Kim Ammons (youthbookreview)'s Reviews > Flame

Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, books-i-want-to-own

***Review of the entire trilogy***

4.5 out of 5 stars (for each one)

I read the first book of this trilogy, Glow, last year, and it was a book that grew on me more and more as I looked back on it. I reread it recently so I could finish the trilogy, and I wasn’t disappointed.

So we have two massive ships on their way to New Earth: the Empyrean (where the main characters live) and the New Horizon. The New Horizon should be way ahead of the Empyrean (they left a year earlier), but everyone’s talking about how they can see the New Horizon just up ahead. We also find out in the first chapter that there are no children on board the New Horizon (there were fertility issues on the Empyrean for years, but they solved them, and now the oldest young adults on board are 15 and 16 years old). Suddenly the New Horizon attacks and kidnaps all of the young girls on board, leaving all of the boys to run a damaged ship with most of the adults dead or gone.

These books are gripping, and they aren’t cookie cutter at all. That’s one of the reason I love them so much; I couldn’t ever quite predict what would happen next. Let me warn you, though, that they get fairly dark (mostly the first one, in my opinion). A lot of things are alluded to rather than explicitly shown, but there’s lots of talk of assault in various forms, and lots of people die. I gave my husband a short summary of the first one and all he said was, “Jesus…”

But these books are also just really freaking good. Everything is a moral grey area. All of the characters are morally grey throughout all three books, villains and heroes alike, and I really appreciate how deeply fleshed out every single character is. They’re all very real. I felt myself constantly changing my opinion of the characters because every scene had me empathizing with different sides.

The second book in particular, Spark, is an amazing political drama; I couldn’t believe how entertained I was throughout that whole book. Very little action, but the intrigue was fascinating. The third one, Flame, might have been my least favorite, just because the first half is a little slow and I don’t know if I believe the way that characters choose to deal with situations in that book. It comes across like it wants to read as a great game of political strategy, but it felt a little forced and unreal to me. Still, the trilogy as a whole was just so freaking well done and captivating.

I'm rounding up to 5 stars for each of them, but I can’t quite explain why I feel like a 4.5 star rating is more appropriate than 5, because these books hit all my buttons. I've added them to my Favorites shelf as well my “books I want to own” shelf (I’m very picky about what books I own–I’m more of a library reader). They feel just about (but not quite) perfect to me, and I highly, highly recommend them to pretty much everyone.

(Cross-posted on Youth Book Review)
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Reading Progress

February 16, 2016 – Started Reading
February 16, 2016 – Shelved
March 15, 2016 – Finished Reading
March 19, 2016 – Shelved as: favorites
April 17, 2016 – Shelved as: books-i-want-to-own

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