Friday, 7 March 2014

Dies The Fire - Book Review

Dies the Fire (Emberverse #1)
by S.M. Stirling

What is it about:
The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable. What follows is the most terrible global catastrophe in the history of the human race-and a Dark Age more universal and complete than could possibly be imagined.

What did I think of it:
This is a nice read.

I will confess I had lots of trouble with the world building and the way the story developed though.

The Change was a bit... convenient. Not only do all electric devices stop working, but somehow gunpowder and such obey to a complete different kind of laws than before the change. It sounded to me like an easy way to create the post apocalyptic world Stirling needed for his story instead of a believable occurrence.

And the people who survive and prosper were also not the people who would actually survive if an event like this would really happen. I can see why Stirling thinks so, but he really doesn't take human nature at its worst into account. The heroes in this book wouldn't stand a chance in my opinion. But maybe I'm too cynical.

All in all this is an entertaining read, but I just couldn't believe in the story and in the characters. If an event like described in this book really took place it wouldn't be a big Renaissance/Wiccan fest, it would be a whole lot more brutal and dark.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice post apocalyptic read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Aurian said...

If you can't believe in the possibility, a book loses a lot of its appeal. I hope your next book will be better.

click clack gorilla said...

Oh there is more darkness later. Most of the following nine books are about people killing each other, etc. I had the feeling reading them that he covered a braoder spectrum of the kind of people out there than a lot of PA books. I am getting tired of reading PA books that are just about people who are intent on recreating the same broken systems of the world that just ended. And it really would be chance that kept this or that person alive--something that he keeps repeating over and over again in the books as well.

But here's a fun little fact...the thing that causes the change, which you sort of find out about later in the series, but which you can read about in detail in his book Island in a Sea of Time is SO FUCKING RIDICULOUS you will barely be able to read about it without laughing. Seeing you didn't like this one much, then do not ever ever ever read past book three in the series. Because starting in book four they go off into weird occult authorian legend cartoon land. I still like them, but it is more of an addiction than anything else at this point.