Maia and the other Effigies seek out the true origins of the Phantoms that terrorize their world in this thrilling follow-up to Fate of Flames, which Elise Chapman calls “an immersive and monstrously fun read.”
There’s nowhere to hide.
Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone.
When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets.
Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.
This is Raughley’s follow up to Fate of Flames so if you enjoyed that then your anxious waiting to find out the Fate of her intrepid characters will feel like it had been well worth it.
You definitely need to make sure you have already read the first because all the world building, rules, foundation and so forth is all encased there and you won’t have the full picture otherwise. Especially as the first chapter drops you right in the thick of things. She does provide a small kind of wrap up to help you remember how the characters found themselves in their current predicament but it’s not enough to help a novice reader become invested.
I love how even in the most serious of situations she manages to evoke humor from her characters. Told from Maia’s point of view you get a real sense for the edginess and fear that they live with on a daily basis. The familial camaraderie between the Effigies is still as poignant even with danger and secrets closing in ready to rip them apart.
The way she describes her scenes you feel like you are actually there whether it’s in the desert or walking the streets of Canada to attend an awards ceremony. I just love Maia’s personality whether she’s trying to be stronger than she feels or making fun of “self-absorbed celebrities” her humanity comes shining through despite the super-hero position she holds in this world.
Raughley has this way of describing scenes with such vivid emotion that when you come upon something horrific like a fictional character getting murdered there’s this part of you that wants to close your eyes and turn your head as if you could look away from the horror unfolding only to remind yourself this is a book and not happening before you visually. Just as she can dish out the horror one minute the next you’ll find her describing nightfall with such beautiful prose it hardly seems possible to have all come from the same writer’s hand.
I have to admit at times this was hard to read because of what is going on in the world with the States ripping itself apart in a modern day civil war, you don’t know who to trust not even within your own government and Raughley plays these themes to the hilt. Supernatural elements aside it’s easy to see how a society could become this fearful, this ready to act without question, to turn one friend against another, even murder your own family if you were told they were a violently dangerous threat to society.
I didn’t realize I was holding my breath and tears were sliding down my face until I couldn’t see the pages anymore.
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to review this book.
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*synopsis and pic from Netgalley