Tuesday, February 26, 2013

LLF Book Club: Thoughts so far?

So what are your thoughts so far, on the first introductory chapters of the book? What would you do if all of a sudden a painful flash appeared and the world changed? Did you find yourself leaning more towards interest in the Pilot or the Songwriter's story?

image from deviant art - by Briuhn

55 Comments:

Blogger J.D. Collins said...

Hmmm, writer knows action and shows the scenes vividly IMHO. Perhaps a tad too vividly, but I'm moving forward.

I find myself drawn to the pilot more than the cafe singer, which is unlike me.

Still getting to know the characters and where the action's headed.

(Written rather vaguely so as not to serve as a spoiler review.)

February 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Sam Murray said...

I like to think that my skills with food would come in handy. I can create sourdough cultures from just flour and water, so inside of a week we could have fluffy risen bread, without any purchased wheat. I've done some gardening, some hunting, some canning, some archery... I like to think that I'm about as well rounded as anybody would be in the first change year. I would however likely be one of the people who might sit undecisive, hoping things would go back to the way they were, until it's too late. I don't think I'd have been able to grasp the enormity of the change as fast as the main characters have. I have enjoyed following both stories, but I get bored reading about battles and fights, and enjoy hearing about the building and crafting, hunting and settling, which means I mostly relish hearing about the Mackenzie clan.

February 26, 2013 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

This book has made me realize that while I'm more prepared than some people, I'm not near as prepared as I could and should be! This was compounded by the lose of power on Sunday while a foot of snow was steadily dumped on us. With candles lit, I continued to read (despite that ominous feeling of familiarity to the book) and I thought I'd rather be with Juniper than Mike! She just seemed better prepared for such an event. Of course, being a fellow pagan, I felt an immediate kinship to her! Thank you for suggesting this book, Jenna. I'm really enjoying it!!

February 26, 2013 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Karen Talamantez said...

I just finished the book today. I definitely leaned toward the singer, but I like the pilot, too. I appreciate the fact that it isn't misogynistic as many post-apocalyptic novels are. Thanks for introducing me to this series.

February 26, 2013 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Deb Naydan said...

So far I'm really enjoying this book. I'm leaning more towards the Pilot and his survival skills, but the songwriter character is really interesting too. I think if something like this happened, me and my old man would grab our weapons and head for the hills.

February 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Marcia said...

I find I'm having to read it in "little bits" as it is scary/threatening to me....and I live an off-grid, almost completely sustainable (still buy toilet paper)life in a remote part of Wyoming. I think it's the violent reaction of those that don't have which is probably very true - just hard to envision my neighbors (who don't live as I do) coming after me with violence to take what I have. I think I'm liking the plane guy more at this point.

February 26, 2013 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'm realising that I am quite unprepared for that kind of event. I need to take up archery again, get fit and make a bigger garden! As for characters, they both have my interest because they have different coping strategies, and I can learn from both.

February 26, 2013 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger time4trees.mb said...

Still waiting for the book to arrive.

February 26, 2013 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

OH-kay! NOW I really wanna read it :/ I was worried about time.... BUT I got a library card last Wednesday; I checked out two magazines ('Cooks Illustrated'), Storey's guide to raising sheep, the backyard homestead guide to raising farm animals...

February 26, 2013 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

I ordered it from the library and it's not in yet. I'll give my response when it arrives! :)

February 26, 2013 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger lemontreelane said...

just grabbed my copy from the library and going away for the march break... will read it on the way!

February 26, 2013 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger CallieK said...

Based on a review I did on Dies the Fire when I read it last year; the first part of the book reads like a library list of people who happen to have skills we'd need to survive (so we're left with thugs, ex-marines and Renaissance Faire/historical re-enactment actors. If that actually happens, I seriously hope I die in the first wave!)

February 26, 2013 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Snead said...

For those still trying to access the book, try your library's ebook program. I found the whole series at my library and it's a free download with my library account and Overdrive.

February 27, 2013 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Snead said...

For those still trying to acquire the book, try your library's ebook collection. My library has the whole series as MP3 downloads and they are free with my library account and Overdrive!

February 27, 2013 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

I have not even been to the library yet for this one. I only read real books, not downloaded....

It looks like I won't make it in time for this month
So, for the next book, what will it be? If it is monthly, what date will it need to be read by etc. I prefer not to read other peoples opinions before I read a book.

February 27, 2013 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

I have not even been to the library yet for this one. I only read real books, not downloaded....

It looks like I won't make it in time for this month
So, for the next book, what will it be? If it is monthly, what date will it need to be read by etc. I prefer not to read other peoples opinions before I read a book.

February 27, 2013 at 1:01 AM  
Blogger Tams said...

