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Comments And Reviews
"While Die to Lie Again is a post-apocalyptic novel, it also a story of hope arising from the ashes."
Imagine the world you know suddenly ravaged by a nuclear attack from an unknown source, leaving behind a smoldering radioactive wasteland with humanity on the brink of extinction. In the apocalyptic sci-fi novel Die To Live Again by David Crane, the main character, Tanya Gray, must face such a world, along with a small number of other survivors. Set in the near future, this gripping fast-paced narrative drops us amidst a scenario which is terrifying precisely because it is so realistic. As she and the other survivors make their way to a handful of underground sanctuary shelters, Tanya must adapt to a new way of life, and a new political atmosphere amidst chaos and turmoil.
Life within the sanctuary shelter takes a turn toward the dystopian almost immediately. Just as confusion and panic would reign in a real-life nuclear fallout, details emerge gradually within the community, breeding distrust and mutiny. The survivors must deal with establishing new systems of government, supplies rationing, death and illness from radioactivity, and violent competition over resources and power. As we come to discover the new state of the world following the launch of nuclear weapons, we experience the same shock, horror, disgust, anger (and eventually acceptance) that the characters must face.
Things take a turn when Tanya and another survivor become involved in a rebellion against the leaders of the sanctuary and are exiled to the radioactive surface of the earth. She and the other survivor face death either by radioactive poisoning, or at the hands of the nomad bands of humans that remain. However, they discover something that gives them new hope and a chance at survival - a new form of life unearthed by the tectonic shifts that resulted from the nuclear blasts. Access to this amazing resource gives humanity a hope that they did not previously have, and a chance to rebuild a civilization on the war-ravaged earth. However, this is not possible until the evil powers that started the war are apprehended, and Tanya and the other survivors must use their newfound resources to fight the final battle for humanity.
Despite being somewhat picky with my sci-fi, the plot of Die To Live Again immediately drew me in and held my attention with the same momentum until the end. The timeline within the narrative progresses rapidly, and several years pass during the story. The author skillfully uses a mix of descriptive language, dialogue, and combat/action scenes to move the plot forward. Despite the storyline being simultaneously intricate and emotionally intense, it is straightforward and easy to follow. Characters are introduced gradually, so we are not forced to learn a bunch of names and personalities all at once, though the cast of characters is fairly large.
One of the most interesting elements is how half-way through the story the entire feel of the narrative changes, as if switching genres. The first half is a gritty and realistic projection of our society as it would react to a sudden nuclear attack. The author's imagined world is built with a great amount of practical detail, and as readers it is easy to imagine ourselves in the characters' shoes. As the more fantastical elements are introduced in the second half of the book, the mood alters greatly, and the focus turns more toward revenge against the evil forces. While these later parts were exciting, I was less able to personally connect to this portion of the book. Both portions of the book contained a skillful mix of action sequences and psychological analysis, but I enjoyed the psychological elements within the first half more, simply because they related to scenarios in which I could imagine myself.
Some of the important themes within this book include the questioning of faith in a world filled with despair, and the shifting meaning of good and evil in a fight for bare survival. There are important lessons regarding the responsibility that comes with power - ones relevant and especially poignant in the tense political climate of our current world. I would not recommend this book for readers younger than the older teens, for a number of reasons. Primarily, there are several graphic scenes of violence and combat, including a rape scene and more than one suicide. Also, because the book deals with heavy topics like global nuclear annihilation and mass genocide, younger readers would likely find it traumatizing.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars, and would have given it a perfect score if I felt as invested in the second half of the story as I did in the first. Once it began to take on more fantastic elements, I lost some interest and a few of the plot twists were predictable. I found a handful of grammatical errors throughout, though these were not particularly distracting. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy both dystopian novels as well as science fiction, and who would be interested in a unique blend of the two. This is a riveting and fast-paced story full of action, adventure, and a bit of romance, with a plot that would also translate well onto the big screen.
3 out of 4 Stars
Reviewed by bluegreenmarina of OnlineBookClub.org
A young woman finds refuge in an underground bunker during a nuclear war and then emerges to live on the ruined Earth in this post-apocalyptic novel.
Tanya Gray is about to start graduate school, but a dire warning arrives in a phone call from her dad. World War III has started, and the world's nuclear powers have begun annihilating civilization. Tanya flees in her car, and then begs to be taken into an armored military vehicle. It deposits her at the Crystal Temple, an underground shelter that houses about 2,000 survivors, one of six operational structures in the United States. Run by the iron-fisted Gen. Douglas Pierce, the Crystal Temple is a comfortable and organized facility under military rule. Tanya is assigned kitchen and nursing duties, and soon begins seeing a guy named Jack Mitchell. Some thugs try to rape Tanya, but she defends herself against the brutal attack, and the perpetrators are tried and executed in a public hanging. Impressed by Tanya, Pierce gives her an intelligence job, reporting on possible traitors inside the community. While the nuclear winter kills scores of people above ground, a plot against the tyrannical Pierce is brewing, in part because the chief medical officer, Dr. Nathan Herring, is conducting bizarre experiments on survivors. Tanya and Jack are banished to the surface after their involvement in the plot is exposed, and there the effects of radiation sickness soon take hold. People now share the planet with panthers, humans who have evolved, thanks to a glowing tree, into 7-foot-tall creatures that are immune to radiation poisoning. Tanya finds that the panthers may hold the key to saving humanity in the midst of an ongoing world war. Crane's (Makers of Destiny, 2017, etc.) nuclear holocaust novel is a sweeping political tale, full of both personal and international conflicts, while digging into some deeper questions about society and what it means to be human. Tanya is a savvy, intelligent protagonist with plenty of initiative and enough emotional capacity to love, even in the face of catastrophe. The reassuring and then sinister reality inside the Crystal Temple is characterized in a plausible manner. But while the fantasy elements in the second half of the book are intriguing, they are weakened by some overwriting and the invention of a convenient miracle serum.
