Years ago, everything changed. Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time four girls, the Effigies, appeared, each with the unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.
When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.
But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity is more important than their heroism.
But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…
If you saw my Top 5 Wednesday: SFF Books on your TBR, then you know that this book was on my list, mainly because of the premise which states “Pacific Rim meets Sailor Moon” two of my favorite things.
I would described this book as a two hour pilot to a TV show, in which it has a lot of world building and setting up characters and their arcs. With it’s world building it is set in a world in which “phantoms” attack and it is the job of the Effigies to stop them. There is suppose to be four Effigies at a time and a new one becomes active after one dies. It kinda reminded me a lot of Buffy in that sense.
Maia was a very good protagonist. I like that at first, she is very starstruck by the other Effigies and acts like a fan girl when she first meets them, especially her first encounter with Belle. She was very smart and know what was going on. With her as a main character a lot of the info dumping is done through her which made it seem more natural rather than boring.
The other Effigies; Belle, Lake and Chae Rin, were also great characters, you really felt as if they were a team. Also individually they were all great as well. If I were to pick a favorite it would definitely be Lake, mainly because she is a singer and I also love her attitude. I kinda wish that I got to see more of them together. Hopefully future books will give them more development because I really like the characters.
The book does a good job at setting up the world it is placed in and the conflict it was. The Effigies work for the Sect, who basically train them and sets them up on missions. They pretty much reminded me of SHIELD.
I thought the main villain, Saul was a bit under developed. While you do see why he did what he did, I kinda wish it was a bit fleshed out more. I think it will be fleshed out more in future books.
I thought the action was also very well done. While yes, most of action takes place in the beginning and the end, it was extremely worth and all I kept picturing was Pacific Rim monsters being attacked by the Sailor scouts. I also picture the phantoms sort of like the Kaiju from Pacific Rim
In the end, Fate of Flames was a very good first book. It did a good job at world building and setting up the characters. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.