by David Estes
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.
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.
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Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher Type: Indie
My Rating: * * * * *
You know those books, the ones that you keep thinking about long after you finish reading them; the ones that the characters feel so real, you find yourself wondering what they're doing right now? FIRE COUNTRY is so that book! Yes, I've heard all the ravings about David Estes' writing; I had high expectations and then he just totally blew those expectations out of the water! This book is woo-loo good!!!
The world building is perfection in FIRE COUNTRY with it's troubling society set in a seriously harsh environment. It takes crazy skill to provide your audience with a balance of all the needed details without boring them with an information dump. And I LOVE the creativity of this world: our same world, but different, especially their verbiage. My favorite phrase is now "woo loo" and I find myself thinking "what the scorch?!?" when vexed.
The very best thing about FIRE COUNTRY is the characters. I love Siena and her quirkiness; her convo with Perry the prickler is priceless! Her character growth is breathtakingly beautiful. It made me cry with joy in seeing her blossom. Much of FIRE COUNTRY is slower paced than my usual read --more almost slice-of-life in it's presentation at times-- but this pace is really needed for what the story is; I wouldn't, couldn't delete a single scene. It's complex and rich, like a good Malbec, especially in regards to her relationships.
Then there's the mystery, conspiracy and shocking plot twists. This book truly has it all; I can't see anyone not loving this book. I can't wait to read more of David Estes' work!!!
I love when a cover conveys the essence of the book without a word. This cover does just that and does it as a beautifully done piece of art!