An imaginative sci-fi survival tale built around a cautionary, uncompromising war story.
Die To Live Again by David Crane is a compelling blend of fiction and sci-fi featuring rock-solid characters and an enthralling plot. Twenty-four-year-old Tanya Gray believes she is as ready for the end of the world as any survivalist, and it's the one thing she'd want her father to remember her for. But when the thermonuclear Armageddon hits the earth, when the bombs fall, the world isn't an iota of what she'd known it to be. What would it take to redeem humankind, to find salvation, and is she ready to pay the price?
Die To Live Again is an interesting story laced with symbolism. It can be read as sci-fi or apocalyptic literature. The writing is stellar and there are insightful thoughts scattered throughout the book. Just at the start of the story, the protagonist says, "I guess the only people who really believed in the apocalypse were the survivalists." I enjoyed the stream of consciousness and the fact that the author uses the first person narrative with great mastery, a style that will draw readers in and enthrall them. The author starts with a crisis and transforms it into a tale that will leave readers breathless. It starts with a call...
David Crane has created a work that will resonate with many readers, a powerful warning as to what could happen when we become egoistic and fail to care about our own world. I enjoyed the frightening images and was infinitely drawn to the hope hidden in the throbbing heart of the protagonist.
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
David Crane takes the reader into a post-apocalyptic world in Die to Live Again. He masterfully intertwines the horror of a post-atomic setting with all its struggles and a wonderfully fictional telling of how life finds a way to survive. The tale chronicles the life of Tanya Gray as she struggles to not only survive but also live in an uncertain future.
Tanya must traverse a myriad of political intrigue and surviving the ravages of post-nuclear devastation in this gripping novel. Tanya is a superlative protagonist who deals with the trials and tribulations before her. Throughout all her adventures she keeps to her final promise to her father, "…survive… no matter what." The story artfully unfolds before the reader and beckons the turning of the page as it captivates from beginning to end.
Steven Eutsler, author of The End's Beginning
Die to Live Again is a wonderful epic adventure. Captivating and difficult to put down, the story is brilliantly decorated with attention to detail and composed very colorfully.
I thought it was a mastery of Sci-Fi. Very unique...Once again...Bravo, Crane!
In his novel Die to Live Again, author David Crane presents a terrifying vision of a world after a nuclear holocaust. This fictional work turns imagination, speculation and facts into a believable scenario of devastation, terror and hope.
The author’s portrayal of Tanya Gray, her will to survive and vendetta of revenge is exceptional.
This novel is packed with action and suspense as it brings to the pages what so many fear today through rumor or fact. Who is truly in power and what are their true goals?
C. P. Holsinger, author of Beyond The Horizon, The Nemo Murders and others
Most people can't imagine what would happen if our nation was exposed to a holocaust. Oh, they'd most likely be able to envision the nuclear destruction, but since no one has actually lived through an apocalypse, one would be hard-pressed to describe how humans would react to their world being reduced to ashes. David Crane's Die to Live Again does just that. He provides us with a realistic portrayal of a futuristic society where the danger comes not from the rubble of buildings, but from the rubble of people's lives.
Once I got caught up in the plot, I realized that the terrifying aspect of virtual annihilation only comes after the bombs have hit their targets. The more I read, the more I became enthralled with Crane's depiction of the psychological impact that such devastation has on his characters, and what they must endure and ultimately overcome if they are to survive.
Michael Cole, author of Alien Strain, the Star Walkers Trilogy, and others
In David Crane's post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, Die to Live Again, Tanya Gray, a young college graduate, finds her life changed forever. World War III has begun, and Tanya must find shelter from the approaching nuclear nightmare. A flash of light behind the window, and a rising nuclear mushroom cloud on the horizon, signals the end of the world. Along with many desperate people, she finds sanctuary inside Crystal Temple, a high-tech underground facility run by the military.
But Tanya soon learns dark and terrible secrets about Crystal Temple, and joins a rebel movement against General Pierce. When the plot is discovered, Tanya, along with her boyfriend, Jack, are exiled to the surface. Facing a certain death from radiation sickness, they prepare to meet their end. The sudden appearance of a masked stranger with superhuman abilities informs them of a cure for their fatal conditionbut it will come at a price.
Nature offers mankind a second chance. And the world reshaped by nuclear fire will never be the same.
"Die to Live Again is a story of war, tragedy, love, and triumph of the human spirit."
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