Fate Of Flames (Effigies #1)
Author: Sarah Raughley
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre/Themes: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: November 22nd 2016
Page Count: 368
*I was offered an ARC of Fate Of Flames by Sarah Raughley from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.*
The first time I had heard of Fate Of Flames, it was marketed as Sailor Moon meets Avatar: The Last Airbender. Let me tell you, they had me at Sailor Moon. I grew up watching that show and to come across a novel that has a similar aspect? Consider it sold.
Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series. When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement. But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms. Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy. Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together. Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever.
What I Liked
Our home and native land! Yes, this book partially took place in Canada! Also known as, my home and native land! One thing that has always bothered me about dystopian stories, or even blockbuster action movies for that matter, is that they all take place in The United States of America…majority of the time in New York City. My constant thought it always, “What about the rest of the world? Is everything falling apart for them too?” While, Fate of Flames does momentarily take place in New York City, it also explored other countries around the world (including my home of Canada) and I’m honestly extremely grateful for how fresh and new that is.
The concept. I loved the idea of four girls with Sailor Moon-like powers. I love that while each girl is one of the only four Effigies in the world, they are all very independent. They live in, or grew up in, different countries and they all have different unique character traits which makes each girl awesome in her own right.
The characters. As mentioned above, I really did enjoy a majority of the characters. Yes, even the villains. Each of the four Effigies were completely distinguishable from one another. They each had different personalities and the fact that they’re all from different places and cultural backgrounds is one of the best things about them. I loved the diversity between each of the characters as well. While I did enjoy the villains, I really do wish we could have learned a little bit more about them. I love a good backstory.
What I Didn’t Like
World building. I’m still not really sure how this world came to be. Why are there all of these phantoms? Where did they come from? Why do the phantoms and the Effigies have more in common than they realize in terms of their biology? I wish we got more answers, but I suppose that’s what a series of novels is eventually meant to do…answer everything later.
The lack of clarity. I won’t lie. I was pretty confused about the whole Nick, Marian, Alice thing. I still don’t quite understand their story and what it all meant. I really do like the idea of each Effigy containing a piece of the previous Effigy before them. While this was an awesome idea, I wish I could have learned more about each of these characters. We had an amazing opportunity to learn more about them this way, but their story just ended up feeling a little bland.
The repetitive-ness. There were a lot of action-packed battle scenes. While the first one was intriguing, it just kept happening throughout the story. These moments felt a tad redundant for me and I found myself struggling to get through them.
While I did get what I promised in terms of Sailor Moon-like badass women, there were bits and pieces of this story that were lacking for me. If we got just a little more detail on some of the morally questionable villains and maybe a lower number of similar and redundant battle scenes, Fate Of Flames could be something great! I could easily see this story blowing up and becoming popular with readers all over the world!
*Don’t forget to click the link below to check out Sarah Raughley’s guest post on Big City Bookworm!*
About The Author
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to SF/F TV to Japanese Role Playing Games, but she will swear up and down that she was inspired by ~Jane Austin~ at book signings.
On top of being a YA (young adult) Writer, Sarah is currently completing a PhD in English, because the sight of blood makes her queasy (which crossed Medical School off the list).
Check out the rest of the Fate Of Flames blog tour by clicking the links below!
Thanks for reading!