Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Release Date:  January 7, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Waverly and the other members of the Empyrean have scattered, and their home ship has been destroyed. Their mission to rescue their parents didn't go as planned, and now they're at an even greater disadvantage: trapped with their enemies on the New Horizon. Kieran has been pulled under Anne Mather’s wing, but is she really trying to make peace, or just using Kieran to build her own power? Meanwhile, Waverly is taken in by a mysterious old man who wants to help her bring Anne Mather down—but the more Waverly cooperates with him, the more dangerous her position is.

Seth's situation is even worse. After setting out from the Empyrean on his own, with only a vague strategy to guide him, he is a fugitive aboard the New Horizon. He's doing what he can to challenge the power of Anne Mather, but he's badly hurt, and getting sicker.

Wow, wow, wow, and again I say, WOW!!!  I have loved this series ever since I read the first sentence of the first book, and this finale just about knocked me into the middle of next week.  Amy Kathleen Ryan has pulled off a fantastic and epic conclusion to one of my favorite series of all time.

When I first started reading this series, I loved it, but at the same time, there was a part of it that turned me off because I wasn't sure that I really liked the characters.  The story itself was so intriguing though that I found myself loving it despite that.  Little by little throughout the series, you watch these characters grow, change, build into something that even they didn't know they could be.

The three main characters, Kieran, Waverly, and Seth, are not perfect.  Far from it.  These are people with great capacity for both good and bad, and in the course of the series, you see both sides to each of them.  There were times that I both hated and loved them.  In this final book of the series, however, their character journeys are complete, and you finally get to see which side they will each fall to, what final choices, good or bad, they will each make, and what they are each truly made of.

As I said, the story itself sucked me in like a vacuum cleaner, the suspense whirled me around and knocked me off my feet (enough cliches for you?) but it was definitely the characters and their growth that made this book, this series, unforgettable.

The author wrote real, honest characters, flaws and all, which made me respect her as a writer all the more.  The romance, which I found to be hot, hot,  hot, was satisfyingly concluded.  The ending was exactly as it should be, but yet the author didn't leave us with a perfect world in the end.  Just like the characters, there are flaws, things that didn't exactly work out all neat and clean.  I think it made the story more believable, unpredictable, and more memorable.

Bravo to Amy Kathleen Ryan!!  This book and series was phenomenal!

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