Wednesday, August 31, 2016

#Wednesday Review - The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent (Young Adult, Urban Fantasy)

Series: The Stars Never Rise # 2
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press / MIRA Ink
Source: Library
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy

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.

The Flame Never Dies is the second and apparent final novel in Rachel Vincent's The Stars Never Rise duology. Vincent's world could be consider dystopian in nature, while also crossing swords with the Urban Fantasy genre. This is a world where demons were supposedly defeated and souls are a commodity to be traded like gold and silver on the black market. The story picks up 5 months after the ending of the previous book where 17-year old Nina Kane discovered that she has the ability to wield the fire that can destroy demons inside a human body. 

Nina and her sister Melanie grew up in New Temperance under the tyrannical rule of the Unified Church. The church has since cast out Nina and her friends calling them Anathema and possessed by demons. Nina is at the top of their most wanted list. For the past 5 months, Nina, Maddock, Finn, Melanie, Grayson, Reese, Devi, and former sister Annabelle have been hitting church convoys in order to survive. They even picked up Eli Woods and his group from the Lord's Army who has been hit hard by Degenerates in the badlands. Even though Eli's group focuses on religion, I didn't really think it would matter to most readers.

But the most intense conflict comes when the Anathema's are forced into traveling to Pandemonia, a city that is full of demons led by the most powerful demon in existence; Kastor. This is a bad time to be a human. Demons are scurrying around like vile cockroaches collecting as many humans as they can. Since they can't stay in a body long, they swap bodies like most people swap underwear. What's even more troubling, Kastor wants all exorcists captured alive, and what a fantastic prize it would be if he were to collect the most valuable and most wanted prize of them all; Nina Kane.

Like other reviewers, my only real complaint was about the open ended ending. The ending is so wide open, that I definitely felt as though there could have been another installment in this series to find out if events that happened towards the end, actually matter in the long run. After all, Nina stepped up and became a leader. She did everything she possibly could to save her sister, and ensure the baby receives the soul it needs to survive. She was even ready to go even further if necessary. Nina's group was not afraid to get their hands dirty, and I liked that Grayson finally got her mojo. They thrive on killing as many demons as they can since the end up back in hell, and not in another innocent human. There are more than a few surprises that are revealed in this story, and I think that readers will be more than pleased by the way Vincent reveals them.

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