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The Fire

(The Eight #2)

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  6,217 ratings  ·  677 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,217 ratings  ·  677 reviews


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James
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Almost as good as the first one! Definitely a good follow-up. I love the Neville's style -- and the way in which the world is turned upside down. The books are similar to most historical adventure fiction, full of suspense and thrills. Neville builds amazing characters, and she takes you to fantastic places. I loved the start of this all being about the game of chess. If you like mystery and intricate details, this is a good book to read... but definitely read The Eight first... it's a two-book ...more
Linda
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really, really wanted to love this book. Really. I liked it okay... but the love just wasn't there. It's a sequel to one of my favorite books ever - The Eight - and I had high hopes, but also reservations about whether the author could capture the magic of The Eight. Unfortunately, she did not. I can't even tell you what it is about The Eight that gives it that extra spark - or that extra bonfire - whatever it is that makes it one of the coolest books ever. But The Eight has it, while The Fire ...more
Nancy
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
I am very disappointed to say that I had to give up on this book about halfway through. (See below to read what I had to say when I began it.) It's not awful, but ... it was way too easy to put it down and pick up other books. Oh, well.

I wrote earlier: [I've been waiting for this sequel to THE EIGHT for ever. Hooray! Okay, sure, I admit that in countless ways THE EIGHT was preposterous and silly. I loved it. Which makes me as frightened to read THE FIRE as I am eager... what if it's not as fun
...more
Leigh Statham
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Ok.. I really really really loved reading Katherine Neville's book "The Eight" several years ago. I still think it's a great little book. So I was super excited to hear that she wrote a sequel. It was all down hill from there. I struggled through the opening chapters full of obscure middle eastern names and theories but I hung in there because I thought it would pay off in the end. Every corner that the story turned I thought I would finally get to the good part. But every time the bad guy was g ...more
Caroline
Dec 31, 2008 rated it did not like it
Uch.

I didn't even finish the book, which is rare for me. This was just so painful and tedious to read, I couldn't stand it. There were parts where it seemed like Neville just took her historical research and put it into the mouths of the characters (and I use that term loosely) verbatim. The whole book felt like an attempt to cash in on the "DaVinci Code" craze for powerful-hidden-conspiracies-uncovered-by-deciphering-clues novels.

I am dreading going back and taking another look at "The Eight,
...more
Iowa City Public Library
It’s been five years since The Da Vinci Code triggered an avalanche of imitators–thrillers featuring codes and ciphers, arcane knowledge, and ancient conspiracies. To me, the book that most resembled it was Katherine Neville’s The Eight, which was actually written 15 years before the Code. Positing a thousand year old chess set with alchemical powers, and a larger Game with geopolitical implications, the book acquired something of a cult, and, after 20 years, a sequel.

The Fire finds Alexandra So
...more
Jessica
Jun 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
The author herself describes the predecessor to this book (The Eight) by saying there were no other books like it. She goes on to say that she never intended to write any followups. She really should have taken her own words of wisdom to heart (as Key would say).

This book had too many ideas, names, subnames and places and not nearly enough action. There is literally one action scene, 15 pages from the end of the book and it is tied up nicely, ex machina, with no one getting hurt. The characters
...more
megHan
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
I picked this book up at a local thrift store that sells as many books as you can fit into a Walmart-esque bag for $4.99 (and I can fit a lot of books into this bag). So far, I have picked up books I have never heard of and have been extremely satisfied with my choices. I did not, until after reading it, discover that it was the second book, and yet I really had no problem understanding the story, despite some of the chess talk I didn't quite understand. A great book!! Full of action and intrigu ...more
Beth
Jul 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
I got an Advanced Reader's Edition of this title and was so excited as The Eight is a book I recommend to everyone.

This book was extremely difficult for me to be engaged with as there were too many characters and the plot seemed somewhat disjointed.

Elizabeth K.
Jul 31, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008-new-reads
I have very mixed feelings about this, it's the sequel to The Eight. It's the kind of sequel where you very much have to have read the first book, it wouldn't stand alone very well at all. Now, I almost always like a sequel AT LEAST in the sense that I like to know what happens to everyone after. Sometimes I have heard people, when talking about a favorite book, claim that it's better NOT to know, that a sequel would only ruin things. That, my friends, is the talk of crazy people. So on the one ...more
apple
Feb 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
Giving "The Fire" only one star might not be fair, but I just can't help it, having waited like FOREVER (and even sounding like a Twilight Fangirl here) for a sequel of the ingenious "The Eight".

