The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times best-selling author Jeff Rovin: a science fiction thriller of epic proportions.
Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O'Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India's ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father - a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels - but when teenagers around the world start having similar outbursts, Caitlin begins to think that there’s a more sinister force at work.
In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably sets himself on fire. Animals, too, are acting irrationally, from rats in New York City to birds in South America to ordinary house pets. With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe to uncover the mystical links among these seemingly unrelated incidents in order to save her patient - and perhaps the world.
©2014 Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
I found it really well written, which I was expecting, and the story was twisty and hard to follow, which maybe some people would have a problem with, but it also made sense so I quite liked that aspect as well. The characters are very intriguing too, though some of the relationship aspect of it was a little too predictable, but there were still some interesting and unexpected turns even in that respite.
Something that I thought was very clear in the book, too, was the fact that it is one in a series and so not all will be resolved by the end of it. The main plot of the book was always being intercalated with scenes regarding the larger plot of the entire series, which I found thought provoking, and which now makes me almost regret having read it so quickly since now it will be a year before I'll know what happens next.
The main thing I was worried about actually was the main character which she had mentioned previously was partially based on herself, and when that happens it is not uncommon for the author to make the character a Mary Sue, but I found that was not at all the case.
I also liked the way many cultures were mentioned in a manner that seemed to a layman such as myself to be accurate, respectful, and easily comprehensible and relatable.
There were some things that I found myself squinting at because they were so out there, but this is after all sci-fi, so this is just related to my pure-mathematics based world views, which does not allow for the metaphysical, though it allows for some arguably even crazier stuff.
I have watched some things where she's talking about the book and its character and what were her and her co-writer's intent with this or that aspect, and I really do think it translated beautifully and was perfectly on point.
All in all, I found A Vision of Fire to be a pretty darn terrific debut novel.
just a reader
Great new story. This is a difference type of science fiction or science fantasy and it is amazing.
I would compare A Vision of Fire to saga books who allow the reader to get to know the characters before thrusting them into extreme conflict.
Gillian's tone, inflection, and voice are a perfect match for her book.
I didn't expect a whole lot from this book. To be honest, I bought it because of the author. However, I can't wait for the next one. Really looking forward to seeing how this series develops.
Don't dismiss the book because of the author, and don't solely buy it because of the author. The book stands on its own. The conflict and storyline roll in slowly. Enjoy them in the same manner.
If you expected something a bit X-Files-y from Ms. Anderson, you will not be disappointed, though it falls more into Sci-Fi / WooWoo....story a bit confusing to follow, but overall enjoyable. Ms. Anderson's narration was top notch, as it should be.
I will admit that I bought this book because I'm a huge fan of gillian anderson. But from the first chapter you're hooked. It's epic and yet relatable and I loved many of the characters. Plus I was super impressed by Gillian's accents. Definitely worth a listen!
I had to tap out with only 4 chapters left...
There seems to be a ton of fluff...with things "coming together" in only the last 3 chapters. I say that in quotes because the book doesn't really do a great job of bringing those ideas together and Gillian's performance doesn't help.
I love GA. She's amazing in The X-Files and The Fall. That said, her performance was the worst part about this book. She seemed as if she was totally bored and reading a novel to kindergartners.
I listened to this thinking it was a movie the entire way through...I think the characters could be pretty interesting but I don't know who I'd cast into this role.
I agree with many reviewers that the story was hard to follow in many areas. I also agree that Gillian's narration was oddly monotone. I was expecting someone with her acting prowess to deliver a really good performance. I wonder if she got some advice from others to keep it as monotone as possible.
I did find the use of hypnosis and the main character being such a fan of it to be ironic. In the X-Files Scully was against hypnosis completely, so it was funny to hear Gillian's voice promoting hypnosis in character for Caitlan and hear Gillian's voice denying hypnosis in character for Scully. I wouldn't have caught this if I had just read the novel or if Gillian didn't do the narration. I wonder if actors ever feel like they have MPD.
I've read a couple of interviews with Gillian where she is absolutely candid about the collaboration with Jeff Rovin. She has said that she stayed in the creative process and let Jeff do what he does best. I've not read any of Jeff Rovin's novels, so it's hard for me to see his influences, but I suspect he did the heavy lifting in the writing department.
The reader is bombarded with meta-physical concepts through the entire novel. That actually took away from me some of the suspension of disbelief that I utilized to read this book. However, the meta-physics of the novel are addressed in an interesting way in the final chapters of the novel. I am interested enough to read the second book in the series and see if I can decide if it's worth it to get the last novel in the series.
I was so excited about this Gillian Anderson book. As a rule I love it when authors read their own works and she does a great job.
What I didn't like so much was the story. It was OK., just OK.
I had read one review which said this book was nothing like the X Files, but in my mind it was almost exactly like the X Files right down to the point where it ends without a really good explanation in my mind. I think it was really clear in her mind. Just didn't make the jump to mine.
Left me scratching my head saying Hmph and feeling somewhat unsatisfied just like so many episodes of the X Files did.
Plus, I guess I missed David D.
But, if she writes another one, I'll probably listen to it. I'll have lower expectations though.
I really enjoyed this book. I'm excited to see what is next for the characters.
It was great to have it read by the author. Gillian Anderson told the story like it was hers, with the characters springing to life through her vocal details and characterization.
I thoroughly enjoyed the concept and the plot.
Report Inappropriate Content