Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Flame Never Dies - Book Review and Extract


The Flame Never Dies - Book Review
Rachel Vincent
YA Paranormal
UK Publisher: MIRA INK

Other books in the series:
The Stars Never Rise #1 - Review HERE

Synopsis:

One spark will rise.

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth — that the war against the demons is far from over — seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn't about to let that happen… even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice…

Review:

Witty, action packed and riddled with drama - I throughly enjoyed this book. As always, Rachel Vincent still astounds me with her a unique heroines and artful world building. This book was so easy to slip into! 

It’s been five months since Nina, Mellie and Finn escaped into the badlands. Labelled by the demons as public enemy number one, Nina and the other exorcists continue to fight the degenerates (Possessed, Zombie like creatures). But as they struggle to survive the barren landscape, Nina knows she has bigger problems. Her sister Mellie is about to give birth, and the well of souls is empty. Nina will do anything to ensure her future niece or nephew survives... Even if the cost is her own soul.

But as a new evil is unleashed, Nina finds herself hunted by the ruler of the demon City, Pandemonia. Captured and taken far from her friends and family, Nina will fight tooth and nail to return to her sister’s side. But can she make it in time? Or will it be too late?

Upon finishing this book, I was gutted to learn it was a duology. Although the ending was really satisfying, it was also ambiguous enough that I’m going to keep my fingers crossed Rachel Vincent decides to continue Nina’s story. The idea of this dystopian world is simply addictive!

Nina is a really relatable character. While she doesn't always make the best decisions, she follows her heart and tries her best to do right by others. However she is more badass in this book, toughened by her previous ordeals and new training. 

Finn continues to be a swoon worthy love interest, and I loved how his story played out. Not only do we uncover his past and learn how he became a disembodied spirit. The whole “not having a body” plotline intrigued me for a long time, but I’m pleased to say I felt I felt his ending wrapped up really nicely.

In terms of the other characters, they all had more minor roles. I was a little disappointed some of the previous cast didn't get more page time, but I also really enjoyed the new characters who were introduced. I mean demon killing cowboys? Ye-haw!

Otherwise the plot was fast paced, each attack and catastrophic scene rolling seamlessly into the next. There were lots of fight scenes, some sad moments but… I thought there were also a couple of unrealistic plotlines. Biological Warfare? A virus?

Essentially while some of these ideas did prickle a little, they didn't impact upon my enjoyment of the story. For me this was a fun sort of read, not something to be delved deeply into or picked apart. However if you are the kind of reader who likes to know the why and how behind everything… then this story probably isn't for you. 

For everyone else though - this is one fantastic paranormal read! Within the pages, Rachel Vincent has created an immense world built upon deception and blind faith. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

I give The Flame Never Dies 4 stars! And if you haven't already, please do check out the first book - The Stars Never Rise.

In the meantime you can find an extract from The Flame Never Dies below :)

Extract

When Eli bowed his head to pray silently over his plate, everyone but Grayson stopped eating to watch.
Grayson bowed her head and closed her eyes. 
It wasn’t that the rest of us objected to Eli’s faith. It was that most of us had little of our own, after discovering that generations of our ancestors’ souls had been consumed by those claiming to be our spiritual leaders. Everything we’d ever been taught to believe in had been proven not just false, but foul
The only things we knew could save us were vigilance and violence. The only people we knew we could count on were those gathered around our campfire.
“What did you pray for?” Maddock asked when Eli looked up, and his thoughtful tone caught my attention. Reese would have asked the same question with sarcasm. Devi would have asked it out of skepticism. But Maddock… 
As usual, Maddy was merely curious.
“I was giving thanks and asking the Lord to put more demons in my path, so I can strike them down in His name.” Eli took the fork Grayson handed him and dug a flake of fish from his filet. 
Anabelle gaped at him. “You were asking for more demons?”
Eli laughed at her horrified expression. “I wasn’t asking for a second demonic invasion. I just asked the Lord to keep pushing the ones that are already here into my path, so I can fulfill my life’s purpose by killing them.”
“You just mean the degenerates, right?” Reese said. “Because you guys seem to need help with Kastor’s people.”
“My fellow sentinels and I are perfectly capable of taking on any of the lions from the pit, but the oldest among us have already served their purpose and youngest—like Tobias—are not yet ready. I ask only that the worst of the horde be put in my path, rather than theirs.”
“Sounds reasonable,” I said. I felt the same way about protecting Mellie.
“But do you really think that’s your purpose?” Devi asked around a bite of bread.
“It’s ours, just like it is yours. There is no more noble pursuit, considering the state of the world. Every demon we strike down is felled through the strength the Lord has bestowed upon us, and—”
“Well, then he bestowed it all wrong.” Reese’s voice was so sharp I actually choked on a bite of greens and had to cough it up.
Eli’s spork clattered onto his plate, his meal suddenly forgotten. “Excuse me?” 
“You guys are out there impaling degenerates’ through the eyeball and calling yourselves warriors, but all you’re really doing is setting the demons loose to search for new hosts. That’s what you did to your brother’s killer. You released him. We fry the bastards right out of this world.”
“I cannot deny that the Lord has blessed you in ways he has not seen fit to bless me, Reese.” Eli’s glance at Grayson made it clear that he wasn’t just talking about exorcist abilities. “Nor can I presume to understand his reasons. I did what I could for Micah, with the gifts the Lord has given me. I freed his soul so he could find peace, and so that somewhere, a new child can live.”

6 comments:

  1. I had no idea this was a duology! Thanks for the warning. I am glad it ended on a good note even if you did want more.

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    1. I know, I'm sure it wasn't advertised as a duology but there you go. Still keeping my fingers crossed for more books though!

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  2. Duologies are the best! I've read a number of things by Rachel Vincent over the years (her Soul Screamers books and her Shifter series) and really enjoyed them, so I have no idea why I haven't jumped on this series yet. I really need to get on that!

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    1. I really enjoyed the Soul Screamer Series although I never got around to the Shifter one. But I REALLY enjoyed these two Star's Never Rise books. They were just addictive!

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  3. I have a few books by Rachel Vincent, but I haven't gotten around to reading any of them yet. Might have to change that with this duology :D

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  4. It's a great place to start :) While I haven't read many of Rachel Vincent's Books - I have really enjoyed the ones I did pick up :)

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