Vision of FIre by Gillian Anderson

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Yes, THAT Gillian Anderson. Queen of the X-files. Ms. Anderson is quite a talented actress, as we’ve all seen time and time again. Now she’s joined forces with Jeff Rovin, a well known and respected science fiction author, for her first shot at writing science fiction. Well, it may be more fantasy, but either way, it’s not a far leap for Ms. Anderson, given her choice of an acting vehicle for many years. I enjoyed it. It’s not in a Tolkien or a George RR Martin realm, but it’s a fairly quick read considering it’s a first novel, and it’s fairly easy to get what’s going down. Some science fiction I’ve read recently not only gave me a splitting headache, but also had me googling terminology that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Latin course at the community college. Or wondering if my hog face neighbor really is of a half hog-half alien race, as I believe. Anyway. Don’t expect a thesaurus of contemporary science fiction, but prepare to be pleasantly surprised at the quick pace and plot events, as well as the conclusion. All in all, an enjoyable read and pleasant surprise. I do have to add, though, that there is a lot of heavy thought material here, some may be tempted to put this down and pick it up at a different time. Just as long as you pick it back up at some point.

Child psychologist Caitlin O’ Hara is a single mom trying to do what many single mothers today do; raise her son, work, and try to find time to date or even meet someone. That existence gets a hell of a lot crazier when Maanik, daughter of India’s ambassador to the United States, begins speaking in tongues and having visions of chaos.  Caitlin believes it’s all connected (psychologically? subconsciously?) to recent assassination attempts on the ambassador, which bring tension between Pakistan and India to a head. Turns out it’s not such an isolated incident, as teenagers all over the world begin acting similarly, except the incidents result in increasing violence, often on themselves. It’s up to Caitlin to travel across the world and try to figure out what the hell is going on and how to stop it, before more teenagers act out and end up killing thousands, or WWIII breaks out in Asia. It’s up to the psychologist to figure out how all of these seemingly unrelated incidents link together in the whole scope of things. The ending makes me think that there may be another book ahead for Anderson and Rovin. It would be nice to see them capitalize further on how the book ends.

That having been said, there is a downside. As I said, semi-heavy subject matter makes it somewhat of a bummer to read. Thankfully, I love the bleak landscape that is often life, so that doesn’t deter me. If you’re someone who likes Nora Roberts, don’t bother coming here. Another downside is that as much as I like Caitlin, she wasn’t a very sympathetic single mom role model. She’s all about her son, but she’s never there for him, as her job takes precedence as she tries to save all of these random teenagers from committing hari kari all over the Asian seaboard. I was not a real big fan of Caitlin, so that made it a little harder to identify with the character. All in all, as I said, a quick, enjoyable read for a first book, but don’t go in expecting a magnum opus from Scully, it isn’t happening.

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~ by generationgbooks on October 6, 2014.

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