Happy Labor Day Guys,
The Flame Never Dies picks up where we left off in book one. Nina, Finn and the rest of their merry band of exorcists, 1 ex-nun and 1 prego teen, are camping out in the badlands staying away from the church and lying low in abandoned towns, trying to find enough food and resources to get by.
Melanie’s pregnancy is in its last month and they are still trying to figure out how they will birth the baby and whether or not there will be a soul in the well for the child once he/she is born. While attempting to sort this out, the group is also dealing with Grayson’s transition as an exorcist, which is drawing all sorts of degenerates their way.
Eventually, the group meets up with some nomads called the Lord’s Army. The army is a group of people who live off the land and believe in killing any demons they find. But trouble is following both groups in the form of a maniacal, ultra powerful demon and a mysterious plague, which may or may not be fortune in disguise. Can the group survive? And will Nina find her future nephew a safe place to live, let alone a soul?
First, let me say that I am usually super hesitant to read duologies and I don’t know why. A big complaint I usually have with trilogies is that the second book often drags, but with a duology you don’t get that. Instead, when done well, you get two awesome plot driven stories with little to no stall. Vincent’s duology is an example of this. I was pleasantly pleased with the whole thing.
Now secondly, if you’ve read my earlier review of The Stars Never Rise AND you read my predictive spoiler… well let’s just say BOY was I wrong! I was 100% sure that the story was heading in one direction and I was just so utterly wrong. On top of being ridiculously wrong about the ending there were so many unexpected plot twists that I really did not see coming. Such a pleasant surprise.
Mini-kinda-sorta-but-not-really spoiler ahead. Skip the italics if you don’t want to know if there is a happy ending or not.
I was SHOCKED literally shocked that this book had a happy ending. Everyone one you care about survives, pretty much, and I was sure that either Nina or Finn were gonners. No one loses a love interest and yet there is still a tragedy for one of our characters that keeps the post-apocalyptic world believable.
I was also extremely pleased with the ending. 100% satisfied, which isn’t something that happens very often. Usually an ending will fit or just works with a story but you may have some questions or be left wanting more even though it had to end that way. But I left this one at peace with the story as a whole. Would I love to see more of these characters, yes, but a story has to end sometime and this was as close to perfect as you get.
The Flame Never Dies is a teen (some sexual tension/innuendos so I wouldn’t recommend to the immature) read that adults will also enjoy. The duology as a whole gets 4.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!