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The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times bestselling 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 NatThe first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times bestselling 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....

Title : A Vision of Fire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781476776521
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Vision of Fire Reviews

  • Alejandro
    2018-11-04 14:10

    A baptism of FIRE in writing for a well-known media personalityI WANT TO BELIEVEWe do not blame words for being insufficient to express new ideas.Yes, you read right, the author of this novel is Gillian Anderson, and yes, she is the very same one who gave life to the character of FBI Special Agent Dana Scully in the TV cult series The X-Files.Some may argue that she must be used as a marketing trick to sell the book and it was Jeff Rovin who did all the work. Why thinking that? Sure, Jeff Rovin must do many of the "carpentry" and supporting about grammar, structure, etc... Since it's no secret that he had done this in many occasions even as a true "ghost writer" without having his name on the cover. But as you can see, the cover while having in big lettering the name of Gillian Anderson, it's quite noticeable the name of Jeff Rovin too. So, it's not a secret that he helped in the process to make this novel a reality. There isn't a "secret government conspirancy" about this. And why isn't she able to write a dang novel? Mmh? Because is she an actress? Because is she a woman? Is she less actress than Hugh Laurie? That nobody is questioning that he wrote his sole novel. Is she less woman than J.K. Rowling? That nobody is questioning that she wrote her novels.Gillian Anderson in her "real life" is a true believer of paranormal stuff, contrary to the role that she had to perform in her character of Agent Scully. Even, she had to call the help of a Canadian Indian Shaman to do a "cleaning" of a house that she bought to live while she was filming The X-Files TV series. So, that's why I find quite easy to believe that she decided to do some creative writing work in Science-Fiction.It's true that many media personalities do "ghost writing" to make their biographies or the novelizations of their movie scripts. But why do have to fall in the shadow of the doubt everybody? If somebody got famous for a different reason than writing first, must they be phonies?I want to believe.I want to believe that Gillian Anderson did the plot and storyline of the book series, and since she is busy with acting jobs like her roles in current TV series like Hannibal and Crisis and since she hadn't a professional experience/formation as novelist, it's totally understable to look for the support of somebody else with the skills and time that she was lacking to be able to make her novel as she wanted, BUT this is "her baby", this is her design, this is her VISION ...of Fire.THE TRUTH IS OUT THEREOur brains have evolved but our bodies are still locked in the Pleistocene.Vision of Fire is the first novel in a book series known as "Earthend Saga".The main character is Dr. Caitlin O'Hara, a child psychiatrist who has a private practice, in an office at New York, but also she has credentials with the Wolrd Health Organization and connections with the United Nations. Single mother of a kid with hearing impairment.A long time friend of hers, Ben, who is an official translator at the UN, asks for her help in a delicate case. The teenager daughter of the UN Indian Ambassador is presenting disturbing symptoms questioning the daughter's mental health. However, this has to be managed with tight discretion since the ambassador is in the middle of a very delicate peace talks trying to avoid a conflict between Indian and Pakistan which may even scalate into the use of Nuclear weapons.The quest behind the truth of the illness the Indian ambassador's daughter will take Caitlin even beyond the frontiers of the United States, visiting odd similar cases of other teenagers in Haiti and Iran. However, the local cultural customs, religious faiths and even political ambiances will put Caitlin in different kind of threats and also self-questioning about her own personal view of the world.And beyond of Caitlin's current knowledge, out there, the archaeological hunt of a private club may put the entire planet into lethal danger.I think that my only complain about the character of Caitlin O'Hara is at some point where in the middle of her quest, while she has been portraited as very open minded until then, she has a strong brief "lapse" when in the middle of her investigation, the name of God is involved. Okay, she seemed to be agnostic, but in that particular moment of the narrative, she seemed more like an atheist. True, I believe in God, but hardly I am closed-minded to believe that he must be, well, first a "he", it could very well a "she", and also hardly a beared old man resting in a white cloud. God is a very open concept. It can be many things. A superior power in many senses and levels. So, I think limited that if someone claimed to be "open minded" looking for the "truth" of how the universe works and clearly wanting to keep the concept of "God" out of the equation. Maybe God isn't part of the equation, but I don't know it, and nobody else know it for certain neither. So, until we'll be able to unlock the secrets of the universe, "God" must be kept as one of the possible answers. No one can't decide what is "the truth" since due poor thinking like that, that's why the human civilization thought for centuries that Earth was flat and the Sun orbited around it. For people who decided what was "the truth" is why we had things like Inquisition and Nazism in the past.Returning to the novel, this is quite entertained thriller, with an engaging narrative, good characters and a very informative use of the current social, cultural, political and religious situation around the world and inside of the countries.And the best of all, it's that all seems that the "status quo" of the expected storyline will have a quantum evolution for the next book in the series. But with a satisfactory closure in the book that I always find rewarding while reading a novel which is part of a book series. You can't expect that anything will be explained, but the main plot on the book should have a proper ending in the current novel. And you will have this here, and I am grateful for that.This is a book series with great potential and I am truly glad of having read this first novel and certainly I will be waiting for the second one.

  • Darth J
    2018-10-26 10:52

    2.5 starsThis book tried to mix a lot of things together. Norse mythology:Vodou:And the ending brings us:The problem is that this book seems like a boring X-Files episode. You can't not see the connections; mainly because the author played Dana Scully--and let's face it: that's the only reason most of us are even aware of this book. Anderson brings celebrity and spotlight to a book that a lot of people would look over immediately (view spoiler)[despite being told that Jeff Rovin is "the author of more than 130 books, ... including numerous New York Times bestsellers", I've never heard of him though he seems to mostly be ghost-writing for Anderson on this one (hide spoiler)]. Unfortunately it's not enough to save the dry tone of this novel.I will say that I wanted to like Caitlin (who is obviously an avatar for Anderson) and the rest of this book. I liked the fact that she has a deaf son and allows him to have his choice regarding the whole cochlear implant situation (which is a hot button issue in the deaf community); however, it seemed too convenient that understanding her son's communication differences are what allows her to be able to understand what is going on with her patients. I liked that Caitlin was very cerebral, but most of the time we are stuck in her head with her wall of text analyzation of every.little.thing.The climax was a hot mess though. In trying to find all the common threads among cultures and her patients blah blah blah, Caitlin finds herself in some psychic volcanic Pompeii-like dream state where spirits are trying to steal souls or something. Literal hot mess, because not only is it confusing there is lava and fire eruptin' all up in the ancient past.The editing wasn't bad, nor were there any noticeable errors. The formatting, however, was strange. Each first paragraph of a chapter was crazily indented at nearly half the page. It looks like one of those tricks you learn to lengthen your essays (but really fools no one). Perhaps it's a stylistic choice, but if this was an SPA book the reviews would hit the roof about poor formatting.This is the first book in the Earthend Saga, unfortunately I'm not interested enough to even care what happens in the rest of them. This pre-apocolyptic first entry was too drawn out with info dumps before getting to the actual meat of the story (despite being 292 pages) and was confusing when it wasn't all in our MC's head. I'm going to give this book away and pass on the rest of the series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Ashley
    2018-10-29 11:18

