The Fire by Katherine Neville

The Fire by Katherine Neville: The long-awaited sequel to Neville’s excellent debut novel, The Eight, and it’s pretty meh. I admit I probably did not come into this in the best mindset: The Eight is just so good, it’s hard not to expect The Fire to be just as engrossing. Then again, it didn’t help that one of my favorite characters was killed off in the freaking prologue either. Anyway, the gist of this story is that The Game has been restarted thirty years after the events in The Eight – both in the present (Alexandria, daughter of Cat and Solarin) and past (Mirielle’s son Charlot) timelines. There’s a lot of random people involved, a lot of talk about Original Instructions which may or may not refer to sexual intercourse, loads of obscure chess references that don’t make a whole lot of sense, and very few loose ends tied up. I was quite clear on the purpose of the Montglane Service at the end of The Eight; now I have no idea. The inevitable love story between the narrator and the mysterious foreigner was all too predictable. The twist ending left me with a bad taste in my mouth, it was so contrived. All in all, just not a very good book. I kept reading, hoping things would pick up, but they never did. Alas.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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