The Change books by S.M. Stirling have really been occupying a lot of my brainspace for the two years since I read the first one. They're good stories, but the central conceit of the books--a "Change" occurs that stops all electricity and explosives (including internal combustion engines), and the mass starvation and societal collapse that follows--really colors how I look at the infrastructure of our modern world. I mean, I still live in a major city, I haven't headed off to the hills or anything, but I think about it a lot.
Anyway, the first three books deal with the Change as mostly just a given--there's some speculation by the characters as to what caused it, but mostly they're just trying to stay alive and rebuild some sort of society, and there's never any hint of why this change occurred. The next set of books is a planned series of seven (!) of which I've now read the first three. There are two major changes from the earlier set of books. For one, the main characters are no longer people who lived through the Change and constantly compare their new life to their old, rather they are the generation born into this world and have never known anything else. And for another, we are starting to see the forces behind the Change and strange and mighty forces they are, indeed.
The heart of the story of these three books is a quest, journeying from the Pacific Northwest that was the focus of the first trilogy across the changed United States to the massive ruins of the still-mostly-dead East Coast, seeking a mystical sword on the island of Nantucket, which was the epicenter of the Change (this ties into another series by Stirling).
I'm trying to pace myself on the remaining books, since the sixth book isn't out later this year and the seventh book is a question mark for 2013. Which is terrible, since I want to know what happens.
FuzzyCo grade: A