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Dies the Fire

March 2, 2010 - Meg Alexander

Dies the Fire was not the best read I've ever experienced, but it wasn't the worst either. Written by S.M. Stirling, it's described as an "alternate history, post-apocalyptic novel."

Set in modern day Idaho, the book starts with a bang — or rather a flash — when civilization as we know it is plunged into the dark ages. Without electricity or even guns, the worst and best of human nature is revealed as everyone fights to survive the circumstances. Plagues, fires, cannibals, power-crazy historians ... it's all here, with a bit of romance, sex and mysticism thrown into the mix.

Dies the Fire reminded me of a cross between Louis L' Amour and Michael Crichton, both of whom I enjoyed as a child, thanks to my dad. The concept was interesting, and the action scenes enjoyable, but the dialogue and prose were ... OK. All in all, I'd give it ... 2.71 stars — not enough for me to pick up the rest of the Emberverse series.


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