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.
The Flame Never Dies is YA but that doesn't mean it lacks plot or direction as quite frankly it's a vision of a future that's horrifying. A world full of demons who lack corporeal forms so instead use humans as hosts, taking their bodies, their memories and using up their souls. Problem is souls don't last long so the demons keep looking for new humans to inhabit. Yet some humans are exorcists and have the ability to summon holy fire sending the demons they touch back to hell. There's a downside though because if a demon enters an exorcist they are stronger, faster and survive longer.
Nina and her sister were raised by the Church but escaped when they discovered the Church they believed in is run by demons! I mean come on would you stick around if you realised you were being 'groomed'? So now with a handful of others they run through the badlands hunted by the Church and trying to avoid being possessed by the demons that roam wildly. Nina is not doing too well though as her baby sister is heavily pregnant and as the demons have secretly been devouring souls for centuries how will the baby survive without one?
Yikes where do I start? Okay, this started off in a way that had me wondering how Ms Vincent could bring hope or even an almost happy ending for these characters. I won't lie, there are deaths here that shock the reader as it's just done so casually! I am thinking I know just where things are going and then bam, that happens and I'm just open mouthed! Yes, I did sort of guess something but then again the author had a few tricks up her sleeve which opened up even more possibilities. Fast paced, particularly the second half with twists and it was nice seeing the characters push forward.
At this point I have to mention Nina as she more than leads the charge, she positively owns it! She may have started out downtrodden by her mother and the Church but she's grown and is fueled by a determination that's pretty impressive. Yes, there are other characters who play a part but for me, Nina kept me glued to my kindle as she not only learned to survive but decided it was time for a little (a lot!) of retribution.
Well done Ms Vincent, take a bow. I'm someone who prefers adult stories I admit it but the imagination, the tension, and the simply abysmal world created here drew me in and didn't let go until the last page.
I was gifted a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.