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Strange Fire

(Anchor & Sophia #1)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  65 reviews
It only takes a spark.

They said that the first generation of man was brought low by its appetites: for knowledge, for wealth, for power. They said mankind’s voracity was so great, the Lord sent his own Daughter to bring fire and devastation to the world.

The survivors were few, but over the course of centuries, they banded together to form a new civilization—the Descendancy
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Solana I believe it's supposed to be a trilogy. Second book will be out in November!…moreI believe it's supposed to be a trilogy. Second book will be out in November!(less)

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 ·  329 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Simona Stoica
Apr 29, 2017 marked it as to-read
Can I have it now? Please?
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Was little wary of the book, not sure why. But I ended up enjoying it, it was a bit slow but I liked it that way. Intressed to see what the next books has in store
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know I keep on saying this anytime I read YA, but where were these amazing stories when I was growing up? Now, if I was still in high school (thankfully I’m not) and had to write a book report I’d pick Strange Fire. Wallach packs friendship, family, betrayal, a dusting of romance/lust but more importantly, a very strong religion vs science theme within the pages of Strange Fire.

The opening chapters of wagons and long dusty travelling were perfect for setting up this new world. It really gave m
Sol ~ TheBookishKing
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: better-than-food
Wow I am at a loss for words. Such a weird book, but also so so good, and seriously I’m amazed at how amazing Tommy Wallach is at writing books that just suck you in. I Need More 😭


One of favorite authors wrote another book, I’m late to the show but Mr. Wallach never disappoints 🙌🏽
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Man was destroyed for their desires, now the remnants of the human race are at odds with each other. Tommy Wallach's first novel in the Anchor & Sophia trilogy, "Strange Fire" takes place many years after a catastrophic event destroyed almost the whole world and the Descendancy is a religion that has banned all technology. "Strange Fire" is split into three parts, with an interlude chapter between them. This interlude chapter provides an escape from the main story and to the events happening els ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-17
So, my first thought was, this is quite the detour from Wallach's normal pieces. But as I continued reading it, I realized that The Descendency is what happened to the survivors of the asteroid in We All Looked Up!

Other than that earthshaking revelation, I enjoyed the story a lot, and was invested in the characters. I really appreciated the different perspectives in each chapter, especially regarding *mild spoiler* Irene and her deceit. She seemed despicable sometimes, but other times, absolutel
The Nerd Daily
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on The Nerd Daily | Review by Blake Smith

The much-anticipated third novel from Tommy Wallach has finally arrived! For those of you who have read his other two books, Thanks for the Trouble and We all Looked Up, you will not be disappointed. Although Wallach has taken a different route from his usual style, he still hasn’t lost his knack for wrapping you up through his storytelling.

If the synopsis sounds interesting to you, I implore you to stop reading this post immediately and
DNF @ 10%

I understand that the whole purpose of a blurb is to quickly encourage readers to pick it up, but when you do, and the blurb is nothing like it promised, that’s mighty disappointing. Oregon Trail meets Westworld was what hooked me and caused me so much excitement I admittedly didn’t even read the rest of the blurb (although this is a rampant problem for me.) If I had read the entire blurb I would have been immediately put off by the excessive religiousness and would’ve skipped this. But
Feb 28, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: need-it-now
The little synopsis doesn't sound particularly enticing... But it's Wallach, so I must read it. ...more
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
I was almost certain I would have enjoyed this but the religious aspects were entirely overwhelming. Unfortunately I couldn't get through it. ...more
Hilary (SongsWroteMyStory)
I received an advance copy of this book from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to read this book. The science/religion debate is one of my favourite things to discuss or hear opinions on, and with a comparison to books like The Giver, I was immediately intrigued by what this whole thing might be about. Especially with the people in the lightbulb on the cover.

And I was super pleased with what I found inside. I've read so many disappointing or underdevel
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to my expectations. I really liked Wallach's book (which apparently is loosely connected to this one which is so cool!!) We All Looked Up. I was super excited when I came upon Strange Fire while walking by it in a bookstore. I picked it up and started reading it almost immediately.

Sadly, it was slow. So... very... slow... However, the world-building was fantastic. So detailed and fleshed out, but still leaving room to explain so much more. The c
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story is a terrific page turner, and the world is a fascinating combination of Wild West homespun, and hints of a revolution im the making. When I realized when and where the story was actually taking place my mind was blown. This is ultimately a science fiction fantasy about a face off between science and religion. Each side is represented plausibly under the given circumsantces and the lead characters are teens discovering relationships, their (alternate) history, and hypocrisy. Heartfelt ...more
Jenny Jo Weir
Very unique. I'm a huge Tommy fan but I'm I started with other books of his versus this one. It's incredibly different compared to his other stories, not necessarily a bad thing, just very different. Still, its a really awesome story and cool world. Looking forward to book 2. ...more
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
This cover actually leaves me in awe, the person who created it has fantastic skills *__*

I enjoyed Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach, so I'm really curious about this one!
Nov 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings on this book. It takes place in a genuinely interesting dystopian world and explores a lot of interesting societal topics (heavily focused on religion, violence, and science). There was such room to explore and question our current world through "the Anchor". However the complexities and philosophical questions were buried beneath a brutally slow plot and rushed conclusion. The majority of the book consists of dull daily activities that don't offer much to the story. S ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
"Was it the scientist in him,always eager to research a new subject, or just the sinner?"

