Thursday, August 23, 2018

Review: Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

Book: Fate of Flames
Author: Sarah Raughley
Series: Effigies #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 368
Release: November 22, 2016

Years ago, everything changed. Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time four girls, the Effigies, appeared, each with the unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.

When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.

But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity is more important than their heroism.

But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…

I knew I wanted to read this book right from its premise. Unexplained monsters terrorizing the world, with 4 chosen girls to wield each element to fend them off? Yes please! And much to my pleasure, I was enthralled literally from page one and gobbled it all the way up to the middle. 

But...the end of the book fell a bit flat for me afterwards. I kept waiting and waiting for something truly epic to happen, some kind of confrontation with devastation and the beginning of a series of showdowns between the protagonist and the antagonist with every book, or at the very least, some kind of epic banding of all the Effigies to save the day (with repercussions, of course, because that's what keeps things interesting for the next book ;D). And the author definitely has it in her--for 2 pages, there was an absolutely epic battle! But that was it. The plot just didn't let the author showcase more action, which would have made this book so much better. Or maybe this all could be because I'm just bloodthirsty...? >.<

Regardless, I definitely loved the concept of the world, and the roles the Effigies play. In this day and age, if the universe selects 4 random girls to fight off phantoms, of course they're going to be controlled by an international organization. And of course they're going to have to deal with press and media. And, most importantly, of course these stars are going to have to find a way to show the media and the controlling organization off in order to properly save the day! Yes yes yes. Those are the kinds of stories I love, where superheroes must defy social norms and protocols in order to save the world. That includes listening to their hearts to do what's right, not what they're told or what brings them the most fame. And Maia most certainly has this down!

I also found the other Effigies quite interesting to read about. You have Belle, who though is a world favourite and has unparallelled skills, is probably the most cold and closed off (to the point where she literally has a lot of issues). Then you have Chae Rin and Lake, who though aren't exactly world favourites, are genuinely trying their very best because that's what the circumstances demand from them. I loved those two! They were so much fun to read about, and the mix of personalities made it very enjoyable to read about.

In regards to overall powers, I do wish we were better introduced to the Effigies' abilities. I feel like each one of them could be extremely interesting to learn about, so I was hoping we'd at least get to glean a bit from Maia's abilities, but it never really came. I would have preferred a larger focus on Maia's fire abilities and her veeeeery interesting scythe she can summon (not a traditional sword, mind you!) rather than her scrying abilities. Again, this could be just because I'm an action junkie.

Overall, this first book definitely has a great start, with tons of room for the author to blast through the rest of series! The plot is a bit slower near the end and I would have liked a bit more action, but I'm sure those points will be better fleshed out in the next book. I'm definitely going to read the rest of the series!

1 comment:

  1. Always nice when a first book for a series hits it of with a 4-star rating!