Not to be confused as an instructional book to bring whilst camping, Sarah Sunday’s “How to Stop Wildfire” is strictly a taut sci-fi read that borrows heavily from the mythologies built by the greats such as J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. Replete with complicated narratives and a bounty of historical lore, Sunday has created a book that will perfectly assuage the lust of the world’s most loyal fantasy/sci-fi readers.
Sunday has created a world where humankind is confirmed as not the only kind of life in the known universe. Competing for survival alongside humans are thirty other races that collectively create the being knows as the Empire. A placement within this construct means potential eternal life, where anything is indeed possible, as demonstrated through Sunday’s propensity to document technological and supernatural frameworks. This is where the sci-fi comes in, and Sunday does a splendid job in iterating the subtle combination of science and, well, fiction.
The narrative itself finds the protagonist, a member of one of the aforementioned thirty races, searching for the one weapon that could possibly restore peace to his own land that was immersed in tumult years ago. Concurrent with this search, other members of the life forces compete to find said weapon with the exact same intentions, which is where Sunday presents a plot that is not so unlike the epic journey that have comprised tales such as The Lord of the Rings or The Neverending Story. It demonstrates the notion that we are all looking for something, regardless of what type of life we inhabit.
Sunday creatively presents worlds avidly and expertly. Clearly a devotee of the literary masters of fantasy fiction, Sunday presents her own spin on the genre. The focus upon the humanity that exists in all of the different life forces, as well as the simple driving forces for peace that is inherent to the novel’s characters, makes “How to Stop Wildfire” a commentary on the quest for the cessation of calamity, and a quite formidable one at that.