Fate of Flames
by Sarah Raughley
Published by Simon Pulse
Plot: Sixteen-year old Maia Finley lives in a world where Phantom monsters terrorize humanity. Thankfully, the world’s answer to this threat are the Effigies. Four girls who are able to control the four elements - water, fire, wind, and earth. Only four can be alive at any given time, so when one dies, another Effigy is chosen. By what, Maia doesn’t know, but that still doesn’t stop ‘it’ from choosing her as the next Effigy of fire. Maia grew up idolizing Effigies along with her twin sister June. But, it wasn’t until she becomes one that she realizes it’s not all it’s been hyped up to be. Soon, Maia is thrust into a world of monsters, conspiracies, and mortal danger. She may be an Effigy, but unless she learns how to wield her power, she isn’t going to survive very long. With the help of the other Effigies, albeit reluctantly, and a sect agent names Rhys, Maia is somewhat able to adjust to her new life. But, when a terrorist named Saul is discovered to be able to control the phantoms, everything anyone thought they knew about phantoms and Effigies is shattered. It’s up to Maia and the other Effigies to stop Saul before he uses the phantoms to kill again.
Review: Fate of Flames was definitely action packed and fun to read. The concept of the Effigies and their ability to control the four elements was pretty interesting. Maia’s character is very relatable and down to earth, but her character really doesn't change much towards the end. She doesn't overcome the emotional anxiety she gets when she thinks about her family (who were killed in a house fire), nor does she really become any stronger or braver throughout the story. This causes her to be sort of useless throughout the majority of the book when fighting the phantoms.
It seems like this story was more a set-up for the next book in the series, since the backstory is weaved throughout the book - revealing a little more all the way to the end. And, even at that there are still some questions left unanswered that should have been answered in the first book - like the origins of the phantoms and Effigies. The other Effigies (Belle, Chae Rin, and Lake) are diverse and have distinct personalities of their own, and Raughley does a good job in showing how different they are compared to the other. Raughley also did a great job in humanizing these girls even though they have super powers. Their emotions and actions really do show how a normal girl- turned superhero would react to her new life and duty to fight dangerous creatures. They each have their flaws and it’s what makes them so interesting to read about - even if they can be a little frustrating, annoying, or pitiful. But, that's their character! They are suppose to make you feel that way. Hopefully these characters can show "why" they were chosen to be Effigies in the next book.
If you are looking for a Fantasy/Romance, then this book is really not for you. There is a light romance between Maia and agent Rhys, but you probably won’t see that develop into anything more until the next book. The focus really is on the four girls and the relationship they have with each other and trying to work together as a team. I’m not a big fan of cursing in dialogue, but I understand it’s used for that emotional punch. But, I especially don’t like it when “Jesus” or “Christ” is used as a curse word. I think there are plenty of curse words that could be used instead and still get the emotion across. That was something that offended/bothered me that happened more than once. Overall, it was a fun and interesting story to read. Recommended If you like Fantasy or manga/anime such as Sailor Moon that’s a little more dark. For ages 14+up
*Recieved a DRC for an honest review.
Book 2 - Siege of Shadows to be released November 2017
Rating: 3.5 Hearts