Title: Fire Country (Country Saga #1)
Author: David Estes
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Blurb: 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: Fire Country starts off with a girl, surviving in a dystopian world. She is trying to mentally prepare herself for the traditions of her tribe, The Heaters. All while dealing with bullying, an abusive father and circumstances beyond her means. She has a best friend, Circ, who she’s starting to see as possibly more than a friend but she knows their romance is impossible as there is a way for mating among the Heaters that doesn’t even allow them the possibility.
Siena, the main character, was real. Her insecurities, I very much understood, related to and believed. She’s not only dealing with insecurities and emotional and physical scars but there is a world of suspense and conspiracy going on around her. She puts herself in situations to try and unravel these mysteries and boy, was I in for a treat. Siena has a strong will and an even sharper mind. She is physically lacking- too skinny and weak. Yet this does not stop her. She learns to accept who she is, her body and see what she thought were negatives as positive. I love her transformation and seeing her become as physically strong as she is mentally.
So characters: As already covered, Sienna is awesome. Circ, her best friend, is beautiful. He is there for her. Both emotionally and physically. He is strong, a warrior, and uses his strength to protect his people and her. Their romance is truly something I loved. Perry OMG, Perry! He is fricking amazing. I love his banter with Sienna. He has such a prickly personality (Ha!) and dry sense of humor and I loved him! If his name was anywhere on the page, I laughed. And then laughed some more. The best thing about Perry? So much about him is amazing but I won’t spoil the best part.
Estes writes in a way that allows for the reader to completely immerse themselves in the novel. From the language to the imagery to emotions that run so pure that you sometimes forget yourself while reading. You laugh and cry and mourn and leap with joy. Speaking of laughs, there was something I thought of after finishing this novel that I just want to share. Have any of you watched Laugh At My Pain a comedy special by Kevin Hart? He has this ongoing joke throughout the show. He’s joking about money and how when he can’t afford something he explains his financial situation, “Because the way my bank account is set up… I have a checking and a savings but all the money is in my savings…” The more he tells it, the funnier it becomes. Estes, did something to that effect in Fire Country. An ongoing joke that even in the most suspenseful or heated moments cause a laugh. This novel gave me an insight to Estes’ sense of humor and I gotta say, you are a funny man!
The novel ended well and after all the bangs and fireworks one would expect of a grand finale and then the pace slows to fill in all the blanks that we wondered about throughout the novel. It also set the tone for the sequel, which quite honestly, I’m looking forward to. I also know this series is described as a sister series to The Moon Dwellers, but I didn’t really understand it at first. Now I do and I feel that these books, in both series, are a must read.
*I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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