X-Files star Gillian Anderson comes together with New York Times bestselling author Jeff Rovin in the fast-pace, science fiction thriller A Vision of Fire. The story is set in modern day New York City against the backdrop of political unrest on the border between Pakistan and India. Dr Caitlin O’Hara, a child psychologist, is called to the aid of a young girl in the throws of extreme psychological and physiological distress that seems to have been brought on by recent trauma. O’Hara finds herself pulled into a strange mystery that transcends time and space and takes her around the world searching or answers.
Anderson and Rovin have created a strong, believable character in O’Hara. They’ve deftly avoided the tired cliches of the strong woman who is hard and cold, or, God forbid, a rape survivor. O’Hara is strong because she is intelligent, compassionate, and thoughtful. While there is a romantic subplot, it doesn’t weaken her; instead, it makes her stronger. O’Hara consistently makes smart, reasonable decisions and manages to be both willful and flexible as the situation requires.
The main plot is well-crafted and moves at a solid pace. Some of the themes could become silly if handled by lesser writers, but Rovin and Anderson keep them credible and interesting. At times the pace is interrupted a bit by a subplot that runs parallel to the main plot, but never actually crosses it or influences it. The subplot is clearly there to provide a little extra context and setup the series. It doesn’t make the book any less enjoyable, but it does feel out of place at times.
A Vision of Fire is an entertaining, well-rounded read. It contains some violent images, but should be fine for any relatively mature reader.