    Updated November 2014: Let’s just get this first thing out in the open. For the rest of her life, Gillian Anderson will always first and foremost be Special Agent Dana Scully, FBI. And just so we’re clear, there are definitely worse things she could be associated with.I was totally batshit obsessed with The X-Files back in the day. Like, ad-hoarding-under-the-bed, fanfic-reading, thinking-about-it-all-the-time, staying-up-until-3-AM-on-school-nights-to-watch-re-runs-obsessed*. It was My Show. So, as a caveat for the rest of this review, that lingering love for GA and her X-Files days is the only reason I read this book, when I normally would have read the blurb and been like either, a) NUCLEAR WAR NO THANKS, or b) Meh, thrillers??? Point being, not something I’d seek out on my own.*Kids today are spoiled. They can just Netflix this shit up and finish it in weeks, if not days. I had to work HARD to make sure I’d seen every episode. I mean, my God, it was even before DVDs! And I started watching in season six! Keeping detailed spreadsheets, scouring the TV Guide every week for possible ones I’d missed, pretending to watch shows my mom approved of while secretly recording it on my VCR . . . and every episode was magical as a result. I mean, I don’t miss all the work I had to do to catch up on a TV show, not really, but I do miss that feeling. You know?Second thing: this was not a bad book by any means, but it was very silly in points, and very new agey. This was pretty much exactly what I’d been expecting going in, because I’ve seen the episode GA wrote and directed for The X-Files (“all things”), and as much as I want to high-five her for pushing to get that M&S post-sex scene* in there, that episode was (and remains) one of the trippiest, new agiest things I’d seen on TV. And I watch a lot of TV.*The thing that I love most about that scene in retrospect is that it’s just in there and no one ever mentions it again. And this was a at a time when us sad little shippers had to pick through every episode with a fine-toothed comb to get a fix for our UST. And somehow I completely missed the blow-up surrounding this episode. To be honest, I didn’t even pick up on its (now blatantly obvious) message in the slightest. Which was: M&S ARE BONING YOU FOOLS. I was just like, oh hey, why is Scully putting her shirt on in Mulder’s apartment while he’s naked in the bed? I have no idea what I was thinking. It’s not like I didn’t have sex on the brain when I was fifteen, because I way totally did. And then, whoops! She turns up preggers! How did that happen!? Um, spoilers?In many ways, A Vision of Fire is a pretty standard sci-fi thriller, more akin to one of those ones you can buy in a grocery store than anything else. It’s pulpy and fast-paced and everything is written to be as extremely dramatic as possible. For the first half of the book, anyway. And then . . . well. It gets weird and scary and just weird. I liked GA’s conscious decision to make it a more global novel, even as her protagonist, Caitlin O’Hara, is a white American. Pretty much everyone else is a POC and of different nationalities, and they’re pretty well-rounded considering the type of story they’re inhabiting. I know from interviews that other cultures and religions have always been pretty interesting to her, so it doesn’t surprise me she’d choose to feature them so prominently in her debut novel (which she presumably had a lot of help with from writing partner Jeff Rovin).My main issue with the book, aside from it being something that isn’t normally my cuppa, is that the main character starts believing in the weird stuff really, absurdly quickly. She basically goes from being a normal child psychologist (albeit a high profile one) to someone who makes intuitive leaps of faith and accepts stuff that is really frickin’ weird in almost no time at all, and with very little evidence for most of it. (I’m trying to be vague about the actual plot so as to retain the thrill of surprise for you–pretty much if you take that away from this type of book, you’re shooting it in the foot.)In all honesty, the weirdness was part of the draw, so I can’t really complain about it too much. She pretty much sticks to your standard thriller formula, otherwise, including a love interest (who I of course pictured as David Duchovny). That part of the book wasn’t all that remarkable, but it was also pretty harmless as well. All in all, A Vision of Fire was a really quick popcorn read, so if you don’t end up liking it, you won’t have wasted much time on it. If you come in expecting GA weirdness, you won’t be disappointed.This book is apparently the first in a series, as well, and with the way this one ended, it can only get more weird from here.Updated October 2014: Actually finished this early this morning, but went off to cuddle a brand new baby and got distracted. The first half of this book was pretty normal. The second half got weird. It was pretty much exactly what I expected. Full review later.May 2014: If "all things" is anything to go by, this book could be epically weird.

  • Karina Halle
    2018-10-29 14:14

    WHAAAT?! Scully wrote a book? And it sounds awesome?! Granted, it seems she had help with it, but I don't care. I love Gillian! *gimme gimme* #XFilesFan4Life

  • Billie
    2018-11-15 13:07

    I had a hard time picking a star rating for this book. It's not really good enough to earn three stars, but I literally could not stop reading it, so it obviously has some level of awesomeness which saves it from the two star rating it probably actually deserves. It's insane and makes pretty much zero sense, but it's unputdownable at the same time. Book crack. This is definitely book crack.

  • Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
    2018-11-10 13:56

    I was excited for MONTHS when I found out that Gillian Anderson was writing a book! And a science fiction book no less!?!? Perfect, right? And then the reviews started coming out when the ARC's were released, and they were mostly poor reviews, and my enthusiasm dimmed a little. So it was with slight trepidation that I started this book, slightly afraid that it would disappoint me.I needn't have worried, because it was really an awesome book. I think the reason why some people may not like it as much is because it is being advertised and promoted as a science fiction book, and to be honest it's more like a psychological thriller with some science fiction elements. That threw me off a little too, but didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. It was exciting, adventurous, thrilling, fun, mysterious, and very intense. I absolutely loved it! I am glad I took the chance on it, despite some of the negative reviews here on goodreads, because it was a great read for me.Just as a fun fact to go along with this review; I had my copy signed by Gillian at New York City Comic Con this past weekend! She is just as lovely and kind in person as I had always imagined her to be! :)

  • John Jr.
    2018-10-29 12:07

    I have a friend who declined to join Goodreads when I invited him, because he doesn’t want people to know what kind of book he spends his time reading. He has an agile mind, earned an advanced degree, and knows a foreign language well enough to have published translations of poetry; to say more would risk identifying him. Unexpectedly, my friend—I’ll call him Mikey—diverts himself by gobbling down thrillers at a rapid rate. He’s not undiscriminating; more than one review copy I’ve offered him has been bounced back to me when the opening chapters didn’t win him over.When I found an advance reading copy of A Vision of Fire, I was afraid to try it, so—as in the old Life cereal ad on TV—I took it to Mikey. The result came back soon: Mikey liked it. He had read it cover to cover in a matter of days, and he pronounced it “a real page-turner.” I decided to give it a go and set aside my qualms: that joint authorship is an uncommon beast in the realms of fiction; that an actress known for a science-fiction TV show who turns to the book market may be engaged in “brand extension” as much as in writing; and that the publisher’s label on the back cover, “a science fiction thriller of epic proportions,” sounds just a tad over-excited.Having completed it, I can say that I share Mikey’s view in one sense: A Vision of Fire is a page-turner in that you have to read it quickly—there’s nothing to ponder, nothing to linger over, unless a flat, declarative prose style, occasional oddities of plot development, and apparent mistakes of wording interest you. The swarming of rats toward a mysterious artifact in a building near Washington Square Park may make sense given the story, but not their initial crowding onto the arched monument itself. The tapping of keys on a tablet computer is wrong, because tablets don’t have keyboards (nor does there seem to be a separate, wireless one in the scene). The renowned child psychologist and single mom who’s at the center of the story, named Caitlin O’Hara, is more or less believable as a caring scientist forced to accept increasingly unlikely explanations, but she’s somewhat two-dimensional, doesn’t have much of a history, isn’t very well fleshed out. C’mon, she’s Irish—can’t some liveliness or color be gotten out of that? And the story proceeds in a pretty straight line toward the ending, apart from a few side glances at a secretive group, called the Group, and the weird, symbol-carved artifact it got hold of. There’s no unexpected twist, no real surprise in the working out of the story.Actually, there is one surprise of sorts. The story reaches an end without wrapping everything up. One might imagine that there’s more to come, and, though the ARC doesn’t say so, it seems there is. News reports from early in 2014 that I hadn't seen at the time, such as this one, indicate that A Vision of Fire is the start of an entire series to be written by Gillian Anderson and co-author Jeff Rovin. Anderson is an actress of great skill and appeal (see The House of Mirth or The Fall for examples), and Rovin, who has produced a large body of work, is clearly no novice. My friend Mikey—and many other readers, to judge from early Goodreads reviews—will be glad for further encounters with this series. But I, for one, get no thrill from imagining that Anderson and Rovin are, even now, tap-tap-tapping on their tablets.

