Thursday, August 7, 2008
The Fire: A Novel.
by Katherine Neville
A sequel to the novel The Eight, The fire continues a saga involving a treasure of immeasurable worth.
A treasure that was handed down through the centuries. One that was protected at all cost.
I read The Eight only a week or two ago. I felt that it was a good story that was somewhat buried under far too many plot twists, details and historical figures. This was not a problem in the sequel.
This book not only allows us to catch up with the characters we had become involved with whole reading the Eight, but introduced more characters to the Game of protecting the treasure. Cat Velis has a daughter now, a young lady who is as spirited as her mother had once been, A daughter born to play the game.
We also find new and equally compelling characters whose family legacies were entwined with The Game. I found some of the methods of communication puzzling, and I do not use that word lightly. Both books were full of obscure references and many puzzles that only the author and presumably chess masters would be able to decipher. Often, I felt, to a point where they became distracting, and sometimes annoying. Nothing was ever clear cut or honest within these families. Nothing was ever as it seemed. Again, I felt it was just a little much. I do not know how any family could survive so much deceit, much less thrive within those constraining boundaries. Where even a childhood friend was not as what they seemed to be.
Having said all of that. The basic story was an interesting one. At first I thought that this book would be same story different characters, and that proved to not be so. There were original twists and turns here.
To me, one of the hallmarks of an excellent read is the question. Would you recommend this book.
For The Fire, as well as The Eight, I would have to say no. Even though my bookoholic friends are enthusiastic about many different genres.. I honestly cannot think of one who would be interested in devoting the hours that it takes to read these books. Despite the fact that it is, as I said, a good story, it required far to much time for too little payoff.