Book Reviews

“Dies the Fire” by S.M. Stirling


“Dies the Fire” is a post-apocalyptic novel by S.M. Stirling that my friends Kristi and Adam recommended. I’m in the research stage of writing a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel. (Movies that have helped with my research include: “The Book of Eli,” “The Road,” “Equilibrium,”  “I Am Legend,” “In Time,” “Children of Men,” “Carriers,” “Perfect Sense,” “Monsters,” “The Hunger Games,” “Life After People,” “Contagion,” etc.)

As for “Dies the Fire,” there were aspects that I enjoyed. The premise is compelling- what would happen if an electrical storm plunged the year 2004 into the dark ages? The main protagonists, former Marine and pilot Michael Havel and Wiccan folksinger Juniper Mackenzie are likeable; Havel more so than Juniper. Havel leads the Bearkiller clan and Juniper guides the Mackenzie clan.

However, half way through the novel, I found myself skimming and at some points, skipping pages. I’m a fast reader but the 573 pages were just too much to get through. The author clearly did his research but I think too much was included in the novel, including the Wiccan rituals. Also, people within the Mackenzie and Bear Killer clans seem to immediately accept “The Change.” I like to think that I’m a strong person but I know that I’d freak out a bit if the apocalypse hit!

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