Title: Fire Country
Author: David Estes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Adventure, Romance
Series: Country Saga #1 (Sister Series of The Dwellers)
Publisher: David Estes
Publication Date: January 29th 2013
Source: Ebook copy provided by author via Goodreads.com group Making Connections YA Edition
In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer’s even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.
Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.
Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called 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.
As the desert sands run out on her life’s hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.
“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.
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 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:
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
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 😀
Rating: 5 stars