Series: The Country Saga #1
on January 29. 2013
Source: Author Review Copy
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Book summary: In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.
Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.
Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.
As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.
My review: A stunning, smokey dystopian
Fire Country swept me away with the strength of the main character, Siena, the imaginative dystopian setting based on different tribes, and the language and slang used within the book to demonstrate the cult-like, tribal setting of the Heaters of Fire Country.
Siena is a 15 year old girl who has been brought up within the strict laws of Fire Country by her dad, one of the ruling Greystones. When she turns 16, she will take part in the momentous event called The Calling, where she is matched with a partner to bear his children. At the ages of 19 and 22, she will have another child, while her partner takes on more wives, her call sisters. There’s no choosing who your partner will be or being with the one you love. That is the law.
Siena is a strong, brave character who is just beginning to question her rights and the treatment of women in her village. Through Siena’s beliefs, teachings, and brave nature, David Estes does a great job in showing how the laws of Fire Country affect Siena and her friends. With her Calling just around the corner, she undergoes discord in her life with an unusual tomboy hinting at choice and independence, and her father’s treatment of her best friend Circ who cares for her deeply.
Her father Roan, is a great villain who rules with an iron fist. Not only does he beat Siena, send her to Confinement (or jail), and match her up with the most disgusting guy around, he sets up rulings that are harmful to the villagers and that only benefits himself.
The vivid, dystopian world that David has created is compelling and unique. I’ve never read anything like Fire Country, and I love how the slang and language used within the book is easy to pick up without actually saying what these words are. The language really captures the heart of being in hot, heated Fire Country, with its deserts and cactus, with words such as blazin’, wooloo, and scorch. What the scorch do these words mean? You’ll just have to read to find out why I’m so wooloo about this story.
Fire Country also features the greatest inanimate character I’ve ever encountered – Perry the prickler! Perry speaks to Siena when she has no one else by her side and she’s personified him throughout the book. “I wonder how Perry looks now, whether he’s changed. Probably not – in my memory he’ll always be the brittle-brown wisecracker I know”.
I loved the strong character development with how Siena grew as a person. She starts off young, innocent and law abiding but slowly begins to question the world around her. She’s been bullied by her peers who call her scrawny, bony and unattractive, but as she develops throughout the course of the novel with some positive influences, this negative self talk dissipates.
David’s writing has gone from strength to strength since his previous series, the Moon Dwellers. It brings forth vivid imagery of this tribal village and the laws they must abide by in emotions, world building, and strong characters. Many authors focus heavily on either one of these elements. David excels in all three.
If you love dystopians with strong character development and amazing world building, definitely pick up Fire Country. The unusual world and language takes a bit of getting used to but in no time, you’ll be drawn into a deep and vivid story.
I received a review copy of this book from David and the Never Too Old For Y.A. & N.A. Books group, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!
Rating: 5 out of 5
As President Borg Lecter threatens to annihilate the Country tribes in order to expand his glass-domed empire, Adele ventures into the belly of the beast. Her only hope of survival is the consolidation of Dwellers and Country power before it’s too late. Former demagogue President Nailin is eliminated, yet civil unrest infects every alliance. To save Adele, President Tristan faces his greatest challenge yet: unifying unfriendly Dwellers in the Tri-Realms to raise an army against Lecter. Meanwhile, Dazz must convince the Ice Country leaders to march with Siena and the Tri-Tribes on the gates of the Glass City.The world sits on the edge of a knife. Will Adele, Tristan, Dazz, and Siena defeat Lecter and his army of killers before the Glassies wipe them off the face of the Earth?
See where it all begun with The Moon Dwellers and Fire Country
To celebrate the release of The Earth Dwellers by David Estes, the fourth book in both The Dwellers series and Country Saga, David is giving away UNLIMITED free eCopies of Fire Country, book one in the post apocalyptic, dystopian, Country Saga. A little over a year ago, David published his first young adult dystopian series, The Dwellers, and it has changed his life forever. Since then, he’s gone from struggling Indie author to fulltime writer, he’s watched in amazement as his Goodreads fan group has swelled from 300 members to over 1,600, and growing. He’s been featured on Buzzfeed, as one of the ‘15 Book Series To Read If You Enjoyed The Hunger Games‘, and has just signed on to Andrea Hurst and Associates literary agency. Andrea will we working with David to expand both the Dwellers and Country Saga, taking David’s career to a whole new level.
So before the two series collide in The Earth Dwellers, grab the coupon code below and download your eCopy of Fire Country from Smashwords. Share the code with your family, friends and literary inclined pets. The only thing David asks for in return is that if you enjoy the read and continue on with the series, to please leave a positive review on Amazon.com, Goodreads and blogs for each of his books that you read.
The Earth Dwellers will cap off an eighteen month journey that has taken me from unknown Indie author to still-mostly-unknown fulltime Indie author. The change is a subtle one for most people, but for me it’s a dream come true. To the hundreds (and now maybe even thousands!) of readers who have come along for the ride with me, either by reading the Dwellers Saga, the Country Saga, or both, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now down to business. There may be some of you who have only read the three books in the Country Saga or only the three books in the Dwellers Saga, and are now thinking you’ll read The Earth Dwellers, which is supposedly the 4th book in BOTH the Country Saga and the Dwellers Saga. Well, that’s awesome! However, I must highly recommend that before reading The Earth Dwellers that you read the three books in BOTH series. Trust me, doing so will greatly enhance your experience, as The Earth Dwellers will be taking significant characters from both series and crashing them together (yes, like a water country wave) into an action-packed tale of struggle and loss and hope and friendship… And maybe a little love, too.
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years.
A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 13 novels, 11 of which have been published. In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with his wife while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.
David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! Recently he’s been inspired by some of his favorite authors, like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Maggie Stiefvater.
David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.
Where you can find David Estes hanging out:
Children’s Books by David Estes: