Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Strange Fire

Strange Fire

Fall 2017 Fiction
Ages: 14 & Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481468381
Hardcover Price: $17.99
Review:

Strange Fire, the first in a new trilogy from Tommy Wallach is a riveting, post-apocalyptic, gun-slinging science-fiction rodeo.

Set in a future where technology is banned and science and religion are at war, there's a strong Wild West feel, as battle lines are drawn between the enemy cities of The Anchor and Sophia. The men are men, the women keep getting stronger, and there are literally horses and wagons.

It's a dark plot with flawed and conflicted characters, centered around brothers Clive and Clover Hamill. They are the sons and heirs of a powerful religious leader in the Descendancy. What begins as a sweet family story - Clive preparing to follow his father's path, a sweet neighbor girl ready and waiting to be his wife - quickly takes a turn into a feral and gritty free-for-all.

To the Descendancy, knowledge and science are awful things to be feared. So the keepers of knowledge hide and guard it. Books are locked away. To question religion is disloyal, and this is Clive's struggle. It creates a tense, and ultimately violent, family dynamic.

Each character is fueled by sincere but contradictory motives, and one of the most intriguing aspects of the story is watching them twist and turn, for better and worse. Relationships are tested and some fray. The action is unsparing and steady. There are countless threats lurking in the dark.

The story feels muddled in the first few pages but pulls together fast and by the end there are still plenty of shady intentions and untapped plot lines to fill two more equally entertaining books.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

Look for this product at:
Simon & Schuster
http://www.simonandschuster.com/

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