Fire Country

Rated 4.50/5 based on 30 reviews
15-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she hears rumors of another tribe of all women, the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling her father's web of lies. More

Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt

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Words: 104,820
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301505821
About David Estes

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. David is a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

Also in The Country Saga

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Sarah Brewer on Oct. 04, 2013 :
I recieved an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. :)
After some Nook complications and family emergencies, I finally finished this one. Out of a handful of dystopians that I have read so far, this made me a true fan of the genre. I will definitely be checking out Mr. Estes' other books.
That being said... At first, I thought the dialect was going to bother me, but I can't imagine how it would've worked without it. I find myself using some of the words already. I like Siena and Circ and Perry. lol Pretty much everyone except her daddy. The strength of the women in this book is inspiring, too. Great ending as well. I can't wait to pick up Ice Country!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: maryalice tillman on Sep. 22, 2013 :
I won this book and would like to thank David Estes. The action in this book started on page one and ended on the last page. I started the book one day, was late leaving for work, and finished the book after work the next day. Others have told you the story , so I'll just tell you it is a great book and if you like action and adventure with just a hint of romance. If you like strong heroines, even if they don't believe it, you will love this book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Danielle Smiley on Sep. 20, 2013 :
You know those books, the ones that you keep thinking about long after you finish reading them; the ones that the characters feel so real, you find yourself wondering what they're doing right now? FIRE COUNTRY is so that book! Yes, I've heard all the ravings about David Estes' writing; I had high expectations and then he just totally blew those expectations out of the water! This book is woo-loo good!!!

The world building is perfection in FIRE COUNTRY with it's troubling society set in a seriously harsh environment. It takes crazy skill to provide your audience with a balance of all the needed details without boring them with an information dump. And I LOVE the creativity of this world: our same world, but different, especially their verbiage. My favorite phrase is now "woo loo" and I find myself thinking "what the scorch?!?" when vexed.

The very best thing about FIRE COUNTRY is the characters. I love Siena and her quirkiness; her convo with Perry the prickler is priceless! Her character growth is breathtakingly beautiful. It made me cry with joy in seeing her blossom. Much of FIRE COUNTRY is slower paced than my usual read --more almost slice-of-life in it's presentation at times-- but this pace is really needed for what the story is; I wouldn't, couldn't delete a single scene. It's complex and rich, like a good Malbec, especially in regards to her relationships.

Then there's the mystery, conspiracy and shocking plot twists. This book truly has it all; I can't see anyone not loving this book. I can't wait to read more of David Estes' work!!!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Myra Espino on Sep. 13, 2013 :
Love this book!
Fire Country rocks!
If you are looking for an amazing book to read, this is it!
The other thing that I can say is that I sometimes have the difficulty reading the shortcuts of some words but all in all the book is great. I can't think of negative things about it other than that.

The concept of the story was epic and the characters are easy to love. The twist and turns of the story is not predictable that you will really make you think of what will happen next to the characters and what will be their faith would be. The story was exciting at the same time full of surprises!
The author really did a great job in making this book interesting at the same time exciting!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Byron Paul on Sep. 12, 2013 :
a good start to a YA post-apocalypic dystopian series. The market is flooded with this type of novel, and while I didn't have any major complaints, for much of the read I didn't see anything that set it apart from others... but the novel did end very strong and I'm sure most readers will be eager to take on the next in the series. Features a likeable 15 year old female lead that most should like regardless of their age or gender.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Patrick Capalad on Sep. 09, 2013 :
First of all, I want to thank Mr. Estes for giving me this free ebook of Fire Country! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

This book really amazed me!
I first started it liking the first 3 chapters. Then BOOM! I am sucked in the world of heaters, icies and many more.
I really admired Siena's POV. She the kind of girl who think she is weak but really she a very strong, independent person. Also, liked his rebellion against his father and her SECRET relationship/alliance with her mother, and also Perry the Prickler with his words of wisdom! LOL
But seriously all the characters well developed. Yes even the blazin' prickler is one of my favorites!

The whole storyline really fits me, its my kind of story that I will not stop reading until I finished it. Some parts really made me sad, but its a dystopian book, you don't expect that everyone will live!

Okay over all really like the plot,the world building was FANTABULOUS and relly very detailed. Even tried to make a map of Fire Country! Liked the twist and the surprise that really want to happen,that happened in the end, when something happened in the middle of the book!
I don't want to spoil anyone! :)

I am looking forward in reading all of his books!
Honestly this is the first of his books that I read COMPLETELY because I first read the preview of the MOON DWELLERS and I really liked it. Then I found out about The READ & REVIEW thing. This is my first time reviewing a book which I now enjoy!

Definitely, I will recommend this to those who love YA and dystopian reads!

Thank you Mr. David Estes for this wonderful book!
MABUHAY! and God Bless
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: H. J Stephens on Aug. 26, 2013 :
When it comes to reading there are two types of books. There are the kind of book that takes you several starts to get going, and you always find an excuse to put it down and do something else. It may take you a month or more to read it. Then there are the kind of book that is impossible to put down. When you are forced to put it down the story buzzes in your head, playing out all of the scenarios that could happen when you next pick it up.

Fire Country falls into the second category. From the moment I started reading this book, I was entranced. The characters stood so powerfully as individuals, but thrown together and the dynamics were astounding. I especially liked the effortless, honest bond between Siena and Circ. Simply beautiful.

The main laws of Fire Country are extremely dark in nature. The biggest of them all, that females are forced to breed with a randomly chosen man, or their 'Call', at the age of sixteen. This was such a unique idea, if not slightly sickening. Laws of the land must be followed, and if they are broken you face extreme punishment such as in the forms of Shovel duty, which is basically dealing with the sewerage of the Fire people or Confinement, which involves being locked in a cage under the desert sun for a certain amount of time with rationed water and food.

Siena, the main character, was a perfect voice to tell this story. Her stubborn nature and inner strength made for a strong female character. Her lack of self-confidence and questioning nature of whats right and wrong, no matter the consequences, balanced her good features perfectly. I really connected with Siena, her inner dialogue reading like thoughts. Her wooloo sense of humour really kept me entertained and her habit of talking to inanimate objects like Perry the prickler, reminded me of myself, talking to my computer and books because of my lack of friends.