As I posted on FB....darn you Jenna...I'm on the third book now...Opened up my eyes to some things...very difficult to get through in the beginning..I'm glad I hung in there..well worth it.btw...songwriter all the way...:)

February 27, 2013 at 2:18 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

**Disclaimer*** My comments will always be tinged with just a tad of humour. I'm like that. Don't take any jibes too personally if you are a singer or a pilot, or whatever. Know that I am smiling over my tea mug !***
Just started it. Liking the pilot, finding the singer annoys me - then again she hasn't done much yet, but that pagan internal dialogue? Personally I'm christian, but I know a fair few pagans, I don't know one who has just taken christian cliches and epigrams and paganised them by saying 'goddess' where (blaspheming) christians say 'God' - so that got me off on the wrong foot. If she carries on drawing pentagrams in the air at every hint of a crisis I shall probably give up ! (grin)
However, loving the storyline. Really very early days, still in chapter four, can't wait to see more of the enormity dawn on the characters.

February 27, 2013 at 4:52 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

My book arrives today. Can't wait!

February 27, 2013 at 5:28 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

What strikes me is how FAST the world dissolves into chaos.
We like to think that we are somehow 'better' than previous generations but maybe that is the illusion of enough food.
I love the details, the thought, the art.
I want to be a MacKenzie.

February 27, 2013 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

I find that when I read this book, I start preparing my "let me join your community" speech, listing my skills and trying to convince someone that I would be useful in this type of scenario. I'm definitely in the songwriter's camp.

February 27, 2013 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger J.D. Collins said...

I have to agree that this book serves as a measure of my personal preparedness.

While I couldn't afford a Leatherman or Gerber knife, I did purchase a less expensive multi-tool, along with a good knife, last week. (I did have a knife in my kit, but it didn't cut well. This book has benefited my "go-bag".

I'm also interested in archery now. Perhaps this spring I'll pursue this further.

Reading this as well as following the looming budget sequester sends me sideways. I can only prepare for the worse and pray for the best!

February 27, 2013 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

First of all, I lOVE reading these so far!

So I think it was the Mackenzie Storyline that drew me in, because of my interest in agriculture and homesteading and the fact that none of those people are swash buckling hardchargers (YET!) like the guys in portland. I think even though most of the folks are coven menbers they are the most "normal" to the reader. They aren't pilots or starting overlording kingdoms or anything... they just want to live in peace and survive. I also find myself =, not bored, but waiting to get back to Juniper and the gang,

February 27, 2013 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I'm not Christian, but when I first read Juniper's character swearing "Goddess" and drawing pentacles in the air I thought it would seemed unnatural, or just over zealous to new readers too.

But the gift of SM is even though it seems like a stretch as you get to know Juniper and the Clan all of that becomes so normal, you don't think of it as strange at all. You start thinking chain mail and crossbows are normal too...

ha!

February 27, 2013 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Janine said...

I'm about a third of the way through and I'm really enjoying it. I like both plot lines, Juniper's and the Pilot's, but I think I am more drawn to the Pilot's. The probably has something to do with my long love of survival stories. If I had to accompany one group or the other, I would no doubt try to join Juniper's group. The only real qualm I have with it is that so many people seem to have relevant skills. Perhaps I'm naive, but I feel like the chances of me meeting so many people skilled at archery or crafting bows is unlikely. Still, I'm really enjoying it!

February 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM  
OpenID moo-producer said...

I'm a quarter way through the book and almost quit last night, but kept soldiering on. At first I really thought this would be great, then got slogged down in the stupid (to me anyway!)"pagan internal dialogue" as Jackie so eloquently put it in a previous post! 8-)

I relate to the pilot the most so far - the singer/witch person is annoying to me.

The magnitude of "THE CHANGE" is so huge and explained very well at this stage of the book. Although the specific incidents are shaping the plot, the global impact is hinted at, yet not overwhelmingly thrown at the reader.

I'll hang in there (I don't usually quit a book)and hope it doesn't get extremely predictable...i.e. pilot and Signe attraction, etc.

February 27, 2013 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger quiltaholic said...

Haven't started it yet - I'm finishing up 'A Game of Thrones' right now, and am planning on starting this one as soon as I'm done.

February 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Alicia-Marie said...

Though I like both stories, I am leaning more in the direction of Juniper and the rest of the Mackenzies.

Their interest in homesteading, and related skills is a way of survival, yet it is done in a peaceful manner.

Yes, drawing pentacles in the air can be distracting, but I have seen my Irish-Catholic grandmother draw the sign of the cross during times of distress too. Despite this, Juniper does not flake; she gets the job done, albeit with help from others.


February 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Debbie Marshall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 27, 2013 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Debbie Marshall said...

