Monday, December 12, 2016

The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent

Series: Well of Souls (bk. 2) Duology likely, final book

Genera(s): Dystopian/Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Subjects: supernatural, demons, demonology, exorcists, abilities, magic, souls, possession

Setting: Badlands of Oklahoma?, Kansas, Colorado

POV/Tense: 1st person, past tense: Nina Kane

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 342 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Summary/ product description: “Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against 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 soul, 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.”

My Review:  The Flame Never Dies is the sequel to The Stars Never Rise. The author had said this is a duology, so I guess this was the final book. I feel like this series could have been longer. The author’s Soul Screamers series lasted seven books, but a trilogy would have been nice at least.

If you have not read this series I recommend it to those who enjoyed The Demon Trapper’s Daughter series, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Unbreakable by Kami Garcia and urban fantasy books.

It’s written in first person point of view and the main character Nina Kane is a natural born exorcist. She can send demons back to Hell with the holy fire she can conjure from her hands. Demon eat the souls of those they posses and when exorcised the host body dies because there is nothing to occupy the body and there’s a bid burning hole in the chest. If a demon is in a body too long it starts to degenerate and become twisted. If you have not read the first book, then spoilers are ahead.

Nina, Melanie, Maddox, Finn, Devi, Reese, Grayson, and Anabelle are in the badlands (not the South Dakota one, but Oklahoma or Kansas) trying to survive, hiding from the Church. In the previous book Nina discovered the Church was ran by demons and that her mother was a demon possessing a human body. Nina is public enemy number one and a demon named Kastor wants her as a host.

Finn, a soul who doesn’t have a corporeal form, is possessing a guard temporarily. Nina is in love with Finn, no matter what body he’s in. Melanie is still pregnant and due in about a month, and since souls are hard to come by, it’s possible the baby won’t last an hour after it’s born. Nina plans on sacrificing her own soul for the baby if it comes to it.

The something unexpected happens that changes everything and sets Nina on a course for revenge and for an even more meaningful sacrifice. Can she and her friends save humanity from the demons who are destroying it?

So, this was a great sequel. I wish it was longer or that there was a third book. I really love it when there’s an interesting cast of characters, but I feel like some of them were under-used. I wanted more dialogue from them. And I wanted more romance. Despite that, it was a good sequel. Action and paranormal stuff and cool discoveries and scary twists. I enjoy the way Rachel Vincent writes. She has complex narrators that face terrible dilemmas, interesting love interests (both Todd and Finn were incorporeal most of the time), interesting world building and humor. I will miss the characters.

There was a moment I considered this being set in the same world as Soul Screamers, but in the future and that the demons were hellions, since both could posses people, but the demons in this book don’t have a natural shape in Hell, and the hellions did in the Netherworld. So that theory didn’t last long.

Cover Art Review: Beautiful cover. Too bad it’s not metallic. I love the feather, but there are no angels in this book. The title treatment is cool.

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