Overall, I adored this book. It kept me engaged and my mind active from the very start. I loved the uniqueness of the slang, it took me awhile to grasp it but once I did I found it completely suitable for the story. Before I had even finished this book I had brought the next two of the series. Fire Country is a must read, a legend of a book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Lynn Worton on Aug. 23, 2013 :
Review 6******

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

OMG! This is a fantastically brutal dystopian novel. I LOVED IT!

Siena is a fantastic character! She is a young lady that I greatly admire. Her determination, independence and grit astounded me. As her sixteenth birthday looms, she has to make a decision that will change her life.

As I started reading this book, I was completely pulled in to a world that has been devastated by a disaster of biblical proportions. The Heaters are a tribe living in the most unforgiving conditions I have ever encountered in the pages of a book, but somehow, they manage to survive. Raging sandstorms, fires and unrelenting heat would sap the energy out of anyone, but these people have gained my respect with their ingenuity and sheer determination. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat more than once, as the story unraveled. I also found myself on a rollercoaster of swinging emotions; from disbelief, anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, joy, a few other mixed ones and back again! However, it is their laws that I found myself railing against. The one where they have to force girls of sixteen to procreate for their survival. I can understand the need to survive as a tribe, but it's the way they go about it that made my stomach clench! I wanted to shout "perverts", but as they are fictional characters, they wouldn't hear me! However, there are some really likable characters that redeemed the tribe in my eyes. These are Siena's friends Circ and Veena. Circ is one of her closest friends and a wonderful character. He is a Hunter and the same age as Siena. Veena is a year older than Siena, and has already had a baby. Her attempts to get her no-good Call (mate) to take care of the baby made me giggle! This book is peppered with a whole slew of tribal slang, but it reminded me of some words I could picture the Australians saying (no offence to the Australians, I love their slang!). There are also a fair few twists and turns in this book that kept me hooked from the first page to the last! I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

David Estes has written a fantastic dystopian novel that has turned me into a huge fan! I love his writing style, which is fast paced and extremely fluid! His characters came alive, and the descriptions of the environs left me breathless! I am looking forward to reading his Moon Dwellers series in the foreseeable future.

I highly recommend this book if you love YA or Dystopian genres. - Lynn Worton
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Shelby Mead on Aug. 20, 2013 :
*I received a free e copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

This is the first book from David Estes that I have ever read. Now I'm kicking myself for not having read it sooner. From the moment I picked it up I did NOT want to put it down. The author draws you right in to this amazing complex world with these amazing complex characters. With one book David Estes had made me a fan for life. I experienced so many emotions reading this book. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, and I felt terrible sadness. Siena, Circ, Skye, Lara, Wilde...they are all my new best friends. I read A LOT and I have no qualms stating that this book has the BEST ending I've ever read. Fire Country has easily made it's way onto my "favorites" shelf and David Estes has made his way to the top of my favorite author list. Amazing book that I would recommend to anyone who loves amazing books!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Haraiah Dajay on Aug. 20, 2013 :
Well? It's a David Estes book so even though I only read The Moon Dwellers, I absolutely loved it that when someone asks for readers and reviewers of his book my only answer would be 'Heck, yes!'. I don't know much about this series and when I picked it up I haven't even read the blurb so I was anticipating whatever surprise was hidden in it. But I did hear that the Country Saga is a sister series of The Dwellers so I was pretty much expecting something like it. But fret not. Mr. Estes is not the kind of writer who will give you something you are expecting.

Fire Country is a lot different. A LOT. The world-building, for one, made me feel like I was living in a whole new era where there's only heat and drying plants and tents and all that. It really felt like I was living in a desert the whole time I was reading it. I can tell because when I read a sneak peak of the sequel, Ice Country, it actually gave me the opposite feeling - the chills, the fresh and cold air, the more urbane way of living. Yup. Living in yet 'nother world. I am not kidding. You try reading the whole first book and proceed immediately to the second and you'll know what I mean.

The main character, Siena, is used to all the name-calling and punishment she gets everytime she so much as move. She's not physically strong, she's skinny, she has two left feet but reading the book in her point of view is very engaging. She doesn't have many friends but she has Circ who sees the strength in her. I see the strength in her. Many times throughout the book I will say 'poor Siena' or when she does something out of pure will and determination 'what are you doing? no. no. don't!' but the she does and I just can't help but cheer her on saying 'You can do it. YOU CAN DO IT!' even if she really can't. She has a wonderful heart and I just wish everything good for her so when it came to a point where all of my emotions just can't take it anymore, I am the one exclaiming 'WHEN WILL THIS MADNESS STOP? THIS SEARIN' HURTS!' like it happened to me instead of Siena. But really, I did cry a river.

What else can I possibly say about this book? Oh, here's one thing. If you are expecting anything from Mr. Estes' book, drop 'em. It won't happen. Just go with the flow and be surprised all you want. It's part of the package. And then you can go ahead and appreciate every new experience these works of art brought you.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sigourney Hatfield on Aug. 16, 2013 :
A copy of Fire Country was kindly sent to me by David Estes in exchange for an honest review.

(This review’s going to be pretty vague as I don’t want to spoil anything).

David Estes has done it again. Fire Country is, quite simply, brilliant. Once again I was reduced to sending fangirling messages over Goodreads telling him how brilliant he is and how much I love his characters. I really enjoyed reading his take on a dystopian world and seeing how the vastly different communities of Heaters, Glassies, Killers etc. co-existed; for me it was a completely new take on dystopia and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Although the storyline was a little predictable at times (I was fairly certain how everything would unfold) it is written in such a way that it doesn’t really matter, and there are couple of twists that will shock you to the core. Unpredictable plot be damned, give me a well written predictable one any day, and Fire Country is certainly that - I could practically feel the heat searing through the desert as I read Fire Country, the atmosphere and descriptions used were fantastic, but it was definitely the characters that made this such a good book, in my opinion, some seriously badass women.

A few pages in and I was already entirely invested in Siena and her story (and Circ and his muscles, swoon), and completely gripped by everything that was happening to and around her. Her development throughout the novel is brilliant to read as well, she goes from being quite meek and obedient to strong and sure of herself in a way that is not only believable but very gratifying. There was not a single moment when I didn’t care what happened to her. The characters really get under your skin and into your soul in the most wonderful way; they are exceptionally crafted and so believable that I really felt like I was going through everything with Siena. Siena is honestly one of the best female protagonists I have ever come across. Some of the language used is quite bizarre to read at first as there is a lot of slang, slang related to fire, but after a while I got used to it and found that it really added to the story, especially as it was consistently used.