Since the predecessor was SO very very good it robs me of any more creative adjectives, I had such a high expectation of "The Fire".
But it didn't really deliver... What's with the lead character going on and on about...food, and not to mention total lack of chemistry whatsoever between Alexandra and her
...more
Julie Adams
Jan 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
A dismal disappointment, especially because I was so enthralled by "The Eight" that I've reread it several times.

It's fairly easy to determine what happened here. Neville had advertised for years that she was working on a sequel to "The Eight," but it never materialized. My guess: the higher-ups at the publisher finally called in their chits.

Nearly every thought here is underdeveloped or, worse - OVERexplained. There is much chasing after clues . . . but the clues don't seem to flow from the s
...more
Bonnie Wilson
Mar 12, 2019 marked it as abandoned
This is destined for the abandoned shelf, though I am still bemusedly perusing it at odd moments ... it is mildly entertaining, though not, I suspect, in the way the author intended. A few chapters in I felt as If I'd already been buried in references to people, groups, geographic features, relics, symbols and and and that had ever had a shred of mystery attached to them. I am mildly interested in what she'll turn up next.

Let's see - we have - in random order as they come to mind - the Basque a
...more
Anachronist
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Synopsis:

The Fire is actually a sequel to Katherine Neville’s The Eight published some twenty years ago and reviewed by me last year. The Fire, like The Eight, follows two timelines, one past (in this case 1822) and one present (2003).

Alexandra Solarin (Xie) was twelve years old in the autumn of 1993. She was being accompanied by her father, Aleksandr Solarin on a chess tournament in Zagorsk Monastery, Russia. This young chess prodigy was to play against a similarly young boy from Ukraine named
...more
Cath
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
So many years after reading The Eight for the first time, I finally read The Fire. It was a slow read and despite the parallels to the original it didn't feel as exciting. The 1822 story didn't add much, the middle of the novel was slow, the whole dinner at Sultade plot was not necessary. The ending wasn't satisfying. The reveal that (view spoiler) was so flat, you could almost read through it and not realize.

And it was a difficult novel to read wit
...more
AnaΣtaΣia
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
The first one was much better..A lot of plot holes and cheesy moments!I don't recommend it to the people who read a lot of books of this genre, it lacks in originality and as a result you get easily bored.
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
An Early Reviewer book.[return][return]Twenty years ago, Neville published The Eight, which I read around that time. I reread The Eight recently, in order to prepare myself for the sequel, The Fire. I didn t change my opinion of The Eight good but writing that struck me as almost juvenile. The plot itself is hard to describe in terms of genre. Chess forms the matrix of the story. Puzzles (a la The Da Vinci Code, which was published much later, in 2003), murders, quests, history, two time frames ...more
kingshearte
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, 2010
Given that I very much enjoyed The Eight, even on a re-read, this one was disappointing, for a number of reasons.

First, it was kind of confusing, particularly in terms of who was a player and what role they played and for which side (or if sides even mattered). The role of the White Queen in particular, seemed like it was passed around so much I got whiplash trying to keep track. I'm sure this is deliberate, and meant to mirror Alexandra's own confusion, but it just wasn't well-handled. I think
...more
Kelly
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: patient readers of historic adventures and math / chess fans
Shelves: quest
I waited a long time for this book. It's a sequel to The Eight, which was unlike anything else when it came out in the late 1980s. It was based on this idea of a fabulous, ancient chess set endowed with power, which pulls the people around it into The Game. The sequel, like the original, moves back and forth through time, and incorporates math, patterns, chess, urban planning, brainy heroines, romantic men, historic interpretation, and unusual settings. What I liked best about both books is the ...more
Beth
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
This was not as enjoyable as "The Eight", which this is a sequel to, but was an interesting continuation of the original storyline. As a sequel I can't help but compare it to the first book, (which was amazing in scope, originality, story and characters) and found it not nearly as good. While many of the book one characters appear, these are only cameo appearances and it was hard to understand their motives in "The Fire". The main character didn't seem to grasp anything until the very end, where ...more
Debbie
Mar 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I have to admit I was a little disappointed in this sequel. I absolutely loved The Eight. I loved Cat, Solarin, Mordecai, Lily and the whole crew. While we do see some of the old crew back this book covers the next generation which I was fine with but I felt like the secrets behind the numbers and puzzles just did not grab me as much. The storyline was a little weak to me. It was easy to predict how the relationship between Alexandra and Vartan would develop. I also couldn’t bring myself to like ...more
Sharon
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Like millions of readers around the world, I have eagerly awaited a sequel to "The Eight." Twenty years after publication of the original, Neville brings forth a work that is just as entertaining and delightful as its parent work.

