Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Flame (Sky Chasers, #3)


Flame (Sky Chasers, #3)Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Series: Sky Chasers, #3
Published: January 16th 2014
Publisher: Macmillan 
Format: Paperback, 336 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Waverly and the other members of the Empyrean have been scattered, and their home ship destroyed. The mission to rescue their parents didn't go quite as planned, and now they're at an even greater disadvantage: trapped with their enemies on the New Horizon, trying to find a way to survive. Will Seth's health hold out long enough to help Waverly topple their enemy? And will Waverly find a way to unite her friends before the final battle? Nothing is certain and every second is a risk in this explosive finale.

I think this quote by Noam Chomsky, chosen by Amy Kathleen Ryan and included in Flame, sums up this trilogy rather well:
It is only in folk-tales, children’s stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful ignorance to fail to perceive them.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We’ve seen far too many examples in Amy Kathleen Ryan’s Sky Chasers trilogy. No one can be given huge amounts of power and responsibility and remain unchanged.


Flame picks up where Spark left off, with our three main characters separated and in deep trouble. All three of them are in a very bad place, depressed, powerless and weak. Make no mistake: Weaverly, Kieran and Seth are no heroes. All three of them have made some horrible choices in the past, either drunk with power, or desperate under the weight of responsibility… or both. But unlike other power players aboard the New Horizon, the three of them always did what they thought best for everyone at that particular moment..

Ryan’s characterization is, simply put, superb. She gave each character their due attention, even the peripheral ones, and built them to absolute (and absolutely flawed) perfection. The work she did on her three point-of-view characters, as well as her many villains, makes her stand out as an author of extreme talent and skill. Anne Mather, Captain of the New Horizon, is exactly what a villain should be, her shudder-inducing nature making her one of the most memorable characters in YA literature and beyond.

The Sky Chasers trilogy could just as easily be marketed as adult. Its protagonists may be young, but they are all mature well beyond their age, and the problems they deal with are extremely unsettling. At least the three of them are united against common enemies, which is a very nice change after all the damage they did to each other in previous books.

Like the two books before it, Flame is a very grim, claustrophobic read. It’s more than just limited space that makes it an almost suffocating experience; it’s also not being able to trust anyone and drowning in the feeling of hopelessness alongside the main characters. And yet Ryan succeeded in turning things around in an entirely believable manner and showing us that good things often come from entirely unexpected directions.

While this trilogy is not for the faint of heart, it’s thought-provoking and brilliant and I cannot recommend it enough.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


21 comments:

  1. Every time I visit your blog I end up adding like 3 more books to my endless TBR pile :). I haven't heard of this series, but it sounds fantastic. Thanks for the review!

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  2. I've seen this series in the Fiction (and not the teen section, either) aisles of my bookstore. I seem to remember it being marketed as YA, though. The tone definitely reminds me of Across the Universe by Beth Revis; but somehow, I think this one would be more geared toward mature readers.

    Great review, Maja.

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  3. I agree completely, Maja. I loved this trilogy precisely because of all the ugly sides of humanity visible through it and in this novel especially, the entire concept of moving on past prior misdemeanors was such a powerful theme. Plus, I absolutely adored the ending, perfect with just the right amount of bittersweet and sacrifice to keep this series on my shelves as one of the best out there. Lovely review, dearest!

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  4. I think the reason I've liked this so much is because it's realistic in its power structure. Kids who really aren't mature enough to handle the stress and trouble that comes with leadership are corrupted, even when they believe what they're doing is for the best. I think it's one of the best character studies I've read in a while.

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  5. I completely forgot about this series! I remember being very intrigued by the premise especially after reading your reviews, Maja. I'll put them on my tbr since all the sci fi I've ready lately have blended together.

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  6. I think this might be the perfect series for me Maja! I love thought-provoking reads with really strong characterization, and I just can't wait to pick up the first book and dive right in. It's clearly going to be a rough ride at times (emotionally) but it seems like it ends well which is what I need after a brutal journey!

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  7. I agree with Jenny, I need to check this series out! I loved those quotes!!

    Beautiful review!!

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  8. I somehow missed this one was out, I NEED to read it! These books are so tense for me. I literally grit my teeth. I want to smack each of them, but I can't help but love them at times too. I SO need a copy of this!

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  9. It sounds good, but for me..hm... *thinking*

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  10. This sounds good, but also something I'd have to insert a fun, lighthearted book in between reading the series. I've read dark books one after another and I almost literally ran to a light, funny book. :) Still, this sound so much like something I'd enjoy.

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  11. I know Christy@ Love of Books liked this series a lot as well. I wanted to read it but put it off because of the cliffhangers, but now that they are all out, I need to finally dive into this world. I like that the characters are more mature.

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  12. Wow, this sounds amazing. And that cover is very 3D looking. I'm going to have to get into this series. :) Thank you!

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  13. So, so glad you enjoyed this, Maja! I thought it was an excellent conclusion to the series and I wish more people would give these books a go.

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  14. I've missed this series completely, but it sounds pretty amazing. I'm picky with my paranormal and dystopian reads lately and this kind of story is something I'd gladly read.
    Great review, Maja.

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  15. Thought provoking and brillant sounds amazing, I have been wanting to start this trilogy for a while.

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  16. Hmm, I missed this series completely but your review shows elements that I adore, and I like dark..so I will add to my wishlist!

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  17. Hmm, I saw some mixed reviews for the first book when it came out but it seems like this series is worth checking out if it's thought provoking. I'll be adding the first book to my wishlist, Maja!

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  18. I forgot about this trilogy. I think across the universe overshadowed these books in popularity . I think I'll read them this year . Lovely review

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  19. I gave up on this series at book 1 but it looks like I should reconsider this after reading your review!

    Brilliant review, Maja! <33

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  20. Thank you for your review! This series sounds very interesting!

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  21. wow sounds like a very deep and thought-provoking read! Now I am curious about it's elements.

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