I think this is a story that most anyone could like as the characters and their stories are so well crafted and vividly portrayed. Some books are carried more by their plots, some by their characters; this one has both in equal measure. Fire Country is an all-round excellent novel, and I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series (and everything else David ever writes. Ever.).
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Simone Major on Aug. 13, 2013 :
I received this book for free in return my honest review. As soon as I read the synopsis for Fire Country I had a feeling it was going to be completely unlike anything I had ever read before, and on uniqueness it did not disappoint. From the dystopian world all the way down to a whole new slew of slang, Fire country has you on your toes from page one.
Siena is the 15 year old daughter of Roan, the next in line to be Head Greynote, leader of her people. Her father is cold and ruthless and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Even if it means sacrificing everyone who gets in his way, Siena included. She is also just moths away from turning 16 and becoming what all the female heaters do, a bearer. As a bearer it will be her duty to help keep the ever dwindling population alive by having one child every three years with whomever is chosen to be her call.

Siena follows the laws of her people without question because for as long as she can remember she has been taught to obey the laws, to do what is for the greater good of her people because it is the only way they can survive. But as the book progresses Siena is forced to look more deeply not only at herself, but everyone around her and starts to question if anything she has been lead to believe is true at all.

While at first I found the dialect and obscure terms used in Fire Country to be confusing and a little hard to read, it wasn't long before I got the hang of it all and found it actually fit in really well with the tone of the story. I loved the way Siena would randomly have imaginary conversations with herself or inanimate objects too. I don't really know why, I guess there is just something funny about a scene where a girl has a conversation with what is essentially a cactus.

I loved how both Siena and Circ were written, especially how their friendship blossoms into something more throughout the story without either of them realising exactly when they made the transition from best friends to so much more.
I thought for the most part the storyline was really well paced and held plenty of twists and turns to keep me turning page after page to find out what was happening next. Including one twist that came so completely out of nowhere I literally had no idea it was coming and immediately both hated to keep reading because of it, but just had to keep reading because of it too. And for anyone who has read Fire Country, I'm sure you know exactly which part I am talking about.

There were a couple of downsides for me though, first being the lack of description of the world. I would have loved to know more about what had happened to the world that it got to how it was,or about the world in general. I found myself and a few different points not quite understanding what the animal or thing was in front of her because it just wasn't explained. But most importantly I would have loved to know why they only lived to 30 or so before dyeing. You are told they get sick from constantly breathing in the heat etc. but I found myself wondering why? What exactly was it about the air that caused them all to get sick?

Also, and this one is purely just me being picky, but I couldn't help but cringe at the names for each race. Fire country where it's always hot, Ice country where it's always cold, Glass People live in their glass bubble. I just found it a little bit too cliche. But not enough to stop me from reading, just enough for me to kind of roll my eyes a little and giggle and then move on.

My final general spoiler free gripe would have to be that it felt like the ending was a little bit too rushed and too perfect. I felt like the entire book had been well thought out and detailed and then all of a sudden the whole ending was packed into one nice neat little package with a big red bow on top.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Okay first and foremost, the part where Circ dies, oh my... wow! I was literally gasping thinking NO! And then the eternal optimist in me was screaming no she didn't see the body maybe he's not dead, boy was I so glad that I was right on that one!

The end battle really had me confused. Not the actual scene, but what the point of it was. I mean I understand the whole tribe is of just women and they go to help the heaters only because they know that without them there is no future generation for them, and then the marked men show up. Call me crazy but I'm pretty sure it would have been way easier for them all to just walk away from the heaters and let them rot. One tribe of all women and another of all men would make for plenty of future generation in my book!

I really disliked the part where Siena's father dies. Not because he died, but because it just seemed so anti climactic. There was no big fight scene where she gets to stand up to him and beat him, there is a just a scene where for some reason you are never told he is on his deathbed and deciding to tell her Circ is still alive. I found it really un satisfying as an ending to that part of the story.

I wasn't a big fan of how Circ is brought back into it. I just felt like it could have been more detailed, more believable than he agreed to fake his death and work out at confinement to save her life. I mean the town wasn't that big, surely the next time anyone was in confinement and went back to town they'd be able to mention that the dead guy was not in fact dead.

To sum up, I thought it was a great story line, the characters were fantastic and the twists and turns of the plot line up until the very end were anything but predictable. With the exception of the ending being a little rushed and too tidy I thought it was a really great read and definitely deserving of my 3.5 heart review.

I'm still undecided on whether or not I will continue reading the series, not because I didn't enjoy the first book but because the first book was finished so neatly I just don't have a reason to pick up the next book. There was no cliffhanger or big drama at the end of the first book that would usually guarantee me picking up the second to find out what happened next. The ending of book one felt almost like the ending of a stand alone novel so I almost feel like I could not read the rest of the series and it wouldn't be too horrible. But of course as always, you never know what will happen in a few months time, I may catch myself wondering exactly what will happen to Sienna next and reaching for book number two.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Nereid Gwilliams on Aug. 12, 2013 :
I received an eARC copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. That being said I have read other books by this author before and I really enjoyed them though I did find this one to be a bit of a challenge at times. I have to agree with a few other readers that the slang language of the "Heaters" took some getting used to and interrupted the flow for me kind of like reaching a full stop and then having to start again but I do understand where the author was coming from and the concept did lend itself to creating a new unique group of people. I tended to skim over these words in the end. I liked Siena as a character, she grows into a tough young woman and defies her father and the Law that dictates her place in society. Now her father is a man we all loved to hate and he played an important part in this story. There was lots of action, a touch of sweet romance and enough surprises to keep you guessing. My thanks again to David for allowing me the opportunity to review this book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Josie Parnell on Aug. 12, 2013 :
This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I had a lot of fun reading this book, which speaks to the strength of the narrator and main character, Siena, as the subject matter and themes present are anything but fun. Having not read the Dweller series, nor any other work of David Estes, I was pleased to get a clear, descriptive but concise picture of Fire Country, along with a less clear picture of the surrounding tribes(which I'm sure will be fleshed out in the continuing novels) quickly and efficiently, and it didn't take long for me to begin rooting for Siena. I was impressed early on by her self awareness and the sense of shame she felt when she realized she was as guilty of judging others as those she despised for judging her, such a human, well written, character building moment. She was strong and brave, and at times clumsy, but not in any way that felt forced. She wasn't the best fighter or shooter and she wasn't remarkably beautiful to everyone but herself. She was just a girl who was brave enough to take a stand and do the right thing when the opportunity arose. The supporting characters were, for the most part, effective and well fleshed out, though I would have liked to see more about what happened to change Siena's father. All said, I will definitely be finishing this series, and picking up the Dweller series as well.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Liz M. on Aug. 10, 2013 :
** Major Spoilers**

I read The Moon Dwellers just a few days ago and I can see improvement in the author's writing and character development. One of the high points of this book is how Siena evolved from a little scrawny girl whose only purpose was to carry children to a strong, decided girl brave enough to confront her own father and overcome the lost of the ones she loved.

