Sadie Forsythe's Reviews > Fires of Man

Fires of Man by Dan Levinson
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really liked it

Fires of Man is set in an alternative Earth, in and alternative 2012. This made for an interesting, if occasionally jarring, mix of the new and exciting with the familiar and mundane. For example, characters practiced their amazing Psionic powers and then sat down with a beer and the TV remote. Plus, all of the place names are just a little off from being recognisable. It's almost the Earth we know, but not quite. It took me a while to get used to it.

There is a lot I could say about this book, but I'll start by saying the writing is excellent. The dialogue feels realistic and it's quite well edited. There are some really thought provoking subtexts too—the horrors of war, the transition from boy to man to soldier, the value of morals when confronted with the reality of kill or be killed, love, etc. But in the end it's really just the beginning of something.

This is definitely, DEFINITELY not a stand alone book. Nothing concludes and ALL of the threads are left hanging. In fact, I might call this whole book a set up for the actual story to come, because it's not so much about anything that happens as it is about getting to know the people who will apparently be important at some future point.

This isn't to say nothing happens, a lot does. Nor is it to say it wasn't enjoyable. It was. Those characters are all interesting and highly engageable. The world and it's politics is interesting and the hints at the final shebang looks intriguing. But there is a surprisingly long character list, with all of them being given equal time. I'd have a hard time pinpointing a single one as the MAIN character at this point. Additionally, few of them cross paths at any time in the novel. So, in a way, this was really 5 or 6 stories in one book. The reader has to take it on faith that eventually in some future book they will all play a significant role in some singular something.

I enjoyed the writing a lot, heck I enjoyed the book. But if I had it to read again I wouldn't bother until there was a sequel or two available, because I'm done now and I know half a story (maybe less if this is going to be a longer series). This annoys me. However, I am not so oblivious to the basic realities of publishing that I don't recognise that at 400 pages the book essentially reached its maximum allowable length and had to be broken up.
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Reading Progress

March 2, 2014 – Shelved
March 2, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
March 3, 2014 – Started Reading
March 4, 2014 –
page 270
67.5% "interesting so far, but there are a lot of threads to pull together."
March 4, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Conal I just finished this and your review matches my feelings about the story as well. I enjoyed it, especially the characters and abilities shown. I was expecting the individual stories to converge at some point but they never did. I am not a big fan of initial books in a series that do not at least end with some type of conclusion and unfortunately this one did not do that. No conclusion and pretty much all the plot lines still open. Good story but I will also probably wait for the full series to publish before reading further.


Sadie Forsythe Non-endings are actually a big deal with me. I've read so many books lately that end in a "cliffhanger," which is really just a cliff. I'm becoming a little sensitive about it. But with the exception of the lack of ending I thought the writing and story was pretty good.


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