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2018-10-27 13:00

    I really enjoyed this book, pure escapism into a fantastical story by the very talented Gillian Anderson, who of course played Agent Scully in the ever popular TV show The X-Files. I am a fan of hers, so was keen to read this book. To be honest, I did not have high hopes after reading some rather scathing reviews. I am glad I ignored them however as this was a very interesting book with elements that I found refreshing and interesting.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.Caitlin is roped in to attend the home of the Indian Ambassador to the United Nations. She is having horrific outbursts, in a strange trance like state, really scary and mystifying stuff that baffles Caitlin, in all her years of experience she has NEVER seen anything like it and can't place it within a diagnostic box. This is something out of the ordinary. In desperation, the family of this young girl Maanik beg Caitlin to keep her treatment of their daughter under wraps due to the spotlight on the tension between India and Pakistan, not wanting to draw attention to themselves. Caitlin soon becomes obsessed with the case.With more research Caitlin begins to hear and see footage of other teenagers around the world that are experiencing the same things, trance-like states, screaming, clawing at themselves, writing down strange symbols, muttering in other languages. As she visits each of these teenagers around the world she is challenged with putting together the pieces of these unknown phenomenons so she can help Maanik be free of the torment and place she has gone to inside herself.The plot is super well paced, lots happening right from the word go to the end, it's interesting, it's not easy to put the pieces together yourself. As Caitlin explores more and more it becomes clear that she is dealing with something not of this dimension, something supernatural and other-worldly, the likes of, never seen before. She searches deeper and consults with a Voudou Priestess (note: not Voodoo, it is Voudou) in Haiti and searches lost languages, lost cultures and more. There is some spectacular stuff!And what is the strange artifact brought from the bottom of the ocean that seems to have a strange impact on the environment around it? This is just another intriguing part of this great plot that excites and delights. It is a book with so many interesting facets that eventually come together for an enormous reveal.I was desperate to know the secrets and when it was revealed what was really going on I didn't expect it, it had my brain working overtime piecing it together and taking it all on. A book that blends some fantasy with reality, with a touch of the supernatural thrown in. I really enjoyed this book and particularly liked the character of Maanik in it, some of the scenes when Caitlin is trying to help her through her trance like outbursts are edge of your seat stuff. Heck, even Maanik's dog is afraid of her, it's like she has gone somewhere else, yet remains. Hard to explain, don't want to give away too much. A very good read, I read it from cover to cover in one sitting, readable by both young adults and adults alike I feel. Just one of those pure escapism novels. Gets you out of this world and into the book. I received a copy of this novel thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Leah
    2018-11-01 15:06

    3.5 StarsGuys, I wanted to give this a full 5 stars. Going into this book, I assumed that being an The X-Files fan, I’d fangirl all over this novel, because it was written by Scully. Not the case.A VISION OF FIRE follows Caitlin O’Hara, a prominent child psychologist, who is asked by a long-time friend (Ben - a translator that works for the UN) to meet the Indian Ambassador’s daughter, Maanik. Maanik has just faced a trauma (having seen an assassination attempt on her father), and seems to be experiencing some major personality changes because of that trauma. Caitlin meets with her and her family, and quickly realizes that what Maanik is going through isn’t typical, and it’s up to Caitlin to discover what is causing Maanik’s violent dreams/visions, and why she’s speaking a completely new language.For Caitlin to discover those answers, she travels to both Haiti and Iran to meet with two other teenagers who have exhibited very similar symptoms.Overall, I really liked reading about Caitlin unraveling this mystery, and I loved her interactions with most of the other characters, including her deaf son, Jacob and Ben. My issue with the story is that it seems like Gillian Anderson tried to incorporate too much in too few of pages. I understand that this is going to be a series, but if you’re going to info dump, I want it all at once. I don’t feel like she gave enough, especially about The Group, to put it in this story. I would rather have known more about that secret organization and the artifacts they were discovering, or to just omit it, because for me, it confused the story.(view spoiler)[The artifacts seem alien, but everything else in the story didn’t to me. It felt supernatural-y or the possibility of another universe within our own. Or both. This may have been a mis-read on my part, but with the different religions and the talking of souls and the connection of souls and past lives, none of that felt alien. And honestly, I’m hoping that I’m right about the story being more about lost civilizations being sucked into another dimension or realm versus aliens. I think it’ll make for an interesting story...but I just don’t know, because of the freaking artifacts.(hide spoiler)]I’m definitely going to try the next book in the series, because I’m intrigued. And, I love being genuinely interested in what happens next in a story, like I am here. So, even though I rated this a little low, it was because of my own issues with what I felt was missing.I think the writing is solid, and the plot, while crazy as heck and disjointed, it worked. I loved the characters, and I’m definitely hoping to see Maanik and Gaelle, and others who had gone through similar experiences as major players going forward. And I’d love to see more Caitlin and Ben, because I have a romantic side about me, and I’m already hoping for a happy ending for them.To those who’ve read this (either PM me or put your thoughts in spoiler tags, because I’m honestly curious about your answers...I’m very lost in my own opinion):(view spoiler)[Do you think Jacob may end up getting sucked into these visions in the later books? Or do you think he would just close himself off because he’s 10 and his mother kept leaving? I didn’t think it was just Caitlin’s connection to the visions that was part of the issue. I think Jacob may be connected as well. I don’t know, what do you think? (hide spoiler)]

  • Steve
    2018-10-30 12:59

    A Vision of Fire (Earthend Saga #1) by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin is a tense, intelligent and moving work of science fiction and international political intrigue that is setting up a massive series. Full disclosure: I fully admit that Gillian Anderson is one of my favorite actresses. She also narrated the Audible version, which she ably accomplished.Child psychologist Caitlin O'Hara receives a cryptic call from a friend to visit the daughter of India's Ambassador to the United Nations, Maanik. Maanik has begun to have seizures of some sort and the Ambassador, embroiled in tense negotiations with Pakistan, cannot afford the publicity of his daughter's possible mental illness. Maanik is also having visions and speaking languages she could not possibly know, appearing to be possessed. Through hypnosis, Caitlin finds that Maanik is witnessing the end of the world. Caitlin studies the visions and in doing so finds that there are multiple instances of teenagers around the globe having similar visions. In Iran, a boy sets himself on fire. In Haiti, a teenage girl nearly drowns in seawater while she is standing on dry land. All have visions. All speak in foreign tongues that have no way of knowing. In another part of the world, an ancient artifact is unearthed. There is a sense of impending doom upon everyone. Caitlin must unravel the mystery of the visions before the end of the world becomes a reality, with India and Pakistan on the verge of nuclear war.With a co-writer on board, the question arises about how much of the tale Gillian Anderson actually wrote. She has been completely transparent about this, revealing that her coauthor, Jeff Rovin, took care of the sci-fi stuff, while she contributed character development and plot. In this case, it seemed to work. This is an ambitious novel combining science, faith, and politics, blending superstition and psychology, daring to use both to answer the revealed mysteries. Are visions real? Is possession real? Are there unexplained powers and phenomenon of which we are unaware and from which we cannot protect ourselves? Sounds like the X-Files, no?The book explores and tantalizes, yet moves slowly at times. It has to; otherwise the reader would lose themselves in everything that is happening within the story. The anxiousness never lessens, with Pakistan and India locking horns, with Maanik slowly going mad, and with Caitlin traveling the world trying to find the answers.The novel leaves many questions unanswered, of course, and a sequel is on the way. Overall, there is a very good story here, and I am looking forward to the second book. There is a lot of potential left in this series.

  • Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋
    2018-10-19 14:18

    A-Z Challenge AND PopSugar Challenge with my fellow crustaceans Karly, Jess, Heather, and NeniaA book by a female author - A Vision of Fire (Earthend Saga #1)A = Anderson, Gillian2.5 starsI was never an X-Files fan, blasphemy I am sure, but David Duchovny annoys me. So it wasn't until later that I became a fan of Gillian Anderson. I’m not sure when exactly, but it has been many years. I mean just look at her, smart, gorgeous, sexy. I would kill to look like her at 46! I recently watched her in The Fall and she was phenomenal. So that brings me to A Vision of Fire. A few months back I heard that she co-wrote a science fiction thriller with Jeff Rovin and from the description, it sounded like it could be a good one. But as we all know, smart and sexy, does not necessarily make a good writer. And honestly, I had never heard of Jeff Rovin either. In A Vision of Fire, Dr. Caitlin O’Hara, child psychologist, is called in by a friend, Ben, a UN translator, to assist with a seemingly delusional girl, Maanik, who happens to have just witnessed an attempted assassination of her father, the Ambassador of India. In addition, she finds two other teens, one in Haiti and one in Tehran, with similar experiences. Maanik’s visions become increasingly unusual, including speaking foreign languages and gestures that lead Dr. O’Hara to believe that the girl is connecting with souls from a previously undiscovered time, years before the first documentations of humans exist. Right off the bat, I was thrown off by the writing style. Tim Martin for the Telegraph described it best in referencing Anderson’s/Rovin’s “tin-eared” dialogue (Telegraph). I seem to come across this lately and is my biggest pet-peeve. Writing should flow smoothly, with a sensitivity to the subtly of language. Instead we have an over-descriptive, clinical, choppy mess. It did get better as the story progressed, but not drastically so. And although I found this to be a page turner, there were too many disconnecting elements all at once and the story never really resolved itself. Caitlin was able to bring things to a cease fire, but with the foreboding of more to come for Dr. Caitlin O’Hara and Ben. I get the feeling that they were going for a Dan Brown meets the X-Files atmosphere and never truly lived up to it. This novel is the first in the series, but unless I hear more positive things about the sequels, I don’t think I will bother.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2018-10-28 15:01

    Wow...okay. This is a tricky one for me. I admit I picked it up mostly because of Gillian Anderson's name. I got the audio that she read.First I need to comment on the book's "tone" and the way Me. Anderson read it. The only word that comes to mind is, "somber". There is an unremitting down sound to this book and that's how it's read. This after a while leads to a dull draggy feel even if the tone is appropriate to the plot and action. I found long stretches of the book stultifying. I'm not sure if modulating her voice more would have helped. I can see why she stayed with the somber tone as the book is shooting for "portentous" and "doom laden" but after a while the continuing sameness sort of defeats the purpose.So, the story. Around the world visions (from children often) are causing insanity...the world is tottering on the brink of self-annihilation.The plot (as I've seen others say) does put me a little in mind of one of the X Files conspiracy episodes. Then again when you get into the book the "deeper plot" is very much like what I've read is a Scientology teaching.Since I'm not an authority and this comes from simply reading about Scientology I can't say more...and I have no idea if Ms. Anderson is aware of the similarity....Anyway, I may try one more, we'll see.Not bad, has it's flaws maybe try this one yourself...and beef up those "suspension of disbelief" muscles.

  • jo
    2018-10-25 14:10

    man i really liked this. i really, really did. i can't judge what part of the writing is by anderson and what part is by rovin, but man, if it's mostly her, she can write. she can put together a story and she can be deep and interesting and she can write. will the magic of this woman ever cease to enthrall?

  • John Purvis
    2018-11-06 15:00

    “A Vision of Fire” was published in 2014 and was co-authored by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin. This is Ms. Anderson’s first novel, while Mr. Rovin has published more than 15 other novels. I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. The novel is written in the third person and is set mostly in contemporary New York, New York. The primary view point is from Caitlin O’Hara a well known child psychologist. India and Pakistan are on the brink of what many feel will be a nuclear war. Ganak Pawar the UN representative from India is a prime driver in the the on going peace process. After a thwarted attack on his life, Ganak’s teenage daughter begins to have violent and strange visions. Dr. O’Hara is called in to quietly treat the girl. Discretion is required in order for the peace negotiations to not be disrupted. Soon Dr. O’Hara discovers that there are other young people in far flung locations around the world who are suffering in similar ways to Ganak’s daughter. She also finds evidence of strange behavior by animals in various locations. As you may recall, Gillian Anderson played a significant role in the ‘X Files’ TV series and movies. This story fits rite into that vein. There is intrigue, suspense and and the touch of unknown powers throughout this story. I found the plot to be very engaging and I liked all of the characters. The way the books ends, I would be surprised if there was not a sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed the 6 hours I spend with this novel and give it a 5 out of 5. Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at http://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/.

  • Chelsea Schafer
    2018-10-27 13:18

    This book is not very good. It's slightly better if you are imaging Dana Scully as the protagonist. But it's still not very good. I still love Gillian Anderson, though.

  • Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
    2018-10-18 15:06

    2.5X-FILES STORY TIME!Or maybe not. But if you want to share, I'm game.The only momentous change in my life that happened, courtesy of X-Files, was my fascination and, in the beginning, fear of twins. Aaaaand... a major part of happy family time of my childhood was between 10:00-11:00 pm, Monday to Friday, watching Scully and Mulder solve the unsolvable and uncover conspiracies in rapt attention. My parents really didn't care about shielding us from fictional horror. Good on them! I'm glad that I don't have a twin though. That one episode fucked me up bad for a while.The truth is out there. Or in here?Cause, I mean, Scully wrote the damn book. How can the truth not be in here? In that case, be sure that these global turmoils soon quite down or some of us will be, in time, kaput.Or maybe it's not, because really, this book is like a blander episode of X-Files. Conspiracies and interesting science fiction? Done. Interesting characters? Not done. Basically, one of those episodes which you'll watch because you cannot not watch X-Files, and since it's X-Files, it'll hold your attention but soon as the advertisements come on, you are changing the channel. And Mulder & Scully are rrreally boring you-even the undetectable chemistry of sometimes seasons is lacking. Even Mulder seems bereft of his obsession, and Dana of her denial.BUT THE TRUTH IS IN HERE, I TELL YOU.And let's be done with the comparison/metaphor anyway. Whose stupid idea was it in the first place? So the moment of truth...Old civilizations and secret organizations, political upheaval and diplomatic tensions. War on the horizon, possessions within the house. A goody-goody, open-minded, fried tofu of a protagonist who also happens to be a psychiatrist tells the story. How do you like tofu, by the way?No wait, let me guess. You don't. Who likes tofu? Fried tofu? Without seasoning? Fortunately, we have plenty of the latter. In the form of mystics and snakes. But back to non-digressions, I was actually enamored of the India-Pakistan feuds and solutions and tensions being thrown across the court in the book. I mean, I can open up any news channel and there it is: Kashmir border fights, Pakistan shooting etc but seeing it handled reasonably, realistically with anticipated reactions of both Indians and Pakistanis in a book kinda blew me away. Secondly, I dig old secrets no one's discovered. Why do you think I've read two of Dan Brown's books? (Okay, it's also so I can point at the TV and say I've READ that movie.) A Vision of Fire is full of that crock. And the theory behind it developed in a nice way, even if it's progression in the book sorta pissed me off.Dr I-WILL-SURVIVE surely and steadily goes on an intercontinental romp from Haiti to Iraq (I think, I forget) where she meets mystics who hand her answers on a silver platter.Voodoo priestess: Herehere, lemme show you what you're dealing with.Hindu priest: Herehere, lemme tell you what you're dealing with.And we should know because, herehere, WE ARE SUCH MYSTICS and WE KNOW EVERYTHING. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK NO MORE.Not that they, or she, actually say it.A couple plane rides and yeah, she has the answers.I like the answers though. And so we continue the story. Whatever, after she saves the world in uninspired words and boring prose, Dr My-Name-Is-Who returns to her life but secret organizations butt in, hinting at clues for another book and most certainly not giving answers about their part in the story, other than wasting time and "trying" to allow for revelations. So all in all, bad things, poor things, boring things but fun! I enjoyed it.Honestly, don't waste your time unless you are tired of heavy, complicated mysteries and that hidden stash of crap YA books and trashy romances (we all have it(and by that, I don't mean *I* do)) is depleted. This is simply put, fluffy and a mind-relaxant. Not a good book for Halloween season, but afterwards, have your fill.HAVE YOUR FILL OF THE TRUTH. THE TRUTH IS NOT OUT THERE ANYMORE.(Also, guys, nobody I know-and 90% people I know are Indians-calls anyone besides Gandhi "bapu," and THAT only lasts till 3rd grade or something.)Thank you for the review copy, Simon & Schuster!