I read through the first two books rather quickly. This third book is a slow read for me.

February 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Kati said...

The book is in! I'll have a chance to pick it up at the library this Saturday. I have an e-reader but the ebook server for my county is acting up, so for now I have to do all my reading the old-fashioned way :p.

February 27, 2013 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Alicia Marie that was kind of my point? A lot of older or more trad catholics *do* genuflect or mark the sign of the cross - never seen a pagan copy the gesture but with a pentagram. Ran it past my pagan friend and she just kind of curled up laughing and said she felt she'd look a bit like she was conducting a really small orchestra? Unfortunately also making the sign of the horned god or whatever it was also made me think of the 'awkward llama' and if you're not the parent of British teens that probably won't make much sense either!
Anyway more tonight and lets hope like Jenna says I just get used to it and stop chuckling!

February 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger CallieK said...

moo producer, I had similar issues with those elements of the story line. The problem for me with most books of this genre is that they tend to fall into one of two plot lines; either the entire story is too devoted to conflict (wars with rival gangs/armies, way too detailed information about weapons) or they become romantic fantasies arising in unlikely pairings (usually with younger women being attracted to much older males who can 'protect' them.) I had high hopes for Dies the Fire, but for me it sadly ends up falling into both traps.

February 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

This isn't my kind of book, really - I love trashy romances and I'd die probably first in "the Change" because I'd trust the wrong people or give all of my food to my kids - but you've never steered me wrong with a recommendation. (Thanks to you, my 16 month old is hooked on the Lumineers.) I'm really enjoying it, though - I agree with others that the coincidence of having so many people with so many useful skillsets coming together at once is kind of funny, but hey, you never know what your co-workers are doing with their spare time. I like the songwriter, even though her beliefs are unfamiliar to me, and would probably prefer to live with her (so far, her crew has met with less violence) but the pilot's story is more intriguing (chapter 17ish). I tell ya, though, if my husband listens to this next like I'd like him to, we'll be spending most of our tax return on survival gear. He's more the "pilot" type. Thanks for suggesting this - the book club is fun so far, and I'm loving all the comments! :)

February 27, 2013 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I am also really enjoying the comments! makes me think about this book in new ways. Keep it up!

February 27, 2013 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger City Girl said...

My library loan version of the book has just come in, so I look forward to starting the book!

February 27, 2013 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Cary said...

I've always been a Little House lover and kind of a pollyanna so I almost put it down at one point as too harsh for me, but am glad I kept with it. I like both storylines, but do enjoy most the homesteaders. I'll tell you, reading this makes me very grateful my onion, leeks and shallot seeds are in! Early kale planted today. This really fun, thanks!

February 27, 2013 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Deltaville Jamie said...

I just downloaded it and started reading (thank God for wifi at karate class). I'm only a few pages in, the plane has crashed the lights are out at the bar. I wasn't sure at first, but I'm starting to like the plot. Anxious to get back to it

February 27, 2013 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Karen from CT said...

Planning on diving in this Friday at a read a thon with my my grandson. Can't wait!

February 27, 2013 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

I am more drawn to the Juniper part of the story but I'm glad the other stories are there as well. It is good to have the other perspectives.

February 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Tams said...

Same here...I read the first two in two days...third one Im only half way done...

February 28, 2013 at 2:10 AM  
Blogger grammacello said...

I looked on Audible -a read aloud app on my iPad(as I had a couple of credits there)-and they had it.
Not thrilled with the reader of the book- his voice keeps distracting me from the narrative but if anyone has this (paid) app on iPad, you get a free introductory book I believe when you sign up -not absolutely sure about the free part. Anyway another option out there for obtaining the book. Not far enough into it yet to comment. It sure takes longer to listen to a book than to read it , for me, anyway.

February 28, 2013 at 4:14 AM  
Blogger time4trees.mb said...

The book just arrived yesterday and I started reading after dinner. I am up to page 52. So far it is way better than I anticipated and I seem to be leaning toward the singer, although that may be in part because I grew up in the area that she is in. I'll know more in a day or two since I have to fit this in and around my job and taking care of my chickens, etc. So far so good!

February 28, 2013 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

So the reason I picked this book was because even though it is fantasy, the only actual fantasy part is what happened (the change). The people and their reactions are more of a work of survivalism. No one has any magical powers (outside of ordinary ones like prayer, ritual, and belief) and no one can fly or fight dragons or whatever. This is a story of everyday people living a really fantastical life because of something that was thrust upon them.

