Review: A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

X-Files, Scully and Gillian Anderson fan that I am, it was without question that I would read A Vision of Fire. I preordered it practically from the moment I knew it was being published, such was my glee.

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. GoodReads.

A Vision of Fire was an easy read, I was surprised by how much I liked the plot considering I’ve not enjoyed a sci-fi novel recently. It’s not a literary game changer, but it has a strong female protagonist and a wealth of characters of differing nationalities and race. So it’s pretty brilliant regardless.

Dr Caitlin O’Hara is a single mum, she is competent and it is never suggested that she can’t have a successful career and a happy family. She is managing her responsibilities just as any man in her situation could. She’s never put in a position where she is feels unable to do anything because of her gender, or despite it.

This novel is part of a series – The Earthend Saga. While A Vision of Fire touched on supernatural elements a full on alien encounter was not thrown in my face. A subtlety I appreciated. If you’re not much of a sci-fi fan I would recommend this novel regardless for the strong female protagonist and emotive storyline.

This is a fairly tame review, I think discussing more would give too much away. It was also a novel I read with enjoyment and not with a critical eye, so I’ve not much literary criticism to throw at it. It does what it says on the tin, it’s a relaxing read.

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