I review The Flame Never Dies (The Stars Never Rise #2) by Rachel Vincent.
For fans of Cassandra Clare and Richelle Mead comes the unputdownable sequel to The Stars Never Rise, a book Rachel Caine, author of the bestselling Morganville Vampires series, called “haunting, unsettling, and eerily beautiful.”
ONE SPARK WILL RISE. 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 book in Vincent’s addictive YA series. Although I was enjoying the opening chapters, I had the sneaking suspicion that I was missing out on some things. I felt like Vincent had jumped straight into the action, only giving so much backstory, and I was left feeling like I was missing entire chunks of information. Well, that’s because I was.
Yup, that’s right, I read the sequel before the first book.
With my own stupidity aside – and without letting it affect my review of this book – I really enjoyed The Flame Never Dies. Sequels can be less exciting, less well-received than the first book in a series. But I felt that this held up brilliantly.
The Stars Never Rise, the first book in the series, sets out our heroine Nina Kane’s backstory, and how she and her sister Melanie ended up living in the badlands with a group of rebels. I’m going to assume that anyone reading this review has read the first book, unlike myself, but here’s the summary of The Stars Never Rise:
Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.
When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.
To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?
Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
Without giving too much away, Nina Kane is another strong female character that literature, YA in particular, really needs. She’s another Katniss, or Tris, or Sarah Connor, but she’s also much more. The usual love interest that plagues this genre does get on my nerves somewhat, but it’s nowhere near as bad as others I’ve read. Nina is strong and brave and awesome, and, as far as I can tell, a great role model for young readers.
I’m currently reading The Stars Never Rise, and, although I know what happens to some of the characters, I’m loving it. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment, and whatever else Vincent comes out with.
The Flame Never Dies will be released on the 16th August.