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113. Dies the Fire–S.M. Stirling

First in the Emberverse series, 4th if you include the Nantucket books.

One of the best writers of dystopia novels, in my opinion. Stirling concentrates on how people will adapt, change, adjust, survive when a real disaster strikes.

In the Nantucket series, the island is hit by some sort of brilliant light and sent back in time to the Iron Age. 

In the Emberverse series, he moves westward to Idaho and we learn the same event did not move the rest of the world into the past, but instead just turns out the lights as well as stops every other machine beyond the very basic sort.

We follow two people primarily: Juniper, an old fashioned witch as she calls herself, a believer in the goddess and the coven leader of a small group, and Mike, who, when the change comes is piloting a small plane across Idaho taking a wealthy family to their ranch for a vacation.

Mike first has to fight his suddenly non-functional plane to the ground and keep himself and his passengers alive, then he has to trek them out of the wilderness to find some sort of help. It takes them a bit longer to realize what has happened, although Mike is aware that his emergency equipment is non-functional, like the plane.

Juniper, meanwhile, is caught in a small town, and experiences the first evidences of lawlessness and violence. She’s a smart cookie though, and works to get herself, her daughter and a few friends out of town toward the small cabin she inherited from her grandfather.

Highly recommended, but bluntly violent given the situations the good guys find themselves in.  Still, good to see how people can learn to rise above disaster and fight to do what is right.