Tag Archives: the eight

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.

The Eight by Katherine Neville

The Eight by Katherine Neville: This is my second time reading this book and it was amazing all over again. Like all of Neville’s novels, two stories are interweaved: one in the present (in this case, the 1970’s) and one in the past (late 18th century). Two women, a computer expert and nun, attempt each in their respective time periods to unravel the mystery behind a powerful and much-coveted ancient chess set, the Montglane Service. This book is full of action and romance, suspense and memorable characters. The number of famous historical figures who show up does border on the absurd, but I was too busy having a good time to nitpick. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Side note for those who’ve read the book: my sister was in love with Solarin, but my heart belongs to Nim. :)

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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