughter" was a celestial event that cleansed the planet in a similar manner to the flood of Josh's time. The teenage children of the two missionary families traveling together make the terrible discovery that not everyone left in the civilized world is a fan of the homespun anti-learning creed that they bring sponsored by their capital city (Anchor). The trauma of tragic loss is simply the first shock in what will become an increasingly fragile faith as they make new discoveries about everything their government has kept concealed, "the anathema." Plenty of fast action motivated by culture clash, powered by the intense feelings of young people in love and leadership for the first time? Oh Hell Yeah.