26 April, 2018

REVIEW: THE FIRE by Katherine Neville

Title: The Fire
Author: Katherine Neville
Series: The Eight #2
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: DeBolsillo
Release: (First published 2008)
Source: Paperback
Pages: 552

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BLURB: 2003, Colorado: Alexandra Solarin is summoned home to her family’s ancestral Rocky Mountain hideaway for her mother’s birthday. Thirty years ago, her parents, Cat Velis and Alexander Solarin, believed that they had scattered the pieces of the Montglane Service around the world, burying with them the secrets of the power that comes with possessing it. But Alexandra arrives to find that her mother is missing and that a series of strategically placed clues, followed swiftly by the unexpected arrival of a mysterious assortment of house guests, indicates that something sinister is afoot.
When she inadvertently discovers from her aunt, the chess grandmaster Lily Rad, that the most powerful piece of Charlemagne’s service has suddenly resurfaced and the Game has begun again, Alexandra is swept into a journey that takes her from Colorado to the Russian wilderness and at last into the heart of her own hometown: Washington, D.C.

1822, Albania: Thirty years after the French Revolution, when the chess service was unearthed, all of Europe hovers on the brink of the War of Greek Independence. Ali Pasha, the most powerful ruler in the Ottoman Empire, has angered the sultan and is about to be attacked by Turkish forces. Now he sends the only person he can rely upon—his young daughter, Haidee—on a dangerous mission to smuggle a valuable relic out of Albania, through the mountains and over the sea, to the hands of the one man who might be able to save it.

Haidee’s journey from Albania to Morocco to Rome to Greece, and into the very heart of the Game, will result in revelations about the powerful chess set and its history that will lead at last to the spot where the service was first created more than one thousand years before: Baghdad.

Blending exquisite prose and captivating history with nonstop suspense, Neville again weaves in this sequel to The Eight an unforgettable story of peril, action, and intrigue.

EXPECTATIONS: The sequel to The Eight which I read when I was super young too. I remember that I liked it.

THE WORLD: Our world. It takes place in different places of US and a bit of the middle east.

CHARACTERS: Most of the character from the first book, The Eight, make an appearance in this sequel too but the main new characters are Alexandra "Xie" Solarin, the daughter of the main characters of book 1, Vartan Arzov, the new chess prodigy, and Nokomis Key, Alexandra's best (and only) friend who is descendant of an important Native Indian tribe. There are other secondary characters as well but to be honest I don't feel like they're important enough for you to know right now.

In this book we have two time lines as well but it's not like in the first book which was mostly half and half... this time it felt more like the other time line chapters were more as 'flashbacks'. Maybe that wasn't her intention but it felt that way to me.

ROMANCE: There isn't much romance until the very end although is more like insta-lust.

GOOD: As with the first book, the thing I love most is the plot and the entertainment value it provides! I wasn't bored once and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how she included Native American history as well as Basque history! The accuracy of it I can't assess but I'm happy she included it and she touches on some popular legends and stuff as well.

BAD: This book felt like it was written a bit more in a rush... like the plot was a bit looser, not as tight as in the first book but it was still good and I enjoyed it.

Oh, and I'm still not a fan of the insta-lust. Just why?

OVERALL: 4.5 stars and goes to favorites. I'm glad I ended up buying these books even though I read them a decade ago and was a bit of a risk to buy them. I think they're worth it (+ I got them super cheap from a 2nd hand store).

What do you think about THE FIRE?



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