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Buried Fire

3.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,561 ratings  ·  105 reviews
When Michael staggers home red-eyed from an afternoon alone on the hill, his brother and sister, can only guess that he has sunstroke. But as the terrifying truth is uncovered, they realize that powerful forces of evil are at large.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 20th 2004 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,561 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Melissa McShane
I'd never heard of this book by Jonathan Stroud and now I know why. It predates the Bartimaeus trilogy, so very early in his career, and while his craft is reasonably sound, the characters are all either villains or hard-to-like heroes, and the boy I thought was supposed to be the protagonist is unpleasant--the kind who's corrupted by the bad guys and doesn't know it. I made it about halfway through before I realized I wasn't enjoying it, and didn't need it for the reading challenge enough to pe ...more
Jun 04, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This was a real "wasted potential" book. The basic idea was really kind of cool - a dragon has been lying dormant beneath an English village for centuries, and periodically people will stumble close to its lair and receive the "gifts of the dragon" (the ability to see auras, pyrokinesis, flight, and telepathy, abilities which manifest themselves gradually). And now the dragon is going to be set free, which sounds very exciting.

The book suffers from so many technical problems that it's hard to en
Feb 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: not really anybody.
The premise was cool, but the execution was decidedly not. And the ending? Gracious, it was like the author got tired of writing and just stopped, tying the loose ends together into one horrid knot that left ends sticking out anyway.
C.J. Milbrandt
The new minister at the church on the hill revels in the discovery of an ancient cross buried on their grounds. Meanwhile, a boy on a sleepy hillside is trapped and changed by a malicious thought that rises up from the Pit. Puzzling out what's happening will prove a dangerous business for all involved.

History and legend. Gifts and harm. Secrets and buried things. Family bonds and the beauty of souls. One part mystery, one part thriller, this book has edge-of-the-seat qualities I've come to expe
Sep 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
When I got this book as a birthday present I first was rather delighted. A book by the brilliant author of the Bartimaeus Trilogy? Great! A book that includes a huge dragon? Even better! So I started reading it full of enthusiasm and joy. But those positive feelings quickly vanished, when I realized two things:

1. This book was absolutely not like Bartimaeus. I don't remember any moment, where I was amused or had to laugh out loud, because a character said something funny. In fact I don't even re
Very disappointing. This book had a lot of potential which, unfortunately, it didn't exploit at all.

The basic idea was enormously exciting and interesting, I also liked the setting, but the writing style was extremely cumbersome. Actually creepy scenes were spoiled by rather clumsy descriptions. The charm and wit, which I loved in "Bartimaeus" or "Lockwood & Co" was completely missing.

Instead every character was extremely flat and boring, every identification with the heroes was difficult. I
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the Bartimaeus series a few years ago, I looked for other books by Jonathan Stroud and found this. I hasn't realised initially that this was his first published work, and although relatively short compared to the Bartimaeus story, it is a good start to his career.

I found it initially intriguing, as the story got underway at once and it felt as if I had been dropped in the middle of something already started. This made me want to continue reading to make sense of what was happening. T
Nov 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a light, uncomplicated read
Did not live up to my expectations. Could have used some actually resolution at the end; it basically stopped at the climax and nothing was really explained or resolved.

The world was well-built and the dragon lore was interesting, but I found some of the descriptions confusing and some of the stuff to do with the dragon could have used a little more explaining, as I didn't really get it even at the end of the book.

Stroud does multiple perspectives well, but here, I think it might have benefited
Rob Turner
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone, even if you're not a kid
Recommended to Rob by: My Bro, who always seems to be right about good books
Shelves: kindle
I'm not sure why Harper Collins is marketing Stroud as a Children's author, but it does him a disservice. I had to deal with a small blow to my ego by having to pick this book up in the childrens section of Barnes and noble, but it was worth it. One of his first books, it is a fantastic read, and you can see the beginnings of the multiple viewpoint narrative that he perfected in the Bartimeus Trilogy. this was a quick read, but with his trademark prose and brilliant descriptions, it is a shame t ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was a rather shallow and flat read. The two brothers were pretty dumb imho. Sarah, who is an important character, stayed faceless for me, I don't even know how she looks like. There was not much character depth and the story was crazy-weird like an old Stephen King novel (but not as good).
It was a light childrens book, good for the stressful time of the year, but it didn't excite me.
Interesting premise but the story got stale and left me skimming the pages with increasing sleepiness.
Katie Lumsden
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A brilliant story, really engaging, with some great characters and dramatic sequences. I love Jonathan Stroud's writing style and how complex his characterisation is. ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
While this doesn't read like The Bartimaeus Trilogy, neither does it read like Heroes of the Valley. Honestly, it's most reminiscent of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising books, although slightly darker in a strange little way.

