Dies the Fire (Emberverse Series #1)

Dies the Fire (Emberverse Series #1)

by S. M. Stirling

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

S. M. Stirling presents his first Novel of the Change, the start of the New York Times bestselling postapocalyptic saga set in a world where all technology has been rendered useless.

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—and plunged the world into a dark age humanity was unprepared to face... 
Michael Pound 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 McKenzie was singing and playing guitar in a pub when her small Oregon town was thrust into darkness. 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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451460417
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/06/2005
Series: Emberverse Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 103,438
Product dimensions: 4.13(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

S. M. Stirling is the author of many science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Novels of the Change and the Shadowspawn series. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan.

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“A powerful, convincing adventure with a large cast of ordinary and extraordinary people. Don't miss it.” —-Harry Turtledove, New York Times bestselling author

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Dies the Fire (Emberverse Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 251 reviews.
Bro-John More than 1 year ago
Stirling's Emberverse series revolves around an earth-changing event that completely rewrites the chemistry books. This event throws all civilization back to the pre-Industrial days of our history. How well could we adjust without the necessities of our civilization? Stirling's characters must cope with the trials and dangers of humanity's fall back to a time where might often makes right and where only the strong - and those protected by the strong - have any chance of survival. Stirling raises critical questions that may make some uneasy about our society today. How would people cope without the thin veneer of civilization? To what lengths would we go to survive in a post-apocalyptic world? How much of what we call "civilized behavior" can we lose without descending into barbarism? I like Stirling's characters. I also enjoyed the historical references as the characters learn to live in conditions more common to Europe during the Viking era than with modern America. I have only one minor quibble and a major question with Stirling's story. First, the quibble. It seems that certain characters find themselves either incredibly lucky or extremely blessed, depending on your perspective. Characters stumble across people who can conveniently fill a major hole in their group, or they find the right materials to solve the crisis at hand. I concede the possibility of this happening, especially in the area of the book's setting. After all, the Pacific Northwest would contain an almost limitless supply of many materials even if industry halted today. As much as I enjoyed the book, I still find myself struggling with the major premise. How can anything change the basic laws of what we call "nature" without the consequences spreading throughout the universe as we know it? In any work, the reader must connect with the basic plot line to really appreciate the artist's endeavor. I had difficulty understanding how the basic chemistry could change so much in some aspects but yet other areas remained unchanged. I suppose this is science fiction, in a way, so I must suspend belief in the "science" and enjoy the "fiction." I've also read Stirling's "Conquistador." Between the 2, I enjoyed "Conquistador" much more. I plan to read more of Stirling's work later.
Book-man More than 1 year ago
awesome, but ended in strange spot. and worse, the next book doesn't pick up where this one left off. it's 8 YEARS LATER!?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every now and then a book comes along with such an origional concept that people get cought up in the potential of the book rather than the quality. This is one of those times. I have heard this book recommended freaquently, and everytime I hear about it, the concept of the book is raved about but the execution is passed over in it's criticism. It's too bad. If avid book readers (including those that have reviewed this title) actually cared about plot, character development and pacing, this book may have gotten an honest review. But unfortunately the boring plot, poor pacing, overly descriptive, and flat character writing seems to have been forgotten about, because people are so desparate for a unique and interesting concept. Don't get me wrong, Modern times reverting to midevil times done in a somewhat plausible way is very interesting, and that's why I read this garbage, but a good idea doesn't make a good book.
Jetski More than 1 year ago
The book came heavily recommended to me, and rightly so. It's a great read, and a fast read. It's not often that I find books set in the area that I live. The Pactific Northwest, but most notably Oregon. It was great reading about the town's I've lived in and worked in. My only complaint about the book is the Juniper MacKenzie Clan and the Wicca religion. Just didn't do much for me. However, Mike Havel and the Bearkillers are great and hope to read more about their adventures.