With plotlines taken directly from the headlines, "The Fire" focuses on Alexandra Solarin, daughter of Catherine and Aleksandr (two of the main characters in "The Eight"). On the verge of becoming the youngest grandmaster in the history of the game, she stops playing, a
...more
Wisteria Leigh
The Fire, by Katherine Neville was such a huge disappointment. I like many others, was mesmerized by The Eight, written twenty years ago. I would often wonder what happened to the author? I yearned, craved another book as an addict seeks his next high. When The Fire was offered as part of the Early Reviewer program, I was naturally delirious. Finally, the long drought from Ms. Neville would be appeased. Sadly, after reading The Fire, I cannot recommend this book with the same enthusiasm or promi ...more
Sean
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: suspense, adventure
I read Katherine Neville's "The Eight" at the urging of a friend when I was a teenager and was bowled over by it, so when the sequel came out I decided I had to re-read the original first and then move on to "The Fire." Unfortunately, "The Eight" didn't stand up to a re-read, and "The Fire" was much, much worse.

"The Fire" fails as a narrative, let alone as a mystery, adventure or thriller. Neville has no notion of transition, and she wrenches the reader from place to place and from time period t
...more
Intplibrarian
I absolutely LOVED The Eight by Katherine Neville. I wouldn't say it was for everyone; not everyone likes complex plots that have your head spinning at times, but I do. I'm sure people who understand and play chess enjoyed it even more than I did.[return][return]However, I've been reading The Fire, a sequel to The Eight, for over two weeks now. I get drawn into the story in parts and then have no problem putting it down in the next chapter. I find myself picking up other things to read rather th ...more
Martina
Aug 07, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason M Waltz
gonna have to go with 2 stars since I gave book one 3. this one isn't near as fun as the first; this one is from someone who watched too many National Treasure movies and read too many Dan Brown stories. still the disjointed story-within-stories storytelling, plus an oddly lame ending just when I thought it wasn't coming (turned out the last 20 pages or so are credits and acknowledgements, so the final chapter I expected wasn't). there was an interesting character (who just simply had too many c ...more
Jane
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Despite the promising concept of continuing the age-old story of the Montglane service with the next generation of players, this tale pales in comparison to the adventures of Catherine and Alexander in The Eight. Perhaps it is the mix of old and new characters that leaves the reader feeling disjointed and stuck in the past. The introduction of Basque mythology and the "Colliers" is fascinating, but only whets the imagination before sweeping on to new ideas and leaving a murk of confusion in its ...more
ainsley
It's kind of fascinating to watch my tastes in books change, and this is a prime example. The Eight has been a desert island book for me, but I didn't love it this time I read it, and the sequel just...didn't make sense if I tried to think about it at all. There's an abundance of telling, not showing, and yet the provided explanations don't make sense.

(2012 review: I'm astonished that I've only read this twice, and suspect I will be working to remedy that by later this year. But The Eight is one
...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
What a huge disappointment! Granted, writing a sequel to the amazing "The Eight" wasn't an easy task (far from it!) but this was just much too slow and confusing. The plot is thin and very predictable and the historical parts of the story added nothing to the story. They were, to be honest, quite boring. So much so that I ended up skipping them altogether...

If you haven't read "The Eight", go ahead and do so you won't regret it! Just keep this sequel for desperate times only, when you have nothi
...more
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Katherine Neville is an American author. Her novels include The Eight, A Calculated Risk, and The Magic Circle. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and she previously worked as a photographer, a model, a consultant at the Department of Energy, and a vice president of the local Bank of America.
-Wikipedia

Other books in the series

The Eight (2 books)
  • The Eight (The Eight #1)
“knew, for it allowed the valiant Black Knight (in the guise of her father and tutor) to leap to the front over the heads of the other pieces, and take charge. After a daring Queen sacrifice that brought murmurs from the crowd and gave her the center board, it appeared that Solarin’s fearlessly aggressive little warrior would –at the very least –go over the Reichenbach Falls and take young Professor Azov with her in a deathlike embrace. But it wasn’t to be. There was a name for” 0 likes
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