  • Kyle Warner
    2018-10-24 10:59

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review..I was looking forward to this one. I loved The X-Files and have kept up with the principle cast and crew since the show ended. Chris Carter has done next to nothing since the show ended, which is very disappointing. David Duchovny has kept busy, but I can’t say I was a big fan of his show Californication. Gillian Anderson has had the most interesting post-X career. In addition to roles in film, she’s also done more good work on TV, and in 2014 she had important roles in three different shows (Hannibal, The Fall, Crisis). So, when I heard that Anderson was releasing a novel this year, I was really impressed. Been a busy year for the actress. The book, co-written by Jeff Rovin, is meant to be the first part of a new series called the Earthend Saga. Sounds cool!Sadly, I found the novel to be a bit dull and it took me over a month to finish reading it.The story sounds interesting. Spread out across the globe, a small number of people are having dangerous fits as they have psychic visions. A girl in New York is cutting her arms during these episodes, a girl in Haiti seems to drown on dry land, and a boy in Iran sets himself on fire. The occurrences are linked by a strange, seemingly unheard of dialect that the victims speak during their trances/fits/visions.Psychologist Caitlin O’Hara goes from one victim to the next, discovering clues and developing a theory about past lives reaching out and shaking the present in a violent fashion. But Caitlin is working against the clock, as tensions are higher than ever in the Middle East, and some believe doomsday is right around the corner.A Vision of Fire is a supernatural thriller that somehow manages to suck the wonder out of its otherworldly ideas and rob the suspense from the thriller parts of the story. Too often the characters observe something strange and then spend chapters discussing it until it no longer seems so strange anymore. It’s not exciting and it makes the whole ordeal feel somehow ordinary.Even more bothersome are the moments when things get stressful and the characters pretty much say, ‘Let’s think about something else for a while,’ and the tension goes away as they discuss their kids, or politics, or the love that could’ve been. It’s strange. Caitlin and her colleagues don’t lack drive, but there seems to be a reoccurring theme of ‘we’ll take care of it tomorrow,’ which has no place in a thriller.Caitlin’s a likable character – and one can easily see Anderson herself in the role. She’s fully developed and a more than capable lead for this type of story. I was also interested in the victims that witness these visions as their circumstances became increasingly frightening.While I was not a fan of the book, I will say that I like the direction it was going by the end. The final third of the book is the weirdest part of the story, but it’s also the most readable and entertaining. It seems to hint at better things in store for the Earthend Saga. One can’t help but wonder if A Vision of Fire is just like its title suggests: a vision of things to come, and almost like a prologue for a bigger, better story.I wish Anderson and her co-author Jeff Rovin all the best with their series. Will I read Book 2? …Probably not. However, if Anderson and Rovin collaborated on a different, unrelated book one day in the future, I might be interested in that.I really don’t like leaving bad reviews for books, but a review of some kind is what NetGalley expects, so… here ya go.

  • Jessica | Booked J
    2018-11-15 10:00

    *(3.5 stars)Is that the ultimate paradox of life, she wondered, that the universe should become less clear with age?Everyone who knows me knows that I have a massive crush on Gillian Anderson--she is basically my ride or die when it comes to celebrities. A Vision of Fire is her debut work of fiction with Jeff Rovin and it starts off steady and with a thrilling question. As far as first installments goes in science fiction, this is a positively delicious (and maybe a little frightening) introduction to The Earthend Saga and managed to be riveting, thoughtful and mysterious. It had its rough patches mid-novel that felt to drag on a bit more than the rest, which is what knocked it down a half star in my review, but for the most part it was thoroughly enjoyable. I liked seeing her return to science fiction in a way that was reminiscent of The X-Files but still fresh and different. Teaming up celebrities and authors to create a new series can be a tricky task that is often lost in translation but Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin's vision (har-har-har) is clear from the getgo. A total dream-team. Not only do they pen an engaging novel that will compel its readers to keep flipping through from start to finish, the message and overall plots are coherent and full of something utterly fascinating. It helps that the cast of characters are full of life and intrigue; an equal combination of intelligence and humour. When reading A Vision of Fire you can't help but to love Caitlin and her son, Jacob. The same goes for the minor characters that play a massive role in how the story unfolds, is connected and what will come in future installments. I'm curious to see if Ben's role will be expanded in the next installments--and of course am wondering what comes next for him and Caitlin as a pair. There romance isn't the novels biggest selling point: it's the mysterious occurrences happening around the world and connecting people of the present with people of the past. I loved Maanik and felt sympathy about what was going on with her as well as admiration to how well she was seeming to handle it in the moments which she was herself. It's impossible to look at what all was occurring and not feel concern for the girl who was seemingly at the center of it all. Overall, I enjoyed A Vision of Fire and am looking forward to the future of the series. It had its rough patches and flaws but for the most part, I definitely am looking forward to hearing more of the series. It's the perfect mix of anticipation, mystery, romance and more. I have a feeling that the next stories will only expand on this and go up from here. Perfect for longtime fans of Gillian Anderson as well as new. Also posted on BOOKEDJ.

  • WyrmbergSabrina
    2018-10-24 09:01

    As close to an X-Files story without being an X-Files story.I enjoyed this a lot.Bonus points- it's not too long. Okay it's the first of a trilogy, but the actual story told here finishes by the end. It's the arc before the main story that's going to be carried on, and obviously there's going to be more coming from the events told here. But it does read nicely by itself.If you like The X-Files, this will satisfy you nicely. There's no Mulder or Scully team to latch onto, but the main character, Caitlin, fills their gap. she intelligent, open to where the evidence goes, and single minded.There's an interesting supernatural/paranormal element. We're not given everything, but enough to wrap this story up. I'm not going to spoil it, because it's worth discovering how things unwrap as you read. Don't go into this knowing too much, because that will, I feel, spoil it.Certainly one for The X-Files fans, and those who like our world being introduced to something we can't explain.