The writing style may have been difficult for some people, but Siena's voice was not an issue for me, you should read Blood Red Road for some insane poetically minimal writing style. I believe one of David Estes' strengths are creating this amazing dystopian worlds. The fire country is a dangerous place, the life expectancy is no more than thirty-five and the village is in danger of extinction. So there's a rule, the Law and a bunch of eldest's only purpose is to make sure every man is provided of three young girls (Bearers) to have babies. Isn't that pretty? So it's with this unequal power relationship between women and men that Siena grows up and realizes of a conspiracy inside and outside of the village.

There's a lot of the story that I really enjoyed. There's no insta-love, thank goodness. Circ is strong, skillful, sweet and unexplainably in love with Siena. I know, she evolves, she gets beautiful... but she's none of this things at first. I really don't know what he sees in her, she's flawed and totally insecure. I don't know how many references about how scrawny, skinny and weak are pointed out by herself along the first chapters.

"Skinniest, Scrawniest, Runtiest!"
Give yourself a break.

Another thing I really liked was the twist. But wouldn't have been even cooler if Circ would actually died? I mean, a little of pain is necessary sometimes and I don't know... after a few chapters I knew he was not dead, so at the end I was alrady expecting the wist. Siena lost a lot of people, friends and family but one of the things that I couldn't understand was how well she managed all of that. I guess a little of depression and mourning would have made it more realistic.

It feel too long sometimes, I found some scenes unnecessary. The Wildes were total badasses and it was a good thing they appeared, because I was losing my patience with all the "go to prison", "come back from prison", mom's cryptic message, Raja and the Keeper... but I loved Perry though! that really made me smile.

Let's talk about the ending, shall we? I'm not sure I like it. I guess the way everything ended with her father was not enough for me. (He let her mom died, killed her friends, killed her lover, gave her to a creepy old guy to have sex with her, for christ's sake, I would have killed him with my own hands. I wouldn't have listened to anything he had to say. But the worst part of it is... WHY would he kept Circ alive? what the hell with that? I mean, he was a good hunter, but was his father that stupid? One day she would have known he was there, it wouldn't have been that difficult. I would have loved another reason for that, like... someone rebelling against her father's orders and keeping him alive. I was a little confused with the Glassies and the Icers... what do they want? why did they want to invade? Another convenient sandstorm?

There's a lot of things obviously prepared for the second book, the open ending, the remaining questions and the strange reorganization of the village is going to be for sure the main subject in the next installment. But I couldn't help to have the feeling of a pocket universe. I was a little confused with so many tribes and villages and I had to ask myself several times who were this guys? what was their deal? were they the bad guys? yeah, I was confused.

This was a good story, I'm intrigued about this sister series thing, it seems pretty cool. I'd love to keep reading about David Estes in the future.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Nic Meneses on Aug. 05, 2013 :
David Este's book Fire Country is full of characters that are refreshingly real and well rounded. There isn't a cardboard personality amongst them. The language and world took a little getting used to but I felt David's slow feeding of facts made the story more intriguing.
I love Sienna, she is written with real heart. I especially love the dialogues she has with herself and the cactus. These really brought her to life and made you love her more. She learns to be proud and make the most of her strengths. The villains like Roan make the story, especially good as the psychological effects on sienna of his nasty treatment cause her to battle with reconciling the loving father of her younger years with the current abusive man.
I was glad and disappointed about the feel good ending in equal measures. Without giving anything away I didn't find the "how" of the end surprise very believable.
There are enough hints and depth about the other surviving groups, Icers and Glassers, in this story to intrigue without leaving the readier at a loose end. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing how it all fits together.
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1420618-read-4-review-64---fire-country
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jennifer Madero on Aug. 04, 2013 :
Amazing book! Gosh everyone should know more of this dystopian story. I couldn't bring myself to read the sneak peek of book 2, Ice Country, for fear of being desperate to read it when I can't have it xD

You can find this review and others on my co-owned blog http://boricuanbookworms.wordpress.com

The Law is to be followed by everyone, you want it or not. Siena is no exception to this, and she knows it. The Call is a ceremony where each girl of sixteen-years-old is to attend The Call where she'll be with a man no younger than eighteen to have children with, every three years until they have three children. Also, each man is to have three women with whom they'll conceive three children until they reach the quantity per family. This is necessary for the survival of the Heaters, people who survived a meteor years in the past. As the time for Siena comes, she begins to wonder the possibility of skipping The Call, because she only wants Circ. But he's not of age yet. Also, there's rumor of war among the Greynotes, the men in charged for the village, with the other countries, and the kidnapping of Pre-Bearer girls by The Wild Ones. Time is running out, for Siena as she tries to uncover who wants war, how her perfect society is anything but that, and how to be with Circ when its against everything she's ever known.

How can David Estes make such great Dystopian books? Does he have a recipe book under his pillow where he has all these secrets as to how to make such good stories? After reading The Moon Dwellers, I didn't know if he could pass over that super awesome book. He did.

From the plot, characters, setting, EVERYTHING! But let's get to that by parts...

