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A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

Review by Ellen

I’ve recently been watching The X-Files and when I spotted this book in the library, written by X-Files star, Gillian Anderson, in conjunction with prolific author, Jeff Rovin, I picked it up immediately. With hindsight perhaps reading a book because you recognise the author from their television acting is not the best advised idea. Certainly this book was something of a drag.

Its initially promising X-Files type scenario, unconnected people across the globe being mysteriously struck down by the same unexplained visions, led me to believe that the book would be almost like reading an episode of the programme. Sadly, after a few chapters I became increasingly convinced that it just wasn’t going to live up to this expectation.

The plot follows Manhattan psychiatrist Caitlin O’Hara, who is called upon to treat the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations in strictest secrecy in the middle of potentially catastrophic peace negotiations. Maanik is in the grip of terrifying visions, which are causing her to self harm, and she cannot be awoken. While investigating her case Caitlin comes across a young woman in Haiti and an Iranian student who set himself on fire after his brother’s execution, who are experiencing similar visions. She travels to meet both of them, coming across mysterious experiences that cannot be explained by science along the way. Meanwhile a separate group is travelling around the world collecting powerful relics; I never really managed to get this to fit into the main plotline in my head.

The storyline wasn’t believable, even taking into account the imaginary aspect of a sci-fi novel, and it just didn’t hold together. I reached the end purely from a desire not to give up rather than a sense of enjoyment. A Vision of Fire is book one of The Earthend Saga but I shan’t be wasting my leisure time on book two.

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