  • Michael Hicks
    2018-10-27 16:17

    I’ll just say this straight away: A Vision Of Fire was a novel I really wanted to enjoy far more than I actually did. That’s not to say the book is all bad, but given Gillian Anderson’s creative pedigree I had expected a lot more. (She’s Dana Scully for cripe’s sake, of The X-Files fame, and was recently promoted to series regular for the next season of Hannibal, which, if you’re not watching, you really should be!)What I discovered was a story that was more like brain candy. It was fun when I was reading it, even if the prose was pretty basic and unengaged, but it was also easy to put down. And when I wasn’t reading A Vision of Fire, I wasn’t thinking a lot about it either. There wasn’t enough meat in the execution of the premise for me to chew on in the off-hours, and the characters didn’t have enough depth to make them compelling enough for me to fully invest in them.Despite the psychological trauma of Maanik, daughter of an ambassador seeking a truce over border rivalries between India, Pakistan, and Kashmir, and an assassination attempt on the ambassador, the sense of danger is minimal. Her psychiatrist, Caitlin, never feels too out of her element or threatened by the minimalistic forces against her, and nobody really questions her motivations too intensely, particularly at times when it seems like it should be well deserved. There’s a shadowy group, known conveniently enough as The Group, whose inclusion in the proceedings is negligible at best beyond the theft of a rock in the novel’s opening sequence. Even the rock itself feels like a rather inconsequential and disconnected MacGuffin for large swathes of the story. Even half-way through the book I was still hoping for some degree of clarity as to what one side of the story had to do with another, and the ending ultimately failed to clarify or provide satisfactory closure in even broad terms. Propping up the entire construct with fairly hollow characters did little to help.One thing that I did like, though, were the moments of psychiatric care and the segments between patient and healer. Although some of the elements became too swamped in woo for my tastes, other points worked well, such as Caitlin’s observations of changes in behavior and posture of those around her, which caused her to adapt and change her own tactics in communication. Those types of shifts were handled well and struck me as being nicely thought out. Some of the symptoms that were being manifested by Maanik and others presented an intriguing mystery and some terrific scares.While I didn’t find the central cast and ancillary characters to be particularly well-drawn or charismatic enough to merit much attention, I rather enjoyed Caitlin’s relationship with her son, Jacob, who is partially deaf and has a love of cooking. Their connectedness and sort-of shared telepathic (for lack of a better word) shorthand that can exist as a result of strong parental-child bonding was heartwarming, and helped speak to the strength of mental health and well-being that informs Caitlin’s role in both her life and her profession. This relationship was one of the book’s stronger aspects, in fact.Although I give Anderson and Rovin plenty of credit for taking a rather interesting spin on the doomsday scenario, one that calls into question the when and where of their apocalypse at hand, the different elements they’ve strung together fail to merge successfully or provide a worthwhile resolution. A Vision of Fire is ultimately a science-fiction book that eschews science almost entirely, opting instead to present the story through nonsensical mysticism and kooky spirituality, while the plot is built atop at least two too many contrivances.

  • Sharon
    2018-10-22 10:50

    I'm sure this is the way that 80% of reviews of this book will start, but it's true. I WAS a huge fan of The X Files. I wanted to believe. So when I saw that Gillian Anderson was branching out into writing, I really really wanted to read this book. This is co-written by Jeff Rovin, who will be familiar to anyone who reads the Tom Clancy series of books. I don't. This is also marketed as "Book One of the Earthend Saga" - I'll review it first, then tell you if I think that's a good thing or not.As the book begins, a geologist on board a ship is examining an artifact he just recovered - a strange rock with a symbol on it. While he sleeps, someone creeps in and removes the artifact along with any evidence he has collected.We meet the female protagonist, Dr. Caitlin O'Hara, adolescent psychiatrist. Caitlin is called to the UN by her friend, translator Ben (whose last name I have forgotten). The Indian Ambassador to the United Nations is deeply worried about his teenage daughter, who has been acting strange since an assassination attempt on her father. It's believed at first that she has suffered a strange psychotic episode, but as she begins having very disturbing visions and speaking in strange hybrid languages, it becomes clear that this is something traditional medicine won't fix. As Caitlin tries to help, we learn of another teenager in Tehran exhibiting similar language......issues. But this one sets himself on fire. In Haiti, a young woman is babbling gibberish and drowning - but there's no water. As Caitlin is drawn deeper into the mysteries surrounding the teenagers, she realises that maybe she plays a bigger part than she first realised...and that something is happening, something big, something beyond comprehension. How far will Caitlin go to save her patient? Can she save herself? What does all this have to do with the stone we saw at the start?I have to say, sci-fi isn't my usual genre. And this isn't strictly all sci-fi - it's not all aliens and spaceships. There is a strong supernatural element which I enjoyed, it was done in an almost believable manner, up until Part 3 at least. Some aspects of the story were completely daft and over the top, but if you suspend your cynicism and allow yourself to get into the story, it's a brilliant read. I literally could not put it down - I was carrying the kindle round the kitchen, propping it up while I washed the dishes. Someone else described this as "book crack" - that's exactly what it is. I have to say, I love the ending, I had a huge grin on my face and I can not WAIT to read the next part! Well done Gillian and Jeff. Sincere thanks to Simon & Schuster Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You rock! Harder than a weird one with symbols on it.

  • Kelly
    2018-11-01 16:14

    I may have to give up on this one...I'm just not feeling the conspiracy.