You'll be amazed at how realistic the plot is. It's accuracy and descriptions are so vivid its hard not to feel like you're in there, and that somewhere in this Earth such place exists. Fire Country is like a big dessert, the worst you could imagine, really hot, oh and with the sky being RED. Yeah, and the sun always glaring at you. But it's not only the plot and setting, its also the history behind the book. As the story goes on, we get to know what happened here, why it happened, how and who. Its amazing how everything is like a threat that criss-crosses each other until you have a big web (in the good sense) of the story, all of it connecting. The other great thing is that I had read The Moon Dwellers, and there are parts where Siena thinks about what if there are other people out in the world? I kept thinking "Pftt yeah, under your feet." So I found it good to read The Dwellers first because it gives me a higher insight into what the Dwellers think of their world, what the Heaters think, what they believe, how they manage, that kind of thing. It often felt for me like I was studying a civilization.

At first the story was a bit hard to grasp; I don't know if it was something in me or the book. I could say that int he first two chapters it was difficult for me to understand the language and matter of speaking of Siena. There were a few words that in my dictionary said they were Archaic, and also swear words like burnin', searin', all related to the living conditions of the Heaters. But as the story kept progresing, I liked it more and more, because we are talking about a post-apocalyptic world. And we can see how its all different now and then. We can see through their eyes.

But the romance...



It made me want a Circ in my life ;-; I just couldn't get enough of him. And the good thing was that it wasn't like on other books, specially the Dystopian! It felt so natural and meant to be. I didn't get all that crap some heroines are having nowadays. Siena and Circ have such a natural frienship that develops into something else, even when they both know they can't be together. They protect each other, they care for each other,t hey are always there for the other. But when something horrible happened in the story... I cried. I cried more with Circ than what I cried for Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars. I generally cried much more in this book than in John Green's. I'm not an easy crier, but this book sucks you in so much, I couldn't help but feel Siena's pain, frustration, anger, all her emotions vividly described through the whole book. There was a mix between show and tell that made this book a well-done novel, making you become a character in the book.
The other characters were very well done too. But the one who made the biggest impression on me (Other than Siena and Circ) was Siena's father, Roan. Man I hated that guy, but loved him at the same time too. Why? Cos he was a damn good villain, and I love greatly developed bad guys that you can't help but despise the last strand of the hair in their body.
All in all, one of the best Dystopian I've read so far. I loved it way more than The Moon Dwellers. In all honesty, this book should stand next to books like Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Giver, among others in the best-seller's list and of best dystopian. Truly worth the read :D

Rating: 5 stars

Ebook copy provided by author via Goodreads.com group Making Connections YA Edition
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Marianne Lee on Aug. 02, 2013 :
“A Bearer shall, upon reaching the appropriate age of sixteen years old, be Called to a man, no younger than eighteen years old, to Bear children, immediately and ever three years thereafter.
This is THE LAW”

Siena has always been told that when she reaches sixteen years old, she’ll have to attend The Call, a ceremony in which she’ll be given a man to mate and have children with. With life expectancy dwindling, participating in The Call is a necessary event. The problem is, that Siena doesn’t want to be Called to just anyone, she doesn’t want to have children at sixteen. When she starts hearing more and more rumors about The Wild Ones, a society of women who refuse to be Called, she decides that she needs to know more about them, before her Call comes up. The Call is the worst of her problems as she realizes that her perfect and “well-oiled” society is based on lies and deceit.

Wow!

My first David Estes book was The Moon Dwellers, and I honestly did not think that he could create another unique dystopian world. He definitely proved me wrong.

The world in Fire Country world reminds me a lot of the way Lois Lowry wrote The Giver’s world. Not because they’re similar, but because they’re both societies that, at a glance, seem completely perfect, but on the inside, are filled with lies and conspiracy.

I would’ve enjoyed this book even more if there was more explanation of how the world came to be, but all in all, it was a very well explained story.

What made this book for me were two very important aspects:

-The Characters

-The Romance

Siena was like a breath of fresh air. It was beautiful the way we saw her character grow from a “scrawny” little girl, to a strong, fierce woman. We could also see the internal struggle she always had as to whether or not conform to the Law.

Not only Siena, but Siena’s dad, Roan? He was downright EVIL.



I hated him with a burning passion. I hated him like it was my JOB to hate him. David Estes created in this book a powerful antagonist whose power was difficult to ignore.

The romance in this story is what made me fly through the book much faster than when I read The Moon Dwellers. You get to see Circ and Siena and protect each other to the ends of the earth. Something about a friendship (and romance) as pure and as close as theirs makes me downright giddy.

"I want to tell him everything. How much he means to me, how I'd want to die if he ever got killed, how the thought of losing him is like someone stabbing me repeatedly in the heart. I don't know anything about love, not really, but I know the way I feel when I'm with Circ is the best feeling ever."

Without a doubt, this book is darker and much more mature than The Moon Dwellers. Nevertheless, David Estes uses wonderful and captivating writing to “soften” these themes. I loved this book because it introduced us to a whole new world with memorable characters. I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Ebook copy provided by author via Goodreads.com group Making Connections YA Edition
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Laura Naranjo on July 31, 2013 :
This book completely blew me away! I was expecting a badly constructed world from an immature fifteen year old girl but after reading it I can honestly say it is one of my new favorites

The characters are great, Siena gives a really great perspective of the world and she is such a wonderful character! starting off as an insecure girl but becoming a strong independent woman at the end. But i have to say that Perry was the best of all!

The plot was very original and had me at the edge of my seat through out the whole book. I must admit that at the beginning it was kind of hard to understand some of the words they used but after a little bit of context I didn't even notice when they where used

Can't wait to read the next one!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Yzabel Ginsberg on July 29, 2013 :
A solid 3.5 stars for this one.

It took me a few pages to get used to Siena’s voice; however, it quickly grew on me, and soon I found myself quite appreciating it. She sounds authentic, with a unique voice, and her own way of viewing the world, even though she’s struggling here against beliefs hammered into her since childhood.

The world depicted by David Estes is frightening in itself. It immediately conjured in my mind pictures of a burning sun, of deserts, of tribes trying to scrape a living with few resources in the little time they had (thirty, thirty-five years, maybe fourty at the very most?). In that regard, the role of women as Bearers—or, rather, as “breeders”—totally made sense, although it’s a concept that scares me personnally. I really wouldn’t want to find myself in such a situation, having to face such prospects.

The plot is woven progressively, from day-to-day life to discoveries and challenges, in a coming-of-age story interspersed with hints of darker secrets. I also appreciated that there was no love triangle here—those are becoming so common, and for no reason except “it sells”, in way too many YA novels these days! The budding love between Siena and Circ, growing from “childhood friends” to “souls calling to each other, but forbidden to meet”, felt completely natural, and this was great.

