Title: The Flame Never Dies (The Stars Never Rise #2)Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopia | Demons
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
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 (goodreads).
The Flame Never Dies is an exciting, albeit, unsatisfying conclusion.
Plot: The Flame Never Dies picks up a few months after the thrilling revelations of The Stars Never Die. Much like its predecessor, The Flame Never Dies is fast paced, perhaps too fast-paced for me. This book felt more like a "middle book" rather than the concluding novel. A lot of the revelations were fascinating and well thought out, but were explored way too late in the book to have an impact on me. There were tons of vaguely explained endings for characters and subplots that didn't sit well with me.
Characters: The Flame Never Dies is Nina's time to shine. Our beloved secondary characters are still in the background, but their stories are pushed even further back to give Nina the stage. I liked watching Nina's moral dilemma, especially regarding her small family. A separate group of characters are introduced that I was really excited to learn more about. The Lord's Army raises its young to protect themselves and strongly believe that their religious faith will help restore the souls of the possessed. This group was interesting and I loved their contrast to members of Nina's group who are predominately atheist.
Worldbuilding: The badlands was a refreshing change of scenery from the stuffy city of the Unified Church on The Stars Never Rise. Not enough time was spent exploring the land in my opinion, but I also liked the mini "Easter eggs" of Vincent referring to landmarks by their "prewar" geographies. It really helped me see the badlands knowing the X was the former Colorado and so on. There is another scenery that explored towards the end of The Stars Never Rise, but that all felt very rushed and I never got a grasp of that location.
Short N Sweet: The Flame Never Dies needed to either slow down or add another book, but it was a fun ride while it lasted.