  • Corinne
    2018-10-27 11:04

    Note: I received a copy of this book through the GoodReads First Reads program. There are some spoilers ahead, although I try to stay away from anything too big. Just to be on the safe side: Read at your own risk. Also, I felt a free book deserved a detailed review (i.e. - it’s pretty lengthy), so...read at your own risk?This book was probably more of a 2.5 stars quality, but I rounded up for potential. However, maybe a little counterintuitively, I was most disappointed in this book because of that potential. A Vision of Fire read like an early draft of what could have been a compelling start to a new series. I’d say the book was average, but that word isn’t nuanced enough to really convey my meaning. It was more that the book has some really good parts and some really mediocre parts, which sort of balanced out to average on the whole.First of all, the narration was often heavy-handed. For example, there is this passage:“Caitlin’s phone buzzed, buzzed again. It was a call from Benjamin Moss [...] Caitlin’s phone stopped buzzing, then started again. Ben was calling a second time instead of leaving a voicemail.”Showing, not telling is not only one of the first things that creative writers learn, but it is something that will be beaten into their heads with every workshop. Now, I’m not going to get into an argument about the wisdom of this rule/guideline/whatever, but I wanted to point out this passage as a strange instance of someone showing AND telling, which is the literary equivalent of flogging a dead horse. The first part of this passage is, I think, pretty expertly done. There is something urgent and a little unnerving about someone continuing to call without leaving a voicemail. If I looked at my phone and saw that my mom had called three times in a row without leaving a voicemail, I would immediately assume that someone died (I’m anxiety-ridden, but you get my point). So, with those emotions implied so well by these first couple sentences, the last sentence doesn’t accomplish anything other than to regurgitate the same thought in a less artful way. There are other examples of this “telling problem” throughout the book, especially in scenes between Caitlin and Ben. There’s a lot of “he laughed” or “she said, laughingly” which, ideally, should be unnecessary dialogue tags when someone makes a joke. Also, their relationship often seemed forced, and it quickly became obvious (Spoiler? But is it, really?) that they are going to get together. While the authors pretty much beat you over the head with how compatible Caitlin and Ben are, I don’t think that the chemistry between them was sufficiently illustrated. Or maybe it was too illustrated (in a “the lady doth protest too much” sort of way)? Either way, I just didn’t feel it.Along the same vein, the book was far too short - maybe not in page length (although, at around 300 pages, it is much shorter than many sci-fi/thriller type novels), but definitely in plot. There were events, characters, and settings that were introduced but not adequately explored. For instance, the Group (a mysterious organization) has a handful of chapters but has absolutely no bearing on the main plotline. Yet. It’s fairly obvious that they will be involved to a much greater extent in future novels, but their inclusion here, as well as the ancient artifacts that they collect, was so unconnected as to be superfluous to the book as a whole.There was also not nearly enough about the ancient civilization, Galderkhaan. Although the supposedly rational-minded main characters seem to accept the the supernatural and anti-modern science/history happenings and explanations with worrying ease, the idea of some sort of ancient race with a collective consciousness definitely sparked my interest. There’s a nice Lovecraftian vibe to these people, and I actually would have liked to read a book just about the Galderkhaani. But besides slaking my own interest, there were a lot of holes left in their part of the story. Again, future books will likely delve more thoroughly into this ancient history, but there were questions brought up that should have been answered in this book. I don’t want to spoil the climax to the entire novel but two very important questions were not answered here: How did Caitlin know to do what she did? and, Why did it work? The sickness in Maanik and others like her was the plot of this novel, and it should have been more thoroughly explained. Instead, we are left with the “how?” of the sickness and the cure, but we are missing the “why?” Even if a novel is the first of a series, it’s a wasted opportunity if it functions in main part as an introduction for subsequent books. There should be a more self-contained plot structure. This all seems a little doom and gloom, however, and there were parts of the book that I really did enjoy. I mentioned the ancient civilization as something I would be interested in learning more about, and the idea of the novel is a very interesting combination of sci-fi and religion, aliens and alternative planes. The errant souls, wandering through time, but still somehow trapped at the moment of their death was was a unique twist on the body-snatching trope, and I would have liked to see that explored in more depth too. The action sequences were also particularly well done, especially those involving the escalating conflicts in the Kashmir region. I think the writers were caught up in the action as much as the reader because these parts lacked the somewhat stilted quality of the more introspective scenes. While the narration in the dialogue and interior monologue chapters often seemed forced, the action chapters flowed much more naturally.I also thought that Caitlin’s 10 year old son, Jacob, was one of the more fleshed-out characters. Jacob is deaf and speaks/understands through a combination of sign language, lip reading, and a hearing aid. He also likes cooking and sometimes pretends to be a squid. I generally don’t like children, real or fictional, but I have a soft spot for weirdos, and he hit it. There was also a character, Arni, whose synesthesia was put to very good use. He associates sounds with colors, and there is one scene in which he is listening to a dull humming noise but sees the color brown, which he normally links to hearing people talk. I have only a very basic understanding of synesthesia, but I thought that it was a fascinating idea to use it as a kind of warning system - something that could pick up on things before our conscious mind even registers what they are. There’s also an unknown language in the book that uses arm gestures as superlatives. It’s such a little thing, but something so far removed from the workings of most modern languages really struck me as a very imaginative detail. There were little bits of genius like these throughout A Vision of Fire, which, again, makes me think like this could have been something more.tl;dr - Will I read the next book? Maybe.

  • Nicole Pramik
    2018-11-13 13:10

    Books by celebrities, especially fiction, always catch my eye. I suppose my curiosity is driven by wanting to know if such persons can actually tell stories and create characters as opposed to just portraying characters on screen or television. To date, this is my second celebrity read, with the first being Elixir by Hilary Duff (and some uncredited ghost writer). Based on that experience, I had moderately low hopes for A Vision of Fire. But, as it turns out, "X-Files" star Gillian Anderson and co-writer Jeff Rovin prove to be a better team.For starters, A Vision of Fire is more of a psychological thriller with sci-fi and paranormal elements thrown into the mix. It certainly was an interesting hybrid that definitely works, and I really can't think of anything I've read that's similar in terms of genre. I actually liked that about this novel, and it is certainly a cliffhanger that forced me to keep reading until I finished it. Also, you should note that this is the first book in a trilogy/series, so while it ends with some closure, it's not entirely wrapped up. That was okay by me, but if you're looking for a stand-alone read, be aware this isn't it.Plot-wise, it's fairly basic but it has multiple moving parts, so to speak. What serves as the glue to hold all of the characters and the basic storyline in place (i.e. why are teens around the world suddenly having, well, visions of fire) is certainly interesting. Likewise, the pacing is fairly solid and encourages you to keep reading. The chapters also avoid being overlong, which I think contribute to the speed of the read. Lastly, in terms of characters, while they aren't fleshed out as fully as what I normally like to see, they were still good. Not great, not memorable, but they were passable in terms of personality and dynamic and they got the job done without too many hiccups. The chief protagonist, Caitlin O'Hara, while she's ultimately forgettable in the long run, is smart, brave, and compassionate and is easy to root for. So you go, girl.That's not to say A Vision of Fire is a sample of stellar writing. It's not. The prose, much like what I found in Elixir is simplistic and lacks any sense of depth in vocabulary or construction. Granted, it's not so simple that it's insulting, but this won't challenge your mind in terms of writing style and mechanics. Likewise, the descriptions are fairly insipid and don't fully bring to life the story's settings, and the same holds true for the dialogue. Nothing here stands out as making the characters unique in the way they speak. Overall, execution-wise, this novel reads a bit like a creative writing class assignment only with better plotting and pacing. But in terms of mechanics, character development, dialogue, and description, it sorely lacks though it isn't so bad it's cringe-worthy.Another slight issue I took with the overall story was the ending. No worries - I'm not going to delve into any spoilers. But if you're not a fan of rapid-fire final scenes with swift solutions, then you might not be too keen on how A Vision of Fire wraps up prior to its epilogue. The ending skirts a bit too close to being a deus ex machina sort of ending where the big dilemma driving the entire plot gets wrapped up too neatly and quickly with a sudden, last-minute revelation coming to light to save the day. On a positive note, it is a bit of a shocking twist and it definitely possesses "X-Files" earmarks, but on a down side, it can seem a bit too dismissive compared to how the rest of the story is built up.Overall, the real test for me regarding the first book in a series is whether or not I will try to read subsequent novels. And, to be fair, in the case of A Vision of Fire, I'm a little on the fence. While the story's technical elements were a bit bland and left more to be desired, the story itself was a fun ride and worth sticking with to see where it all goes yet I just can't bring myself to say that it possessed of an enjoyment factor for me to stick with the rest of the books. Content-wise, the profanity usage was mild, sparse and, hence, easy to overlook. The most overtly violent acts in the book are a murder and an assassination attempt that occur in the novel’s early portions. Otherwise, the scenes involving how the teens respond to their “visions” qualify more as disturbing than violent. During their mental episodes, the teens act as if they are having a seizure or drowning (on dry land), engage in self-harm, scream, or try to communicate with someone other than who is physically around them. While this adds to the story’s suspenseful action, it might bother readers sensitive to similar “possession” scenes (though the teens are not demonically possessed). Lastly, there is essentially no sexual content. There is a single-sentence mention that Dr. O’Hara had an affair that resulted in the birth of her son. Dr. O’Hara asks if a patient was ever sexually assaulted or abused, to which the patient and her family truthfully answer no. One minor character is described as being homosexual but nothing ever occurs to depict this character’s lifestyle.In the end, A Vision of Fire is not a literary masterpiece, but it at least avoids being a fluffy read that recycles old plot devices and stock characters. If you're looking for a cool genre hybrid that will hold your interest with clever twists and turns, then this novel would be a good pick. Gillian Anderson will probably be better known for her work on "The X-Files" than as a novel writer, but her debut novel here is by no means a must-miss offering.

  • Laura
    2018-11-09 11:49

    Listening to Gillian Anderson read this was a pleasure - I miss her presence in my life.But the story is trite, contrived, & incomplete as a standalone. It's shamelessly trying to ensnare me in a series - it's obvious early in that all the threads will not be woven together by the end. And it's not good enough for me to overlook all the plot holes.So this is a one-and-done for me.