SirBunch More than 1 year ago
Alternate histories can be a lot of fun, but they can also suck horribly. Honestly, I hesitate to buy them because they are so often disappointing. The fun comes from question, "what if this one thing had gone differently?" Actually in this case its, "what if a flash of light (in 1986) changed the laws of physics so that technology no longer worked?" It's a great question for those of us who were alive in 1986. Its a fun world to put yourself in because we all wonder about our resourcefulness. Where they go wrong is in lack of research, logic and imagination. If, for example, an author doesn't imagine plausible results the story becomes annoying. And a story can be implausibly over or under reacting. Secondly, as with disaster fiction we need likable characters to observe in the situation. There's nothing more boring than a series of scenes about what happened. So how does Stirling do? Really well. Good characters, good pacing, good detail and description. All around its well written and since its not easy to write this type of novel well this book stands out. There are some challenges. There are a lot of characters and a lot of pages, which means this isn't a good book for slow readers at all. Also there is a lot of travel back and forth without mention of the path people took. For those of us who gain an extra bit of fun from living in the NW where this series is set, it can get a little ruined by not explaining how some characters hop back and forth over the Cascades when they can't go through Portland or use Hwy 20. Sterling also shies away from portraying large scale battles though there are at least two in the book. It maintains the balance between pages spent on exploring the "what if" and those spent on action, but I could have used a little more action, and made space for it by cutting some of the detailed depiction of Wiccan rituals.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first half was enjoyable, it had excitement and creative ideas. However, somewhere around midway, the plot just fell apart. A previous poster said the Wiccans were 'too good.' I agree, they were a bore. Also, S.M. Stirling left out a lot of script. There were many instances where the climax of an event was just being reached, but Stirling would cut it off and enter back in skipping a lot of detail. It was aggravating. I won't be reading it again just because I don't want to waste my time 'and I read it in a day'. There are much better books out there that are worth the money and time.
harstan More than 1 year ago
A multi-colored electrical storm that contains a beam of light is over Cape Cod. Soon a white light blinds everyone and the pain in their heads is intense. Nothing electrical works when their vision returns in the United States and probably worldwide. As time passes people call the event the Change even though they don¿t know who or what was responsible for the new Dark Age. Survivors moved to the outlying countryside to learn to grow crops so they can eat. Folksinger Juniper Mackenzie heads for her country hideaway joined by coven members and the people that can contribute to the well being of the group. These are hard times so she is forced to turn away people for the good of the group.----- Surviving a plane crash Mike Havel and the Larson family make their way from Idaho to Oregon where they can settle on land the Larsons¿ own. It is not an easy journey because they have to fight gangs and cannibals but they thrive by gathering up members to become part of their future community. Both Juniper and Mike¿s groups are threatened by an organized army headed by the Lord Protector who sees them as serfs and slaves. To keep their freedom, they must fight him and win.----- Fans of apocalyptical thrillers like Stephen King¿s THE STAND will find DIES THE FIRE absolutely riveting. The tale centers on two natural leaders who provide hope in this strange new world. As Mike and his followers travel the country side, readers see how different groups cope with the Change. The predators come out of the woodwork hoping to become the rulers of their very own fiefdoms. This is a fantastic epic work that will probably lead to a sequel because there are many questions that need answering.----- Harriet Klausner
Lumber1 More than 1 year ago
This book has an interesting foundation, with technology gone, how will we survive? The side story of social groups and community structures is very advanced. I recommend both the story and the writer. I will look for more stories by this author.
meretennis More than 1 year ago
The characters are well defined. You felt like you knew them. The plot was very original and thought provoking. A good topic of conversation. I am reading the second in the series and am just as impressed. Anyone who likes Science Fiction will love this series.
Irishmanreader_111 More than 1 year ago
I read this book a couple months ago and I still remember it vividly in my mind. I have got to say the apocalyptic plot has always interested me and this book has made me want to read more on it. The scenario the author throws the characters into is original and inventive. It shows a world gone berserk and how the human race takes different actions to make up for it. I have read most of the series and working on the last two. If you are looking for a heart pounding, leave you at the edge of your seat novel, Dies The Fire is the book to do that.
