Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
In an Effort to Brighten Monday
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Website Renovation Completed (Yahooo!)
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Friday, May 27, 2005
On Friday: I Feel Lucky
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
TV, movies, books, and oh yeah...Quilts!
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Progress, of sorts and the Name Thang
Monday, May 23, 2005
Sun Quilt Saga
Saturday, May 21, 2005
It's Here! It's Finally HERE!!
Friday, May 20, 2005
The Apprentice: The Musical? Say it isn't so.
"Trump announced Thursday that an Apprentice musical would be hitting Broadway in spring 2006."That's just SO wrong.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
An Email Thang
Mini-book review, complete with exciting dream tie-in!
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
My Studio Confidantes
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Questions and follow-ups and STUFF
Monday, May 16, 2005
How was YOUR weekend?
Friday, May 13, 2005
On Friday: The Color of the Day is ORANGE
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Will someone please turn down the sun for a while?
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Only In Kentucky
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Amazing Race (but no amazing mail)
Monday, May 09, 2005
If it's not one thing, it's another...
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Mother's Day Memories
Saturday, May 07, 2005
I'm a Double Espresso. You?
Friday, May 06, 2005
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Knitting Mug Shot
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
The Characters in Literature Tarot Deck
Monday, May 02, 2005
While I'm in a Reviewing State of Mind....
The second thing that bothered me about DTF was that I felt like the pacing was uneven. This one bothered me more than the Hidden Trilogy Syndrome because I felt like it was very fixable with tighter editing and a little more revision.
While the characters and the story held my interest, there were some early parts of the story that I felt got bogged down when Mr. Stirling would go into excruciating detail about things like how to make a hunting spear from a kitchen knife and a...yaaaaawn...oh, excuse me...a broom handle.
Then later in the story, when I would have liked a few more details about certain action sequences, some areas felt rushed and glossed over. I felt like I'd been "yada-yada-ed". You know...."so the good guys offer to help the townsfolk chase off the bad guys, and they meet in the middle of town and yada, yada, yada, and the good guys win the fight". Uh, excuse me? Could you go back to that fight thing and tell me a little more about HOW they won??
It seems to me that a really good editor would have encouraged Mr. Stirling to cut some of the "survivor manual" stuff in the earlier part and use that word count to better advantage later in the story.
I know this is making it sound like I think it's a bad book, and that isn't the case at all. I liked it. It held my interest enough to keep me up reading past my normal bedtime when I got near the end, and I want to read the sequel(s). I just wish it had been given that little nudge toward excellence.
Some of the things I did like included an interesting cast of characters. There are a couple of different factions of "good guys" who are organizing their followers in very different ways and one of those groups is led by a Wiccan High Priestess who is structuring her group after a kind of hybrid of traditional Scottish clans and Wiccan covens. Very different and interesting!
There were also some fun literary references in there that tell me that Mr. Stirling likes some of the same books and authors that I do. Besides open references to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I caught buried mini-homages to Charles deLint, Poul Anderson, and Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise stories. And if those are in there, there are no telling how many other references I didn't catch. I find that kind of thing fun, and will be actively looking for them in the next story.
The plot was exciting and moved along well, barring the few previously mentioned rough spots in the pacing.
So I'd recommend "Dies The Fire" to fans of the post-apocalyptic fiction genre, provided you aren't bothered by the "to be continued" thing. I'll be watching for Mr. Stirling's next book and hoping he continues the things that made this one good, but makes the next one just a little bit better.