  • Maria
    2018-11-13 13:54

    I bought this book because of Dana Scully. That said…I must start this so called review with a confession: it took me quite a while to get the courage to open it. Why? Expectations. It had to be good, right? But what if it wasn’t? What if Gillian Anderson was terrible at writing? Then again, would she have published a book if that were the truth? I know, I know, there are some terribly written books around, but I can’t quite picture Gillian Anderson publishing “crap”. I don’t feel like that would be something she would like to go along with her name. So there. It had to be at least acceptable… right?It started slow. Extremely slow. There was nothing magnificent about the writing or the story. It was just a book with words in it. That kind of scared me. I found myself wondering, what the hell am I reading?. A road to disappointment, perhaps? I remember putting the book down that day and going to sleep. I believe I didn’t pick it back up for a couple of days after that, but once I did… I completely forgot why I had once doubted it. I was curious. The story had gotten such a hold of me that I couldn’t honestly say whether the writing was any good or not. You see, for me there are three kinds of stories: there are good stories in terms of plot, there are good stories in terms of writing, and every now and then comes a book that brings those two things together. I am afraid this is not the case, or at least it wasn’t at first. As I got closer to the end I found the writing to be more… enchanting. It had a constant good flow - after the whole slow beginning thing mentioned above, of course -, but by the end it had gained quite an interesting rhythm… the words crawling under my skin as I experienced how suddenly it all became more visually intense. And you know what? It made sense. Plot-wise, I mean. So either this was a very smart decision, or I am just seeing things… or, yet again, overthinking every single detail. Which happens all the time. Anyway, it made sense. To me.So basically, I found the plot to be quite interesting. I enjoyed how the characters’ stories came together and it was exciting to see Caitlin O’Hara going all Scully and taking a leap of faith. Also, the flow of knowledge and detail… (view spoiler)[And shall we talk about that ending? I adore mysteries and conspiracy theories. Are aliens to blame? I honestly don’t think so. Perhaps previous earthlings? Now that would be quite fantastic, wouldn’t it? (hide spoiler)]So yeah. I want another one. I have a feeling that I am going to have to wait for a little while, though. Hopefully it will be worth it.

  • Nelly Aghabekyan
    2018-11-14 09:17

    I tried hard to like this book. Kept telling myself that it will get better as one dull chapter followed another. Even tried picturing Gillian Anderson as doctor Caitlin O'Hara, her main protagonist and heroine of the whole (promised) trilogy. Nothing helped. I've been an admirer of Gillian's talents as an actress for nearly twenty years now, have come to respect her as a personality based on all of the interviews I've watched and read, and Dana Scully has always served as a role model to me, so you can imagine the extent to which I was willing to give in to my fan obsession and close my eyes on things and just like the book, you know. But I just couldn't connect; which is ironic, considering that's basically all the story is about - connecting on the deepest level possible. Was it a page-turner, as many reviews state? Maybe, if only to get through it quicker, otherwise it would turn into one of those experiences when you drag the reading for so long your interest, whatever little you had of it, just dies at some point so you have to give up on it altogether.One thing this book successfully accomplished: made me want to re-watch The X-Files all over again. Specifically, the "Sixth Extinction" episodes, glimpses of which I kept noticing in A Vision of Fire every now and then. Only without Chris Carter's strong guidance, this somewhat similar story failed to come to life for me, and felt flat and unbelievable. And that, as I've learnt, is the one thing a sci-fi story should never fail at. I wonder what the story would be like if stripped of all the mystery and sci-fi elements. Whatever remains must've been the initial idea of a book Anderson had in mind when she first set her mind on it. I just wish she stood her ground and steered clear of any temptation to win the hearts of all the X-philes out there (Because we would've read a phonebook if her name was on it, no doubt). And maybe that would've been a much more insightful read.

  • Reading Teen
    2018-10-26 15:09

    3.5 StarsI listened to the audiobook, which was read by Gillian Anderson herself, so that was kind of awesome. She did a great job with all the voices and characters and accents. The only thing was that her narration was a little . . . sleepy? (for lack of a better word) But I really enjoyed it, plus it just made me picture her as the lead character. The book itself was a little bizarre. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It was just too far out there and random, in my opinion. That didn't keep me from listening to it every chance I got, though, so something had to be done well.I thought the writing was good, and the beginning especially, was very mysterious. Once she started unraveling things, I thought she made a lot of leaps that came out of nowhere, and when things were finally revealed, I was just kind of scratching my head. Like . . . uh, ok, if you say so.The feel of the story was almost like The Exorcist. It had a creepy, possession vibe to it, but then it would switch and be something else entirely. The side stories involved Middle Eastern politics, children with disabilities, family issues and a little, tiny bit of romance. I do think they could have added a lot more of the overall arc to this book instead of stretching it out into a series. But I guess we'll see what the future book(s) have to offer. Overall, especially since I rarely read adult, or this particular genre, I do think this is a book that will stick with me. If you're a fan of the paranormal (think more exorcist, less aliens), or just have to see if Gillian Anderson can write, I don't think your time will be wasted reading this book. Check it out and let me know what you think!-AndyeReading Teen

  • Kali
    2018-11-06 12:56

    from kalireads.com:X-files fans across the world, rejoice!With A Vision of Fire, Gillian Anderson has written a science fiction novel including just the right amount of homage to her eerie investigations as Dana Scully. Co-written with Jeff Rovin, the book is the first novel in what promises to be a supernatural and apocalyptic series called EarthEnd.UN translator Ben contacts child psychiatrist Claire out of desperation–something strange has happened to the Indian ambassador’s daughter. The Indian Ambassador just survived an assassination attempt, and his daughter’s condition is now distracting him from crucial peace talks, as India and Pakistan edge closer to war. Claire, who goes where the trauma takes her, sees the young girl, Maanik, and knows immediately that her bizarre behavior isn’t PTSD. As the world moves towards war, a few young people across the globe seem possessed.Could it be trauma, ghosts, aliens, seizures, past lives? Is there any difference between a traumatic event that I feel or a traumatic event that you feel? And is all this mystical stuff misplaced in a science fiction novel, as there might really be some sort of global conspiracy seeking contact with an alien race? What is really going on here?This is a quick read, as you’ll find yourself skimming frantically through pages, looking for solutions. But brace yourself, as this is only the first book of a series, and the conclusion here is a promise for more answers in the next book.

  • Annie
    2018-10-26 08:55

    Nein, ich schaffe es einfach nicht durch die letzten 40 Seiten - und wenn ich die Spoiler so verfolge, ist das auch besser so.Schade, dass Gillians Erstlingswerk so bescheiden ausgefallen ist. In A Vision of Fire ist so ziemlich alles zusammengewurschtelt, was man sich vorstellen kann: Psychologie, nordische Mythologie, Voodoo, Endzeitvisionen, Multikulti- Protagonisten inkl. sozialpolitischer Probleme, zum Schluss wohl auch noch Aliens - alles erlebt und durchdacht und DOPPELT durchdacht von Caitlin O'Hara - Gillian Andersons Vehikel um sämtlichen Strutz zu überanalysieren. Man erlebt wirklich JEDEN Gedankengang der Hauptperson.Vielleicht liegt es auch an meiner mangelnden Aufmerksamkeit, aber war der Beagle "Jack London" nicht am Anfang des Buches noch ein Jack Russell Terrier?Nein, ich bin etwas traurig und enttäuscht. Alles in allem ist es nicht so übelst schlecht geschrieben. Jedenfalls nicht so schlecht wie SilverMoonLight. Ich behaupte allerdings auch NICHTS kann so schlecht sein, wie dieses Buch! (oh Gott und ich sehe, dass der Marah Woolf Strutz jetzt ne englische Übersetzung bekommen hat - rette sich wer kann!!!)