Burn Down the Sky
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Burn Down the Sky

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  25 reviews
After the destruction of nature and the death of the world . . .

After the Wicca virus drove billions to madness and suicide, replacing order and reason with violence and terror . . .

In the parched ruins of what once was civilization, one commodity is far more valuable than all others combined: female children.

When well-armed marauders roll in at dusk to brutally attack a f...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Harper Voyager (first published April 26th 2011)
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Amanda Makepeace
If you are easily distressed by child abuse or simply enjoy a good night’s sleep, this book is not for you. When it comes to reading about the end of the world, we all know there are endless possibilities as to what could happen. We hope that when the time comes we will meet it with courage and perseverance, but there are darker possibilities too. Burn Down the Sky is one of those books I could not stop reading, even when night after night I suffered bizarre dreams from its dark setting. The wor...more
Jordan Anderson
What surprised me most about “Burn Down The Sky” was that such a random book (seriously, my mom gave me this book, picking it up on a whim) could be such a page-turning, well conceived adventure.

I’ll be the very first to admit that it takes a good 20 pages to get into Jaros’s writing style, but believe you me, it well worth the wait; after those first 20 or so pages, “Burn Down the Sky” takes off and never stops going.

Jaros’s apocalyptical vision is almost the picture of perfection. You have unl...more
Kathleen
In Burn Down the Sky, James Jaros creates a horrifyingly real dystopia in which humanity’s worst nightmares have come true. Nature as we know it has been destroyed, to the point where those whose ancestors denied climate change are subjects of persecution. Weather patterns around the world have gone wild, and rain is a rare occurrence. A deadly STD virus has made sex deadly, leading to madness and suicide. Sex is only safe with a young girl within a year after she begins menstruation. These you...more
Ron
Great concept. I like post-apocalyptic novels. Burn Down the Sky explains the double whammy of climate and plaque in narrative flashbacks. Some author's do it better than others. Jaros is one of the others. He follows the current popular thinking about global warming (He's a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists), but accelerates the crash into the very near future. His Wicca virus is tailor made, so needs no justification.

Then he tosses in incongruities which make no sense. Like, t...more
Wenj
Review provided by Black Lagoon Reviews:

Never before have I read such a vivid, intense novel as Burn Down the Sky by James Jaros, the pen name for acclaimed journalist and author Mark Nykanen. This bleakly oppressive read definitely hits chords that resonate unease and suspense by the bucket load focusing on subjects that send shudders down the spines of parents everywhere. If you are squeamish about graphic, brutal violence or child abuse, then this is certainly not for you! With disturbing plo...more
Kerry
I hated, hated, hated the context of this book. It was vile. It was disgusting and quite frankly, a lot of it was practically child porn. So perverted that I could only read this book a little at a time before foaming at the mouth with rage.

I am really wondering what it is that Jaros has against women. I mean, sure, the way women were treated in this book is exactly how it would go--girls too, but did he really NEED to stick it to them by having them all die off with Wicca? Men, although few, we...more
Jared
A family is torn apart after their village is attacked by marauders looking for young girls in the hope of repopulating a devastated America. This book has it all: bleak desert landscapes, post-biological weapon breakdown and a religious cult with ominous beliefs. Throw in not one, but three strong female protagonists and it's a recipe for one unforgettable thrill.
Bryce
At least the author got his love for incomplete sentences out of the way early.... Aside from that, it felt like he had quite a few axes to grind, which unnecessarily detracted from the flow of the book.
Kivrin
Exciting action sci-fi. Did feel like I was being preached at in some spots--(It's very much an environmental warning novel.) Also thought the writing was awkward in spots, and I think the "wicca" illness was totally unbelievable and never explained very well.

I did like that most of the protagonists were female and that many of them were intelligent and capable throughout the book (no one tripped and sprained their ankle!). The mom (Jessie) was very strong, made the hard decisions that had to be...more
Kristi
Jun 01, 2011 Kristi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
In Burn Down The Sky, James Jaros brings us a family struggling to survive. Cities are a wasteland, the population has been decimated by a disease that causes insanity and death. There are some groups that have determined that they are chosen to survive by God, and will continue to ensure their survival by finding girls young enough to not be virus carriers to impregnate and enslave. A raid at Jessie's camp kills almost everyone and the girls, including Ananda, Jessie's younger daughter, are tak...more
Kristene Perron
I love it when a book surprises me and Burn Down the Sky did just that. With its ominous cover and title, I was prepared for a stern literary lecture on climate change, what I got was a page-turning thrill ride.

