A Vision of Fire Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times best-selling 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.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 24 minutes|
|Author||Gillian Anderson, Jeff Rovin|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 07, 2014|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #63,915 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#319 in Technothrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#928 in Supernatural Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,172 in Technothrillers (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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The main character, Caitlin O'Hara, a child psychiatrist, is a strong, capable woman with obvious compassion for her young clients. A key character is her deaf son Jacob, who at ten, behaves like a ten year old rather than a super wise being or a pain in the neck. Unusual, and a relief. And also nice to see a single parent who is coping well rather than struggling, which is another trope the authors have managed to avoid. One of the key challenges Caitlin has in the book, is coming to grips with evidence and experience which is outside her normal, scientifically validated world view, which is interesting ground to cover.
Caitlin is asked by a good friend, Ben, to assist a teenager who witnessed the near assassination of her father, a diplomat from Kashmir. Ben is an interpreter for the UN, which gives Caitlin a lot of access to people and places most of us don't have. Trying to work out what has happened to the young Maanik, and the cause of her weird behaviour, is at the heart of the drama of the book. Around this central premise is the fact that her father is key to peace talks between Pakistan and India, which forces them into hiding Maanik's problem. The appearance of other teenagers with similar symptoms around the globe just adds to the confusion for Caitlin to solve. Throw in some treasure hunters with oddly manufactured symobls on meteorites, and the stage is set.
The book was well written, and the characters work within their roles. I think the second book will be a better book, as the authors won't need all the introductory material present in the first. I'm also hoping that a number of the minor characters will continue in the second book. There were a lot of plot points left unexplained, and there is plenty of material for the authors to explore in the second.
The series isn't hard science, and it isn't X-Files, but I did enjoy it for what it was. I'm looking forward to reading the second installment.
The story does involve a Scully like character--a psychiatrist whose specialty is children. When a UN representative's teenage daughter goes into a catatonic state after a traumatic experience where her father almost died, Caitlin is called in to confer on the advice of an old friend. What Caitlin discovers leads her to explore similar isolated incidents around the world and to connect the dots while pushing the envelope of her beliefs to understand the larger picture. When she succeeds, the impact presses her to view the upcoming threat as reality and to try to figure out a solution.
The novel uses a typical frame for such adventures; the authors employ a few different vantage points but primarily return to main character Caitlin's point of view. The writing style is good; the point is gotten across with interesting language. Nonetheless, the story becomes a bit nebulous during the sequences in Haiti and in Iran where the reader is an onlooker who does not quite understand what is happening until Caitlin sums it up for him/her. At the point in the story where Caitlin reviews similar cases with a Scully-ish desire for science to intervene, the storyline becomes instantly familiar and the punch looses some of its strength. Te reader understands where the first book will lead--a crisis of conscience, the tearing down of belief walls--the opening of the mind towards another door of perception. Okay. Got it.
Whether or not this type of story works for you as a reader depends on what you are looking for . . . like the premise? You're probably in the mood for such a tale. You might not want to read the next two in the series as you can almost figure out where its all going once the formula kicks in.....
Bottom line? A worthy effort in the popular sci-fi/end of the world genre of literature with a little green philosophy and greedy world domination chastisement thrown in. Recommended as a relaxing read.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
"Buzzard's Eye View"
Top reviews from other countries
This is not your standard sci-fi novel. Instead, it's a kind of cultural-historical-science-fiction-meets-metaphysical-medical-mystery novel. Granted, that's not the catchiest description, but this is the first book I've read which spans that breadth of topics and the result is thrilling.
Set against the backdrop of Indian-Pakistani conflict, psychologist Dr Caitlin O'Hara is called to help the daughter of the Indian Ambassador, whose mental state is deteriorating after an assassination attempt on her father. We soon learn of two other, unconnected children being affected by a similar phenomenon. However, what is initially presumed to be PTSD takes a darker turn into the world of possession, past lives, and transpersonal planes of existence.
Although branded a science fiction novel, a great deal of the story focuses on culture and spans ancient civilisations, forgotten languages, past cataclysms, and the potential for life on a pre-ice Antarctica. This depth of content gives the book a sense of gravitas that you don't get from a simple sci-fi story.
The relatively short book is divided into three parts, and by the time you reach the third you'll be unable to put it down and willing yourself to read faster so you can unravel the mystery. Although a self contained story, there are numerous loose ends which bodes well for the continuation of the series. I cannot wait for the next instalment.
So, why not more stars? Well, it's not very sci-fi - which I wanted it to be, and which it is marketed as. There are some emerging sci-fi at the end of the book. A real cliff-hanger, this one. So, maybe the sci-fi aspect shows up in the sequel(s). I'm looking forward to that.