LN_Adcox More than 1 year ago
I first read ¿The Sunrise Lands¿, the fourth book in this series. It provided a good summary of what had happened in the first three books. Nevertheless I am glad I decided to go back and read what I missed. This book provides the flavor of the old west, the medieval era, and Celtic or Wicca culture through the eyes of contemporary characters with contemporary ideas. It is full of adventure, action, battles and romance. The loss of all electronic devices, explosives, and gun powder is all the more believable because the root cause is not explained in detail. Stirling is able to bring a multitude of characters to life that have distinctive outlooks, humor, cynicism, courage, villainy and megalomania. The rapidity of the decline of civilization as we know it given this survivalist state of affairs is realistic. If you have trouble believing this read ¿Blood River¿ by Tim Butcher, or consider how drastically we are affected by high gas prices, or research the current fear over the possibility of pandemics, or consider the impact of the Black Plague especially in the 14th century when 40% of the world¿s population died a horrible death within five years. Stirling shows great insight into the human character in the way people in crises cling to leaders and try to establish a system of order. Life is brutal, but the human spirit prevails. However, I wonder if we would cope as well as Stirling¿s characters during a global nightmare.
FlyinMonki More than 1 year ago
The headline is only the catalyst of how everyone in the world, set in 1998 at the time, sets forth into an apocalyptic state of proportions I've never seen in the literary world.
Believe it or not, a few other things stop working as well; this is no Children of Men or I Am Legend, though. Reading this isn't facing the end of the human race and there's no monsters, moral personalities aside.
"Dies the Fire" marks the beginning of a new age within our world and from our own history (primarily, but that comes a little later and is in enough of a factual sense to be of credit).
Fans of apocalyptic (dramatic)thrillers and alternate history will enjoy this first of a trilogy, although I suspect the target audience was somewhat larger...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really got my mind turning. Clearly the whole 'alien space bats' theroy of how the change came about is silly, but the thougth behind the 'what if' here is prevoking. The story pulls the reader into a world of the worst case senerio and makes you wonder if you could survive the change as well! I stayed up several nights reading this one, and have read it again since I finished it the first time. If you like the 'end of the world' kind of science fiction, this book is for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! A friend lent me the book who himself had purchased it merely because it sounded interesting on the back and the story takes place here in the Willamette Valley where we live. I had never before thought of what might happen in a situation like this... and the story is very entertaining!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding! I first found this book while looking for other what-ifs by Stirling. Even though this technically wasn't one I thought, 'What the heck, try it'.By the time I reached the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. Great characters, well-developed plot, and eeriely possible scenarios. A must have!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for this, based on what others have said, but I was dissappointed. There were some good elements to the book, but a lot of it was tedious and not very interesting. There were parts that I just had to skip as they really had nothing to do with the story. If I wanted to read about the wiccan thing, I'd get a book describing wiccan. I won't be reading the sequel, I just don't care what happens next. The premise of all of the sudden the lights go out for no apparent or explained reason is lame, but, hey it could still be interesting, but it really wasn't.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book to make you go 'hmmmm.' Very engrossing and well done. 2 thumbs way up. This is the opposite side of the story line that Stirling also wrote called the 'Island in the Sea of Time.' Which puts Nantucket to about 1250 B.C. The other three books are about that. Well what happens on our side is a whole lot worse than the Nantucket side, and extremely interesting either way. Wonderfully engrossing and interesting read. New one due soon, 'The Protector's War'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding story concept which puts the reader into the minds of the key players. Can't wait for the sequeal.
DevonShea5 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I'm not one for post-apocalyptic books. However, I very much enjoyed this novel. I'll be getting the other two in the series and probably the next trilogy set in this world.After a weird flash of light, all technology dies. The world is thrown back into pre-Industrial Revolution technological times - actually, before that since gunpowder won't even work. The story follows a few groups of survivors and their efforts to adapt to a very different world than they are used to.Mr. Stirling does go a tiny bit overboard on the Wicca stuff, but one can ignore that if needed. All in all, it's a strong beginning to a trilogy.
