Tuesday, November 15, 2016

[Review] Fate of Flames (Effigies #1) by Sarah Raughley

Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley
Series: Effigies #1
Rating: 2 stars

Release Date: November 22nd 2016

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.
When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.
But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.
Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.
Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.
Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?
I really wanted to like this one. Really.

But how can I like it when I hate the main character?

Imagine a world where Pacific Rim meets Sailor Moon (or any girl team of your choice). There are four girls with elemental powers that must defeat these phantoms that plague society. These girls, the Effigies, are blessed with strong powers, fame and perhaps fortune, if they use their powers properly. The only downside is that they're often sentenced to an early death.

The premise is pretty cool. I was also getting Rick Riordan/Percy Jackson vibes because the first chapter opened up in New York, and our heroine, Maia Finley, is a resident New Yorker. Maia is the newest Fire Effigy, after the previous one, Natalya Filipova, mysteriously dies. She has big shoes to fill, and not everyone is sure she can fill them.

Even I'm not sure she can fill them. She's so unsure of herself and so brash and abrasive to the other Effigies. And they're supposed to be working together? She's pretty immature too.

"This is not training!" I swiped the hair from my eyes. "This is attempted murder!"
"Feel the adrenaline," said Lake, from behind a tree. "Bring it out! Come on!"
But I couldn't. Finding my footing, I backed away. "This is stupid! You know what? I'm... I'm telling Sibyl!" 

No words. None. 
This girl also doesn't have a filter. If these are supposed to be the girls you'll be fighting with, you're doing a better job of them wanting to fight you, really.

"Yeah. You messed up at your job and you can't even take accountability for it. You're mad that the Sect treats you like an issue. Is it the Sect's fault you're more famous for your crap attitude and messy tantrums than your battle stats? Hell, even your own parents are ashamed of you. Wonder why."

...Great first impression Maia. 

The world building is confusing and it's only because I watched Pacific Rim that I'm getting a good idea of what's going on. How does Maia know she's the Fire Effigy? There was a flashback, and there was no explanation on her knowledge of being the next one! It was only a fangirl moment with Belle. Does she get a letter in the mail via owl, aka Harry Potter? Oh, and the Sect is probably evil because all organizations end up actually being, ala Captain America: Winter Soldier. I think my knowledge of movies is getting me through this book. 

All the guys are probably bad too, apparently. Is there not one trustworthy guy in this book? And this -

"Right." Rhys smiled at me. There was something dangerously alluring about Rhys's eyes, dark and boyish at the same time. I wasn't naive. I knew I was looking into something heaving, something potentially dangerous.

We got a bad boy in the house.

The other Effigies - Chae Rin and Victoria "Lake" were decent-ish and understandable. I felt bad that they were being treated badly by Belle and Maia! Why can't anyone get along in this book? Is this one giant catfight? 

I didn't really have much care towards this book. The main character is dislikable, all the guys got some hidden agenda, the world building I have no clue where that went. It could have went better, but this was just a quick read that I was considering DNF-ing. 

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