While a few reviewers have been somewhat cool about Katherine Neville’s long-awaited sequel to 1988’s The Eight, we predict that The Fire (Ballantine) will still manage to find its way under a lot of trees this holiday season.

The Fire features Alexandra Solarin, the sole daughter of the heroic couple we first met in The Eight. The Fire covers a lot of fictional ground between 1822 and 2003 while Solarin searches for a piece of a legendary chess set that — in its own context — has the capability of transforming the shape of the world.

The best news for fans could come at the very end: it seems possible that the game might continue at some future point. The possible bad news: will we have to wait another 20 years?

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