maggieliz on LibraryThing 6 days ago
fantastic fiction about 'the end of the world' (as we know it) told from several perspectivesTwo thumbs up - this is a must-read beginning to an impressive trilogy
TheAlternativeOne on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Alternate History at its best...S. M. Stirling delivers an engrossing story of post-apocalyptic America, New Age witches and desperate cannibals. ¿Dies the Fire¿ recounts the back-to-the-earth hand-to-mouth conflict of civilization to survive "The Change," a global incident that alters the physical laws of the world to make all modern technology worthless.The novel follows the civilization building actions of Mike Havel, a former Marine pilot, and Juniper Mackenzie, a New Age Wiccan priestess and Celtic songwriter as they build separate but cooperative communities in the American Northwest.4 and ½ of 5 starsOther Books of the ChangeIsland in the Sea of Time1. Island in the Sea of Time (1997)2. Against the Tide of Years (1998)3. On the Oceans of Eternity (2000)Dies the Fire1. Dies the Fire (2004)2. The Protector's War (2005)3. A Meeting at Corvallis (2006)Change1. The Sunrise Lands (2007)2. The Scourge of God (2008)
DeusEx0352 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
You know, this is a pretty awesome book. Well written, with a good understanding of how quick things fall apart and basic human nature. The plot moves along briskly, the settings are perfect. There's one catch: I want to throttle one of the main characters. There were times when I would tell myself: "One more pseudo-Gaelic religious statement from this woman, and I'll hurl this book out the window."Fortunately, that's usually when the book switched tacks and focused on Mike Havel, the other 'main' character. Even with the teeth-gritting irritation brought on by the fact that this startlingly good post apocalyptic book is about one-sixth an essay on modern Wiccanism, I would reccomend it to just about anyone.
dictator555 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
This may be my favorite SM Stirling book, and I love Stirling! The Island in the Sea of Time series was awesome, but I find that the Emberverse really fulfills my need for post-apocalyptic fiction. This book is totally fun. It covers some pretty dark subject matter, but somehow stays fun and not so dark that's it's depressing. I think it's because Stirling focuses so much on building. Everything collapses, and then it's built back up. There's a feeling of hope throughout the book and the whole Emberverse series. I currently convinced my boyfriend to read Island in the Sea of Time, and he's currently on the second in the Nantucket series. His only complaint about Stirling is the amount of detail Stirling gives. But I figure that you just have to learn how to read him. You read the details that interest you, and skip the rest. His long discourses on myriad subjects (metal working, neo-paganism, beer makings, etc.) are easy to spot in advance and simply skip if you aren't interested. And if you are interested in the subject, so much the better!I totally love this book and this series. I recommend it to everyone who might have the slightest interest, and many of them have agreed with me that it's awesome!
MarcoGaidin on LibraryThing 6 days ago
After reading the recommendations,(on the Post-Apocalyptic Literature Group), I bought this book, keeping many people's comments on 'lucky coincidences' in the back of my head.Whoo....lucky coincidences abound!The book is well written with easily likeable characters and a clear distinction between good and bad. It is the type of survival story that I loved to read as a youngster.The plot and development move too fast though.Especially with concepts and ideas that would take people years to figure out, these chappies manage it in two to four months. From a totally techno dependant civilisation, such as we are, back to hunter-gatherers (succesful H-G) in the space of months.He also tends to use the same term/words in consecutive chapters, again and again.Otherwise it was an entertaining book, and I did enjoy reading it. Still can't believe how many people in the greater Portland area know how to fight with bows and swords though...
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 13 days ago
What happens when one day the combustion engine, electrical systems and gunpowder stops working? When American society implodes? This is the story of what happens then. A story of a few different groups who form when society breaks down, some people use the opportunity to fulfil their wildest dreams of megalomania and others want to create a workable society. The use of Irish with translation was a bit pretentious really and in ways jarred from the meat of the story, which was interesting. I was very amused at the way people decided to join the wiccans because of how they treated other people. The use of Kilts amused as well.Interesting but somehow lacking. It reads well but I wanted both more and less.