As for the survivors being skilled in so many useful things, I think that is how it would pan out. It's the homesteaders, craftsman, and cowboys etc that would survive and be left! Look at who these main characters are: a wiccan priestess and SCA member and a survivalist pilot who is already a hunter and outdoorsman. Think of the people who are in your life? I'm a homesteader with friends who work Iron, blacksmith, make bows and arrows, sew, hunt, fish and so on. These characters friends share the same interests and hobbies, and that is why they are making it.

I am also totally non critical of any stereotypes or story or any literary stuff. I love this book for the characters and the story! It's mind candy and its what got me first interested in archery amidst all the hunger games and brave and whatnot.

So I will defend this book, but I LOVE hearing why other folks don't like it too! Just remember who picked it! A homesteading, arrow-shooting, wheel-of-the-year livin', celtic lovin' Jenna!

February 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger CallieK said...

Don't get me wrong Jenna, I so wanted to like this book and it's characters, especially Juniper. After all I'm a celtic redhead with a pagan bent myself. I don't know why but I just couldn't relate to her, or any of the other characters. They just seemed one dimensional to me so I never felt engaged by the story and had no interest whether they lived or died.

February 28, 2013 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Sam Murray said...

I think audible is my new favourite way to deal with housework, especially laundry (which I detest fairly passionately), but the time really does go by much quicker when you're listening to the tale being told to you.
As for having so many skills... I think a lot of us have secret skills, ones that never really came in handy, or grandma taught you how one summer. They're not exactly "cool" right now, and maybe you don't use them or talk about them all the time with your friends, but maybe you do know how to make jam. Or knit. Maybe you like to try to walk really quiet when you go for a walk and see if you can spot more birds and critters that way. That's only one step away from a skilled hunter. I think as these things become more mainstream, and part of daily routine, people are less likely to be shy about their skills. They're needed, and that's all there is to it.

March 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

I think that I know just enough of the things that would help me in a post "Change" world to be dangerous, but I'm learning. I have some experience in woodcraft, hiking and camping. I've done some gardening but not yet farming. I used to do a bit of heavy weapons combat in the SCA. As to which of the characters that you mentioned I relate best to... It's fairly balanced. Stirling draws very rich characters. I probably lean toward the Mackenzies because of the Celtish flavor and if I weren't a diehard anti-spiritualist I would be a Pagan of some sort. The old stories from the north of Europe are the ones that resonate most with me. For favorite character from this book I'd probably go with Sam, but he's a bit further in to the book, so I won't go into more detail for now.

March 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

As far as the accuracy of the Wiccan symbolism goes, I can't speak to it from the point of view of a practitioner, but I can say that as someone who didn't grow up in any religious tradition, that they all look pretty silly from the outside.

March 1, 2013 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

I did the same. Some of the later books are better paced. I'm kind of bummed that I've nearly gotten caught up with the series as now I have to wait.

March 1, 2013 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

I did the same. Some of the later books are better paced. I'm kind of bummed that I've nearly gotten caught up with the series as now I have to wait.

March 1, 2013 at 9:09 PM  
OpenID moo-producer said...

Well, things are looking up for me...Astrid is a confirmed Tolkien-lover. I should have guessed when she made the first reference to Orcs! lol. At least we have something in common.

Is it just me, or are there lots of similarities between this plot and the TV series "Revolution" where the power turns off? Why do they always discontinue series that I actually watch and like? sigh.

March 2, 2013 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger City Girl said...

My copy of the book has arrived from the library and I've gotten through the first chapter. I like it so far and am drawn more towards the pilot's story as it's easier to relate to...so far. The fact that guns don't work anymore is an interesting equalilzer and I can't wait to see how that affects people's interactions and violence.

Diana
San Francisco

March 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

I'm still waiting for it to come in at the library. I ordered the print version and the e-book, so we'll see which one gets here first. Knowing me, I'll probably read the whole thing in a day or two! :) (I am in my church's Easter production, so lots of waiting and down time during rehearsals.)

March 6, 2013 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger quiltaholic said...

Finally got to start the audiobook over the weekend - I'm up to chapter 4 now and am loving the story. However, it has made me realize how woefully unprepared I would be if anything like this should happen. While I am reading, I keep thinking to myself "I need to get my bow re-strung" or "I need to do more canning and store seeds".

March 6, 2013 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Fernleaf said...

I'm really enjoying it so far, I think I'm a little more drawn to the Pilot at the moment, mostly because the guys that I hung out with in high school (one of which I later married!) were very into backpacking and wilderness survival. They ran through Wilderness Search and Rescue training like it was nothing, and one of them is now a firefighter and EMT in AK, while my husband and I are the wanna-be homesteaders. Looking forward to seeing where Juniper's story goes though as I haven't read her next chapter yet. (only got to the beginning of chapter 4 so far.)

March 7, 2013 at 2:09 AM  

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