A quick skim of the reviews on this page will give you the basic premise of the story and, yes, it is every bit as scary as many reviewers suggest. So instead of a re-hash of the plot, I’d like to talk about what I feel is the book’s greatest strength: characters.

Jaros’s world is bleak a...more
Hank
This book was terrible. I mean, just a complete stinker. Too bad for a real review with paragraphs and things, and so instead I give you the bullet points:

- global warming that causes complete global devastation in under a decade
- nothing green or growing left alive, but somehow snakes, crows, and panthers remain to attack people
- a deadly virus that plans and thinks and only allows for sex with young girls
- not to mention, if a disease is ONLY passed by hetero-sex, as laid out here, there would...more
Nicholas Wiggins
It was decent book that took a couple of days to read. The plot was straight forward and but very basic and boring at times. As the reader you want to know more of the past of the planet and how it had fallen but brief mentions is all you get. Still a good a book and worth a read if you have some time to kill.
Craig DiLouie
In James Jaros’s BURN DOWN THE SKY, global warming has scorched the earth, resulting in mass die-offs over several hundred years, and a new virus, passed on through sex, infects millions of the survivors, making them suicidally or homicidally insane. In this MAD MAX America, a small community struggles to survive–until a marauding gang comes to steal its prepubescent girls, who are able to produce children, and sell them to a local elite. The story is fairly gripping, with strong characters, par...more
Ian Thomas
Wow. This was the first book I've read in a long time that I couldn't put down. I'm not the fastest reader in the world, but I powered through this one in about four days. This is a book I wished I'd written. The pacing, the urgency, the raw power of the violence is as close to perfect as anything I've read. The Road Warrior movie may have set the bar for what people think of as a post-apocalyptic setting, but Jaros used that bar as a ladder and took it a whole bunch of notches higher. I don't g...more
Sarah
You know what, I'm just not going to finish this book. I feel like I should because I really love this genre (post-apocalyptic fiction) and I've already read more than half, but I'm not liking it much, not the characters, or the events, or the unlikely future the author imagines, or his weird and endless similes. I don't want to read anymore gratuitous horrific happenings and I'm pretty sure I know how it's going to end, so I might as well stop here.
Sara
Oh, I really loved this one. It started out slow for me and I have to admit the whole '1 year exactly after menses' precise-ity bugged me at first but once the storyline got rolling I really got into it. I usually don't like action but the scenes that involved fighting and warring were well described and I didn't lose interest for once. Thank you James Jaros for a great dystopian novel.
Roger


It truly is the apocalypse when having sex will kill you. Extreme climate change and a deadly virus at the same time make for a unique scenario. The post apocalyptic world in this book is very believable. The glimpses of the world as it collapsed are great and left me wanting to know more.
Becky
An interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic theme -- downfall due to catastrophic climate change and a virus that spreads via sex and drives everyone literally insane.
Suzanne Johnson
Brutal. Intriguing. Engrossing. All those things. Review coming 5/5 at http://suzanne-johnson.blogspot.com
Shannon
It started out not very good. But by the end I wanted to know more and even bought the second book.
Sonja
Global warming and the end of civilized life...a (fictional?) apocalyptic scenario.
Regina
Apr 08, 2012 Regina marked it as to-read
Why haven't I heard of this book before? This looks great.
Jean
I enjoyed this book just found some of the concepts odd
Gerhard Jason
Got boring quickly. Put it down after about 50 pages...
Kimberly
Kimberly marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
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James Jaros is the pen name of the widely praised thriller author Mark Nykanen, the four-time Emmy winning investigative reporter whose internationally best-selling books have been praised by critics as "irresistible," "vivid and emotional," "nerve-wracking," and "furiously paced." Europe's largest newspaper hailed him as "The new master of the psycho-sexual thriller" for his dark psychological ta...more
More about James Jaros...
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