A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin

AndersonRovinAVisionOfFireWhere I Got It: Review copy via the publisher (thanks!)

Narrator: Gillian Anderson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2014)

Length: 9 hours 24 minutes

Series: Book 1 Earthend Saga

Anderson’s Author’s Page & Rovin’s Author’s Page

Caitlin O’Hara is a child psychologist and a mother. Her long time friend (Ben) asks her to help on an unusual case, and one that requires the greatest discretion possible. She meets with Maanik who witnessed the recent assassination attempt on her father (India’s ambassador to the UN). Tensions are running high between Pakistan and India, so Maanik and her family have to put up a strong front of family bliss and strength. However, Maanik is practically uncommunicative when Caitlin meets her, pssibly suffering from some trauma. Caitlin works on this assumption until she hears of other similar, odd cases from other countries. Soon, the story is taking off in unexpected directions, full of mystery and action.

I thoroughly enjoyed 3/4 of this book. Caitlin is a well formed character with strengths and weaknesses. I especially enjoyed her relationship to her son (who is deaf). She’s detailed and determined in her job, but doesn’t always have the lightest touch with adults. Also, her love life is nonexistent for much of the book (giving a few mixed signals to a potential boyfriend). For much of the book, she relies on facts – things she experiences directly and things that repeat predictably (even if she doesn’t understand why they happen). But then towards the end she starts making intuitive leaps – like big, big leaps. In fact, the ending of the book is a huge, superhero with a cape leaping over tall buildings leap. It was a complete change in pacing for the book and a break in character from the established very logical Caitlin. For those two reasons, I can’t say I loved this book. I quite enjoyed 3/4 of it though.

The book did pull in bits and pieces from Norse mythology and Vodou, which was an interesting mix. For the most part, I liked it. Running parallel to these elements was a large-scale, well-funded conspiracy of unknown agents. I expect there will be more about them in the next book in the series. members of this conspiracy had small parts throughout the book, but for the most part, they seemed to be in the know as to what was going on world-wide.

So, back to the ending. things got loose and weird towards the end. It was too much too fast. SPOILER ALERT There was some gene memory thing going on – memories past down through the generations. And then we get aliens. Yep. END SPOILER ALERT. I think Book 1 could have ended a little earlier, and some of this extra not so well explained stuff could have been put into Book 2 and made better use of.

Over all, it was an interesting read. I would recommend waiting til Book 2 comes out so that you don’t have to wait around wondering what you missed in the ending of Book 1 and can jump into Book 2 right away where (hopefully) everything is explained.

Narration:  Gillian Anderson did a great job narrating. Of course, I pictured her as Caitlin, but no harm in that. She pulled off the various accents well and had a variety of voices for children, men, and women.

What I Liked: The large scale mystery; Caitlin was easy to connect with; the politics added an interesting level to it; Norse mythology; Vodou; the narration.

What I Disliked:  The ending fell apart for me – too much too fast with not enough explanation for me or the main character.

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