On the other hand, it may be because the book is the only first one in the series, and more will be explained later on, but I kept having a feeling of “pocket universe”. I admit I’m still not sure whether the Fire Country is made up of several tribes scattered in several villages, or of one, big village that, considering the amount of people involved, would actually be more of a large town. This was a bit confusing, as if there were at once too many people and not enough.

I was a bit perplex at the overall picture, too. Why did Roan act the way he did? We may never know if it was out of selfish desire, or if he had other schemes in mind, but couldn’t bear them to fruition nor tell anyone about them. I wondered also what was the whole deal with the Ice Country as well as the Glassies. The Fire Country people were described as quite backwards, like a tribe with very basic tools and weapons, and I didn’t understand what kind of interest the Glassies may have in them. (Having read the Dwellers saga, I feel safe in my knowledge of who *they* are, and perhaps this is why I couldn’t really understand?) Knowing the author’s skills in weaving his stories over several volumes, I suspect answers will be brought sooner or later. Yet I still think this may be perceived as a weakness by other readers.

Conclusion: Definitely a good beginning to a series, but I hope the following books bring more answers.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cindy Rawlings on July 29, 2013 :
Ok, I just finished this book and ran (yes, literally ran) to my computer to write this. LOVED this book. I did receive Fire Country from David Estes in exchange for an honest review. Thanks so much, David, for the opportunity to read your book!

At first, I was not quite sold on the story. There was a period of adjustment as you are immersed in a world far different from ours...where the land, people, language and way of life are dramatically different. The slang used was distracting, at first, but then it is pretty easy to infer the meaning. :)

I loved Siena. While she makes plenty of mistakes, like people do, she knows what she wants and is fiercely protective of those she loves. The LAWS written for her village require girls to bear children beginning at age 16 with one man, who has up to three women. In a society where the women are most definitely not equal, Siena finds the resolve to help make a difference.

This book is full of ups and downs. I enjoyed the fact that this was not a love story. There was a love story within the main story itself, but the true story is about survival. Coming together, working together, to survive with the resources you have and making the best of what is given you. And, by golly, if what's given to you is not acceptable, then do something about it!

I will be reading the next book in the series! Thank you again, David!!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Freja Jacobsen on July 28, 2013 :
** spoiler alert ** I liked the book, I really liked it.
There was a few thing that I think could use some work.
This might be because english isn't my first language (or second for the matter), but I found the language of the book hard to understand, mostly in the beginning and that might throw some people of + if the plan with the book is to get it translated and spread around the world (which it deserves to be) it might get tricky, because that thing when you remove the last g (burnin', searin', blazin') or when you remove some of the first letters ('zard) mainly exists in english, therefore it will be very hard to translate to for example German or Danish, without ruining the book (I know that Danish isn't that big of a language, but getting your book out there is important and German is big language almost half of Europe speaks it, I think).

The next part contains spoilers:

I've read other reviews (mainly on smashwords.com) and almost every single one of them mention crying. That this book made them cry and I can't say it made me cry, personally I think the emotion descriptions weren't that good.
When Circ 'dies' I was expecting to feel how her heart breaks and how the sorrow from losing him tears her apart and ruins her, but i didn't feel it. I read that part and when I was done I thought 'That's it?' because I expected more and maybe I expected to much.
When we find out that Circ isn't really dead I was disappointed, like really disappointed, because I liked the fact that he died it made the story better for me, because I really liked seeing Siena on her own. When Circ was around she was a weak little girl. She was that weak main female character that everyone keep hating on Twilight for having. When Circ 'dies' Siena finally starts standing up for herself and I loved it, the story was finally picking up. Then the story was great I loved her sister and the Wilde Ones, Siena's life there was the best part of the story and I wish there was more form there.
But I really think the descriptions lacked a lot.

As stated earlier in this review I liked the book, it might not be one of my favorites, but I liked it.
The plot is hidden very well in a unique way. The world the world outlines sounds fantastic and with his unique language the world is right there in front of you, which is truly amazing.
If you look at the plot, which is: The girl falls in love with her best friend, but she can't have him. If you haven't read anything like that you really need to read more, these kind of stories are everywhere.
The plot follows the model Home - Away - Home. Siena leaves home when she first talks to Lara and starts doubting the laws of the Heater tribe and when she realizes that she is in fact in love with Circ. While she is 'Away' she runs into some complications regarding her love for Circ (it is often three challenges or tasks) first there is the laws of the tribe second he 'dies' and third she runs away to tribe which only allows women/girls. Of course these obstacles are overcome and it ends happily at least for now.

Although I mentioned my concern for the unique language earlier it is also one of the things I think is incredible about this book, it contributes really well to the feeling of being in a different world.

I don't want to sound really negative and coldhearted 'cause I liked the book it is really good, and I think it is worth a shot.

*I got a free copy in return for an honest review*
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Li Chaka on July 26, 2013 :
I got a copy for review in exchange for an honest review.


I admit, it took a while for me to get into this book. I found the first 3-4 chapters kind of slow. I really had to force myself to push on but at around chapter 4-5 things in the story began to pick up and started to tie more into the original premise of the story. The world built here is very interesting, similar to an Indian tribe. The only problem I have with this book now is I feel like the writer maybe held back a little. There was a lot of interesting concepts thrown around but I think there was some hesitation to go deeper into these issues. For example I think the situation being as it is the women of this village would be treated a lot worse then they are. I guess that's just my opinion but I think in a village where the males have so much power over the females there would be a lot more male chauvinism. It seems odd that Siena would be able to have a best friend that was a boy, and would be "learning" along with other boys given that when she's 16 she'd be force to abandon any male friends and would then have to submit to the authority of her husband. Girls have to be trained since childhood to be able to accept that kind of thing. To have a girl be pretty much equal to a man and then suddenly try to take her power away sounds like a recipe for a blood bath. lol.

If females and males are educated equally and treated as equals throughout there childhood then how do the males get such an upper hand and what enforces this power dynamic? Just some stuff I thought about while reading the book.