Overall I found the book an interesting read, enjoyable, with some intruiging characters. They aren't all hunkey-dorey, happy saps who love each other, which I like a lot. The interpretation of the dragon is pretty interesting, too. Overall, I was glad to read this book.

I d
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around Buried Fire. Lockwood and Co., The Bartimeus Trilogy, and now Buried Fire. Perhaps I expected something else, but no matter, I jumped in and paddled around for a while before I finally got settled into this one. Not my favorite, but then I was expecting something a bit different. Different, Jonathan Stroud, interesting, but different from my expectations. I suspect that I won't read this one again like I'll re-read the Lockwood and Co. series, but one tha ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Nothing special. As I was reading, I found that I predicted almost all the events that transpired. Writing style was stuffy and took a long time to get to the point. I'll admit it was entertaining in it's ways, but certainly not a masterpiece. ...more
Izzatur Rahmaniyah
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
How should I describe this book? The theme is very good but it doesn't have any charm like Bartimaeus Trilogy. Well, this book was published in the beginning of Jonathan Stroud's career as an author. What do you expect? ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Cute. Fun. A nice story for a worn-out brain
Alexander Walker
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Full of dark magic and humanity, this book shows the lows and highs of human life.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was one of his earlier books, and not as fantasy based as some of his other works, but I liked it.
Jim D'Ambrosia
Stroud writes some of the best realistic YA supernatural suspense. Good stuff.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
actually this was the weird one, i just didn't like the other one ...more
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Solid! A four star read. Just read it as the standalone that it is, without comparing it to other works.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was not bad. Just strange. It created a very unique atmosphere though, which earned it an extra star.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
It wasn't a bad book, but it also wasnt great. I read it to read it. I always finish a book. I was glad when it was over. I wouldn't recommend it. ...more
03SethP Poe
May 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Buried fire is a young adult book fantasy book based on the 20nth century. In Ireland young Michael McIntyre slumbers on the hill of Wyrm overlooking the town of Wyndham. At the same time, an ancient Celtic cross is dug up in the church yard .He awakes with a hot, burning, sensation in his eyes. He heads home thinking he has had a sun stroke. He eventually learns that he has been given special powers. With these 4 gifts that he soon ascertains that he has two fates. Join the enemy to discover hi ...more
Despite the fact that this is technically a children's book, I rather enjoyed this. The plot is complex enough to keep you guessing about who is 'good' and 'bad' and how all the details tie in together. The use of traditional lore is interwoven into the story perfectly and Stroud creates just the right level of magic meeting reality for the story without going overboard in either direction. The characters are brilliantly written and develop well as the story progesses. However I do have two litt ...more
Spencer Humphrey
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Jonathan Stroud's first published novel was by no means Bartimaeus. However, if you are interested in learning about the author's growth in writing, this book is quite interesting. Though the story in and of itself is quite interesting and the writing very easy to read, the characters feel static and are difficult to connect with. Unfortunately Stroud's writing can also be vague and a little confusing throughout the novel. Aside from this, Stroud's characters curse far too liberally for my taste ...more
Wow, so I shamelessly picked this up because the plot revolves around a dragon, but it was a really good surprise. It has believably flawed protagonists and a plot that really managed to surprise me at the end.

The one thing that really struck me strongly, though, was how much it reminded me of a Call of Cthulhu campaign. Let's see: we've got a tiny, remote English village with a checkered history of mysterious rituals and witch hunts; we've got a cult that's worshiping an ancient monstrosity bur
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: standalone
Buried Fire is an enjoyable urban fantasy – a little town in the UK with some weird goings on, some invented mythology spanning the centuries, and one family suddenly caught up in it all. Unfortunately, it falls prey to the same issue that has been plaguing all of Jonathan Stroud’s standalone novels that I’ve been bingeing: a lack of an ending. The book ends right after the climax, with no falling action or denouement. It’s really very jarring, to be thrown out of a story like that. And it’s fru ...more
May 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately, I have to 'meh' this book. There's nothing particularly wrong with the story, but there's not much to it either.

The multiple perspectives were well-handled, but still created some distance between the reader and the characters, stretching loyalties thin. Without a clear lead, the objectives were splintered, making it difficult to get invested in the outcome.

The premise was interesting and it was a good spin on the old dragon lore. As ever, Stroud brings a wealth of detail to his
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Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Stroud grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures, and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill, so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he completed his studies

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