fate of flames book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Four girls, each with control over one of the four elements, are the only force that stands against humanity and it is in their hands when Phantoms, massive beasts made of pure terror, appear and begin destroying the biggest cities in the world. Since the appearance of Phantoms, cities have taken measures to protect the remaining civilizations and four girls continue to fulfill their duties as heroes. When one Effigy dies, another becomes her replacement in an instant, continuing her duties, for as long as they’re needed.

One day, Maia wakes up to the news that Natalya is dead, along with the realization that she is the next Effigy in line, controlling the element of fire. Now Maia has to make the transition from fan to hero in a rush since NYC’s protection against Phantoms has suddenly failed and a man has appeared who can control them, creating chaos in his wake. Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much choice in the matter.

Maia Finley is a typical internet fan girl over the quartet of Effigies. She plays on social media and blog sites, from gushing over her favorite effigy to keeping the tabloid gossip to fanning the hater flames for the effigies she doesn’t care for. In the real world of social media outlets, Maia is the norm. It seemed typical that Maia would find herself the next random choice of fate as the successor. It was interesting to see how she adapted from fan girl to femme fatale, being thrown in the middle of a crisis while she was at it.

Fate of Flames is your general young adult work of fiction in a world that has come to love the female hero. I wasn’t wholly impressed, but it wasn’t bad overall. I think this is the start to a growing author who will improve and flesh out the story and characters as we progress in the trilogy. I had so many unanswered questions about various character backstories. The only thing to do is wait impatiently for the next book in the series and see where Maia and the rest of the Effigies end up in life.

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, two kids, two small chihuahuas, and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She balances her work as a website admin with her hobbies of watching anime and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.