All in all a good story though!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: JustAPerson WhoLovesBooks on July 26, 2013 :
If there was any justice in the world of books, Fire Country would definitely be up there with the popular reads like Divergent and The Hunger Games. Seriously, I was keeping my expectations for this book high because many people recommended it to me. Even so, after finishing, my mind was blown, surpassing my expectations by a hundred times. I went, so to speak, wooloo over Fire Country!

Fire Country is about Sienna, a rebellious 15-year-old, who's about to become a bearer (breeder) to populate her country. When her turn to be married off to a random dude comes, she runs off to the Wilds, a group of girls who escape from the village to avoid breeding.

While some parts of the book can be torturously slow, the climatic parts make up for it. My policy is if a book doesn't start to get interesting in the first fifty pages, I drop it. After about 15 pages, Fire Country gets good, I mean, Hunger Games good. The battles were 100% epic!! The plot was so creative and taking unexpected twists. Just when you recovered from the shock of one twist, another comes jumping out at you. Always keeping you on your toes and your eyes speeding through the book.

The characters were acceptable. None were too annoying and none were empty-headed Cinderellas, either. Sienna is (in the beginning and middle of the book): weak, thinking herself to be scrawny, and impulsive. But then, when it counts she's all heart and loyalty. Despite this, Sienna's flaws are what makes her different. I love the mentioning of her two left feet, tent pole arms, and mental talks to a Prickler named Perry. Her best buddy, Circ, is the perfect, gentle macho man. Hmm, where have I seen that before?

The world building is awesome, and carries a dystopian feel to it, There are different tribes in Fire Country: Glassies, Heaters, and Icers. Glassies live in a circular bubble of glass somewhere in the great wide expanse of the desert. Is that even physically possible, nevermind that, it's the future. What isn't possible? The Icers live atop an icy mountain, and the Heaters live in the middle of the desert. I can almost believe that somewhere there could be a world like this. With the sky all red, and the seasons whacked up. A very intriguing idea.

If you don't mind slang words, then this is the book for you! Although, most of the Fire Country words are pretty easy to decipher, some I just can't get my head around. I may be dumber than Perry the Prickler but someone tell me what a bow and pointer is! Am I just mentally challenged or are they the same thing?

I like how sometimes, Skye's name varies in spelling. I just think it's funny to point out.

Anyway, without further ado, I award 5 well deserved stars to this awesome book!!
P.S. I got a copy of this book in exchange fore an honest review.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Kiara Bernadette on July 21, 2013 :
“How long can we stay here?” I ask.

“Only for ever,” he promises, a lie that’s as real as fire country being safe.

~

I have to take a deep breath first as I just finished reading it.
Let's see :
Amazing and uncommon story line, check.
Fluent writing and original language, check.
Strong main characters, check.
A romance story, check.
Bloody war, check.

CONTAIN SPOILER!!


I hate you David, you made me cry for half of the book. blame my PMS days but when Circ dead I can't stop sobbing, and you even add it when Sienna's mother dies.
I pray all along the book, please please let Circ alive. please let the miracle happens. and until the end you still made twisted plot, I almost fainted too when I read the one in the cage is Hawk.

SPOILER END

But seriously, thank you for taking me into this journey. to answer my pray, lol. and to make happy ending, at least in this book.

I can't wait for Earth Dweller, and all along I wonder, would Sienna and Circ reappear?? pretty please?

I loved this book to every second, and even though I started it few days ago, I actually just really read it today, and it took me few hours to finish. I can't put it off.

Hands down, this is one of the best books I ever read.


~
I got a copy of this book in exchange of honest review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Dii on July 19, 2013 :
Whoa!
What’s the first thing I said to myself after finishing David Estes’ novel, Fire Country? “WHY haven’t I looked at his books before now!?!” Imagine living in a world where the average life expectancy is thirty-ish. At sixteen, girls are expected to become “bearers,” as in child-bearers, no choice about it, because the tribe must survive. Young Siena is fast approaching her sixteenth birthday, and the very last thing this independent thinking tribal misfit wants to do as have a baby and turn into a breeding machine, and she makes no bones about it! Her best friend, Circ, an older boy she trusts with everything, would be her only choice of mate. Her abusive father is an Elder and seems to go overboard on his brutal punishment when Siena steps out of line, which tends to fuel her rebellious side, at times. Why has her father changed so much? Who are the Wild Ones? What secrets are being kept from the Heaters? You can bet Siena will try to get answers, one way or another.
Reading Fire Country is an experience in itself! Think I actually picked up a new language after the first few pages! David Estes’ ability to create a dystopian world and parachute the reader right into the middle of it is astounding. His characters evoke emotions and connections that had me rooting for some, wanting to smack some upside their heads, and doing the “eyeroll” thing with others. Siena stole my heart, as did Circ’s calm, caring and fiercely protective nature towards Siena. From the first page to the last, I lived with the Heaters, felt the heat, smelled the smells, and found myself trying to think of ways to help Siena out. Fortunately, David Estes didn’t need my help, he did a great job all on his own!
Adding David Estes to my authors to follow and read list? Check! I’d even sign up for a tour inside his mind, Dramine in hand!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: TiffanyTheAvidReader on May 29, 2013 :
Fire Country starts off with a girl, surviving in a dystopian world. She is trying to mentally prepare herself for the traditions of her tribe, The Heaters. All while dealing with bullying, an abusive father and circumstances beyond her means. She has a best friend, Circ, who she’s starting to see as possibly more than a friend but she knows their romance is impossible as there is a way for mating among the Heaters that doesn’t even allow them the possibility.

Siena, the main character, was real. Her insecurities, I very much understood, related to and believed. She’s not only dealing with insecurities and emotional and physical scars but there is a world of suspense and conspiracy going on around her. She puts herself in situations to try and unravel these mysteries and boy, was I in for a treat. Siena has a strong will and an even sharper mind. She is physically lacking- too skinny and weak. Yet this does not stop her. She learns to accept who she is, her body and see what she thought were negatives as positive. I love her transformation and seeing her become as physically strong as she is mentally.

So characters: As already covered, Sienna is awesome. Circ, her best friend, is beautiful. He is there for her. Both emotionally and physically. He is strong, a warrior, and uses his strength to protect his people and her. Their romance is truly something I loved. Perry OMG, Perry! He is fricking amazing. I love his banter with Sienna. He has such a prickly personality (Ha!) and dry sense of humor and I loved him! If his name was anywhere on the page, I laughed. And then laughed some more. The best thing about Perry? So much about him is amazing but I won’t spoil the best part.