Let me start off my review by saying this book was not at all what I expected.. But kind of in a good way. It threw my expectations off and that's what I like. When a book can surprise me! Reading the inside book flap I figured this book was going to be about some modern day fire cult type thing. Either way I was intrigued and most of that credit goes to the AMAZING cover! Let me tell you this book is not se
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
How much does the existence of a hero or villain depend on someone’s perspective? When survival is at stake, doing the right thing for one group may mean condemning another.

As the world starts over, the Descendancy has decided the advances of technology are what led to society’s initial demise. While those chosen to learn at the Library read about some evidence of the previous technology, their faith is strong and they are supposed to know that the simple way is better and safer. There are also
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, sci-fi
I picked up an ARC of this book at ALA 2017 and I'm glad I did! It definitely exceeded my expectations by far! I mean, everyone these days is trying to write the next big dystopian YA novel, right? And this one doesn't sound particularly different from any others, at least from the blurb. It's your standard dystopian YA of the "religious cult has taken over the world and stopped technology from progressing beyond swords and covered wagons" variety, and, let's be honest, there are plenty of those ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I have really enjoyed Tommy Wallach's previous books, so I was so excited to check this out, especially a post-apocalyptic vision of the future where technology has somehow (mysteriously until maybe about half way where we finally learn what happened) destroyed society as we know it and now groups of people have sprung up with varying philosophies and beliefs. The majority of the story is told from two brothers from a religious society that worships God and his "daughter" and believes technology ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: high-school
Interesting concept about when something deadly happened on earth, a group of powerful people tried to restart their civilization by being very religious using God, his daughter and the Holy Gravity. They banned anything science in ways to used the first human technologies (our modern times which is their past) for it didn't make the world a better place. In this story, there were a small group of people discovering their ancestors' technology and sciences; they couldn't use them or they would b ...more
Maddie Driban
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
Even though it took me two tries to finally get into it, this was a good book...except for the ending. The end was really disappointing as I left off at where I felt it was supposed to be the climax of the story. I felt like there was all this build up and then it was just over, and not in a good cliff-hanger kind of way. It was a real let down.

That said, I like the characters and the plot was really interesting. I liked this back to the beginning, not technology or modern inventions take on a d
Well, hmm.

I went into this cold, having forgotten what the book was about, so it took a little while to get the lay of the land.

The story is somewhat interesting, with a similar feel to Blood Red Road and others, but it’s also a wee bit dull, as well.

It seems like the author is trying to write his own 1984– like this is a multi-layered social commentary underscored with the historic patterns of human civilization.

And then it’s also just some dumb teenagers.

Meh, there’s definitely potential
Adam Sockel
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
There is a lot going on in this book but it mostly just feels like a very long prologue to book two of the series. It tells an interesting, murky post-apocalyptic story about society after a mysterious tragedy and a battle between religion and science. The problem for me was that it required so much world building that all of the build up of what seemed to be happening never really lands...

I'll read the rest of the series and hope it pays off.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: y-a
2.75 stars

The premise was interesting but application was nothing new. It's entirely a science vs. religion debate where you can only choose one side and the other side has to go away, to die and never come back. So really, nothing new. There is some decent world building.

About 200 or so pages in the story started to drag. I honestly didn't care much to finish but I did to see if it improved any. It didn't. Not a worthwhile read.
Gemma Stewart
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
I really enjoyed this book but it did take a while to get in to it. The one thing I want from young adult fiction is a good plot and an intelligence and this is what I got - never did I feel patronised. I sometimes lost my way a little - the plot is complicated and I sometimes confused the 2 main characters but it is definitely worth a read - I shall definitely be reading more of these writer’s books.
Christiane (Pages Unfolding)
Top-notch characterisation in this post-apocalyptic tale of power. Raises more questions than it answers and that's why I love it! Somewhat slow-paced, but intricate world building and complex characters. The open ending makes me crave for more.

Full review: https://pagesunfoldingblog.wordpress....
A very interesting concept, with well-thought-out fictional religious groups. I found it to be a little on the slow side, and some of the characters to be one-dimensional, and unlikeable.

I would recommend more to those who consider them more of the “scholarly” or “read for knowledge” reader, then a “read for fun.”
Jade Lima
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
This book should have been amazing,since Tommy Wallach wrote it. However, the only positive thing about this book was its fast pace, but that does nothing to save this book from its lack in originality and poor writing.
Lisa Boyer
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Holy Cow. What a snooze fest. I usually finish a book in a day. It took me a week and a half to read the first 100 pages. Now that I have finished this book, I can finally move on the something much better.
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I'm a Brooklyn-based novelist, screenwriter, and musician. I wrote "We All Looked Up" (a New York Times Bestseller) and "Thanks for the Trouble." My newest book is "The Anchor & Sophia," first in a trilogy set in a future North America which, for asteroid-collision-related reasons, has regressed to 19th century technology levels (oil lanterns, covered wagons, whiskey used as anesthetic, etc.).

As a

Other books in the series

Anchor & Sophia (3 books)
  • Slow Burn (Anchor & Sophia, #2)
  • Scorched Earth (Anchor & Sophia, #3)

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