Not On Fire, But Burning

Not On Fire, But Burning

Book - 2015
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"Twenty-year-old Skyler saw the incident out her window: Some sort of metallic object hovering over the Golden Gate Bridge just before it collapsed and a mushroom cloud lifted above the city. Like everyone, she ran, but she couldn't outrun the radiation, with her last thoughts being of her beloved baby brother, Dorian, safe in her distant family home. Flash forward to a post-incident America, where the country has been broken up into territories and Muslims have been herded onto the old Indian reservations in the west, even though no one has determined who set off the explosion that destroyed San Francisco. Twelve-year old Dorian dreams about killing Muslims and about his sister--even though Dorian's parents insist Skyler never existed. Are they still shell-shocked, trying to put the past behind them. or is something more sinister going on? Meanwhile, across the street, Dorian's neighbor adopts a Muslim orphan from the territories. It will set off a series of increasingly terrifying incidents that will lead to either tragedy or redemption for Dorian, as he struggles to prove that his sister existed--and was killed by a terrorist attack. Not on Fire, but Burning is unlike anything you're read before--not exactly a thriller, not exactly sci-fi, not exactly speculative fiction, but rather a brilliant and absorbing adventure into the dark heart of an America that seems ripped from the headlines. But just as powerfully, it presents a captivating hero: A young boy driven by love to seek the truth, even if it means his deepest beliefs are wrong"--
Publisher: Brooklyn, NY :, Melville House Publishing,, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781612194530
Branch Call Number: F HRB
Characteristics: 263 pages ; 24 cm


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Feb 27, 2016

Skylar Wakefield is babysitting when something explodes over the Golden Gate Bridge and destroys it and vast areas around. This is 8/11 and no one knows who is responsible. Speculation abounds. Then we are in 2038 and the conflict is Gulf War III. This novel is about war, alternate universes, speculative futures, bullying, racial strife, teens coming of age. We become involved with Skylar and then leave her for characters in more than one future. I did enjoy the story but was sometimes a little baffled as to where I was and who was the current narrator. Speculative fiction is often a bit surreal and this was no different.

Oct 25, 2015

This book ended up feeling too much like a cross between The Adjustment Bureau and a weird episode of Star Trek. It does feature good, somewhat well-drawn characters, and it invites the reader to consider the ripple effect, or the question of what if the characters had done something different, but sometimes the pacing feels slow, and there's some jumping around between parallel or alternate universes. The ideas behind the parallel/alternate universes are described in eye-twitch inducing mathematical formulas. Overall an interesting effort, if the author had stuck to fleshing out the terrorism plot line.

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