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Friday, July 24, 2015

A VISION of FIRE: A NOVEL (Earthend Saga #1) (audiobook) by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

Published in October of 2014 by Simon and Schuster
Read by the author, Gillian Anderson
Duration: 9 hours, 34 minutes

A Vision of Fire is a mix of political thriller with sci-fi and a heavy dose of the occult thrown in as well. The book starts out with top-level negotiations taking place at the United Nations between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir. Both countries are nuclear powers and both countries are sending troops to the border. An Indian ambassador is trusted by both sides and he is trying to broker a peace between them before a nuclear war starts.

But, after dropping off his daughter Maanik at her school mysterious assassins make an unsuccessful attempt on his life. He reassures his daughter that he is fine and proceeds to the negotiating table. But, his daughter starts to have some sort of break down and starts clawing at her arms.  She is rushed home and heavily sedated because she is hurting herself.

The translator for the ambassador has a close friend who is a child psychologist named Caitlin O'Hara who also works at the United Nations. He calls O'Hara in because he knows that she is discrete. She immediately drops the medication and tries to calm the girl with hypnosis. It seems successful at first but the symptoms start coming back with more and more intensity. To make matters worse, other cases that are similar start to pop up in young people around the world...

Meanwhile, a secret group of explorers based in New York City is assembling an exotic collection of treasures from antiquities - and this latest piece is doing some very strange things...

Okay - this sounds like it could be a very good book, doesn't it? 

Sadly, I was very disappointed on multiple levels. 

This book just drags and drags as the child psychologist struggles with Maanik and her symptoms. Even worse, as O'Hara starts to grasp that there is a paranormal side to this case the paranormal stuff is so loosely connected and presented in such a sporadic manner that it was just boring. I grew tired of trying to make a connection as I listened and I felt like it was something to be endured rather than something to be enjoyed. 

When I finally get to the end I realize that most of this book was not needed to prepare the reader for part two of the series. In movie terms, it was like watching Star Wars Episode 1 - only about five minutes of the movie is really needed to prepare you for Episode 2. The rest is just extra stuff and you had to watch Jar Jar Binks for most of the movie!

The book was read by Gillian Anderson. I really like her in the X-Files - she is my favorite character on the show. But, this is the second time I have heard her read an audiobook and I can honestly attest to this - I am not a fan. It took me a while to figure out who she was reminding me of as I listened and then it hit me - she sound like Madeline Kahn singing "I'm Tired" in Blazing Saddles . Anderson is so weary-sounding, her voice is so flat that it sounds like she was going to fall asleep as she was reading her own book!

So, I cannot recommend this book. It is not entirely without merits. The premise is interesting, the interaction between O'Hara and the translator was rewarding. But, I will not be moving on to part two.

I rate this audiobook 2 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon here: A Vision of Fire

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