I’ve just finished reading ‘The Flame Never Dies’ by Rachel Vincent. Vincent is one of my absolute favourite authors so I may be a little biased, but she has easily outdone herself with this novel.
‘The Flame Never Dies’ is the sequel to ‘The Stars Never Rise’, so if you haven’t read the prequel you may want to avoid this review in case of spoilers, though I will try my best to keep it ultimately spoiler free – also definitely read that novel because it is amazing! I love love LOVED ‘The Stars Never Rise’. I loved everything about it and was desperate for this sequel to come out so I could find out what happened to Nina Kane and I was not left disappointed.
The only thing that niggled about the first novel was the character Finn and his ‘state’, which will make more sense to you if you’ve read the first one. Though I trusted in Vincent and knew that she would have a plot point in ‘The Flame Never Dies’ to cover Finn’s existence – the one most important lesson I learned in my degree was that whatever you write has to have a purpose to the overall plot, so the publishers had left this in for a reason.
I love the setting in these novels: I looove the concept of the church being run by demons, and I love Nina and her exorcist friends. I really love the whole idea and Vincent really does it justice. We pick up with Nina and her friends a few months after the prequel, roaming the ‘badlands’ outside the Unified Church’s control.
I loved Vincent’s character progression, and the trials that Nina and her friends are put through. I was intrigued by Maddock and Finn’s backstory and was wondering what Vincent was hiding from us, though this felt like a fairly large concept to be contained into just two books. Though because its Vincent and I love her writing I overlooked that.
I really loved the finale – the whole narrative was gearing towards this inevitable conclusion and I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Vincent had in store for her characters. Finn’s ‘state’ issue was solved, and I really liked how Vincent did this. The epilogue was heartbreaking! I do feel that Vincent has left this particular story world open to potential sequels or spin offs, whether that involves Nina or other characters. The one thing that makes me sad about this particular series is that it’s only intended to be two novels, and I feel Vincent could definitely have more story potential buried in it.
‘The Flame Never Dies’ and its prequel ‘The Stars Never Rise’ has everything I love about YA in them. Not to mention I absolutely love Vincent’s voice in everything she writes. This is an easy 5/5, and perhaps the biggest compliment I could pay to it is that I really want to adapt the two novels into a screenplay, even if it will just be for my eyes only!