Estes writes in a way that allows for the reader to completely immerse themselves in the novel. From the language to the imagery to emotions that run so pure that you sometimes forget yourself while reading. You laugh and cry and mourn and leap with joy. Speaking of laughs, there was something I thought of after finishing this novel that I just want to share. Have any of you watched Laugh At My Pain a comedy special by Kevin Hart? He has this ongoing joke throughout the show. He’s joking about money and how when he can’t afford something he explains his financial situation, “Because the way my bank account is set up… I have a checking and a savings but all the money is in my savings…” The more he tells it, the funnier it becomes. Estes, did something to that effect in Fire Country. An ongoing joke that even in the most suspenseful or heated moments cause a laugh. This novel gave me an insight to Estes’ sense of humor and I gotta say, you are a funny man!

The novel ended well and after all the bangs and fireworks one would expect of a grand finale and then the pace slows to fill in all the blanks that we wondered about throughout the novel. It also set the tone for the sequel, which quite honestly, I’m looking forward to. I also know this series is described as a sister series to The Moon Dwellers, but I didn’t really understand it at first. Now I do and I feel that these books, in both series, are a must read.

*I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Nitza Jones-Sepulveda on March 23, 2013 :
See full review at http://reneesdepository.blogspot.com

Fire Country is the first book of the Country series, which is the sister series to David’s Dwellers series. Now I have to admit that I have yet to finish David’s Dweller and Evolution series, but I previously did a cover reveal for this book and it was the monthly read in an online book group I’m in, so I had to move this book up in my to-read list. As with Moon Dwellers, David did not disappoint me with this novel. Actually, I can say with all honestly that it’s the best book I've read by him so far. I have become a great fan of his.

The main difference between this book and other books that I have read so far by David is the dialect of this society. Not to go off a topic, but I have a friend who once told me that he couldn't read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone because of all the made-up language. I personally feel the made-up terms helped make the world of Harry Potter what it is, but I can understand how daunting it can be to read something with words that you can’t find in a dictionary (or that can be but have a totally different meaning). Even though most of the time the new terms are defined or at the very least explained, you have to get your mind used to them and their usage. Once you get into Harry Potter, for example, words like "muggle" become second nature to you and you learn to love the new terms. That’s what happened when I first started reading the dialect of Fire Country. Getting used to their dialect wasn't all that difficult for me and I actually really liked it (not like Blood Red Road, where I found the language cool at first and then quickly got annoyed with it or Bumped where I hated it off the bat). It kind of reminds me of the dialect of the southern states and considering that this region is plagued by extreme heat and desert, makes me wonder if Fire Country is located within that region. And trading words like “burnin’”, “searin’”, and “blaze” for common swear words is a good way to sneak such words into a teen book.

David gave a lot of character development in Siena. She goes from a skinny, weak, “youngling” to a still skinny, but strong warrior. Even though the time and circumstances are different from what we know today, a lot of what she goes through mentally (growing pains, trouble fitting in, rebellion, grief) ring true for many teenagers today. In the beginning of the book, she’s so shy and unsure of herself because she’s small and scrawny and isn't popular, but as the novel goes on, she gains great strength. Despite her insecurities and small stature, however, you can see the rebellion in her from the beginning, just from her constant use of “words that’d draw my father’s hand across my face like lightening.” Every time she rebelled against her father, I mentally routed for her and then cringed when she was punished for it. As terrible as it was, it was a good thing because it made her that much stronger.

I love Circ. He was such a good friend to Siena. It was obvious that he would do anything for her. I don’t know about everyone else, but I could kind of see that he was interested in her as more than a friend from the beginning. I think it was something about the lengths he seemed to be willing to go for her and their interactions with each other that screamed more than just close friendship. Maybe as “todders” or “midders” these things would be strictly friendship, but not as “youngling” and “pre-bearer”.

Siena’s father is such a cruel and selfish man and is way too hard on Siena and her mother. Siena says that he wasn't always that way; that there was a time when he taught her things and played with her and was happy. Somehow I have a very hard time believing that. The man portrayed in this book is power-hungry, egotistical, and self-centered. Some the secrets that he and the other Greynotes (the oldest members of Fire Country) have been harvesting did not seem all that big at first, but the more that is revealed, the meaner and selfish Siena father becomes.

Even though this is not the first novel I have read with a society that dictates when a young girl should marry and have children and/or allows men to have multiple wives or child bearers, I still am angry and appalled with every such novel I read. In Fire Country, the Law states that girls become "bearers" at age sixteen (which is middle age considering that, on average, the life expectancy for men is 30 and for women is 32) and they have a ceremony called "the Call" where a mate is selected from a list of eligible boys (18 years or older, which Siena finds unfair). Then they are to immediately conceive a child and continue to have one child every three years thereafter. A "full family" is one that consists of one man, three "Calls" and nine children. Men are allowed more than one Call, but women are to remain with their Call, unless they die in which case a new call is selected. The main purpose for this is to keep their people from dying out. Considering how short the life expectancy of the people due to their environment, it is reasonable to try to ensure that their population remains stable. However, women get the short end of this deal and are being used. They are not allowed any say into who their call is, even though they will be forced to be intimate and share a life with that person for the rest of their short life. They are forced to bear children at 16, whether they want to or are ready to or not. The amount of children and how often they have them is dictated. Men are allowed more than one "Call", but women are not even allowed male friends after their Call, which means Siena and Circ can no longer be friends. It's amazing how people who are so essential to their population have the least amount of rights.

I greatly recommend this novel to dystopian/apocalyptic fans. I look forward to the next installment to the series Ice Country next month.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Victoria Zigler on March 14, 2013 :
A very well written story, with excellent world building and character creation.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Dre Wolf on Feb. 22, 2013 :
I've always loved books with a strong female character. This time, David packed it in with a whole lotta female power. Go Wilde Ones!

This book got me emotionally invested on some characters that I actually felt so sad when they died, (or not actually die). This book introduced me to another world, and as usual, David was able to take my imagination to another level. I even had to create my own wiki notes about who's who and what's what. Killers, Cotees, Tugs. Icers, Glassies, Heaters, Wild Ones.

The world of Siena and Circ is the blaze! I can't wait for Ice Country!

Well done, Mr. Estes! As usual :)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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