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

Posted December 4, 2016 by Lily B in Reviews / 23 Comments

Review:  Fate of Flames (Effigies #1) by Sarah RaughleyFate of Flames by Sarah Raughley
Series: Effigies, #1
Published by Simon Pulse on November 22nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating: 3 Stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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…

In a world where Phantom’s terrorize the people, Effigies are meant to protect it. Four girls appeared at the same time these nightmarish creatures came to light. Each girl is able to control their own classical element, but only one type of elemental Effigy can exist at the same time.

When the last Effigy, Natalya, who controls fire dies, Maia becomes her successor and inherits Natalya’s powers and memories.

Maia is scared and does not want to admit that she is the fire Effigy even thought she doesn’t have much time before the organization known as the Sect – who train the Effigy’s comes for her. Maia has a hard history, her mother, father and twin sister perished in a fire. Even thought Maia idolized the Effigy’s, the last thing she expected was to become one.

Now something is going wrong, by random each big city in the world is having a problem with the device that keeps Phantom’s out from entering the cities and hurting people. The devices are failing, cities are getting attacked, people are getting hurt and they don’t know what is causing it.

A mysterious stranger named Saul wants something from Maia, and he just might be the link to all of these attacks.

It was in interesting read. Overall, I felt like this series has a lot of potential, if the kinks could be sorted.

I really liked the plot, to me it felt original and refreshing. I liked that there are four girls who control four different elements of fire, ice, earth and wind. It reminds me a little bit of Captain Planet growing up. The story-line thought engrossing had a lot of holes, and I think that is where it faltered most.

First, I did not understand the need to glamorize the Effigies. They are these normal girls who end up being chosen at random? And they fight the Phantoms until their last breath, protecting the people from harm. They turn into these celebrities with photo shoots, and it was just weird to me.

Second, all their personalities were such a big cliche. Like, you could just feel it coming from each girl, what they are going to act like, and it really had me rolling my eyes.

Third, Maia is obviously special, but why? Why is she the special one, especially since the Effigy before she is supposed to be a sort of legend. Maia is thrown into this fight with NO training, and despite obviously being a huge burden on the girls who suddenly have to protect her, she ends up doing things she shouldn’t really be able to do. She can wield her powers in such way that it takes a lot of work to be able to use, that she is suddenly good at. I felt like it was unrealistic and frustrating.

There were a lot of holes in the plot and most of it was left that way. I wanted to know more about the origins of the Phantoms. Where did they come from? Are they aliens? Are they an experiment gone wrong?

Why is Saul special? The whole mystery surrounding him kind of had me shrugging my shoulders. He told Maia that she wouldn’t like what she discovered and I didn’t see that reaction at all.

There is obvious some internal dirty stuff going on within the Sect itself.

There is a hint of romance… I guess.. It’s a little dry and Rhys, the Sect agent and the romantic interest is hiding a lot of secrets. One of which I think Maia is totally blind to, but is easy to figure out. He is also Geeky Chic… There is a lot of use of the word Chic to describe people in the book.

Overall, it was interesting no doubt it has a lot of potential and I will be reading the next book to find out where it goes. Despite all those things that might have aggravated, it was a great book to pick up when I wanted to get lost in something outside of the real world. I really wish it didn’t leave us with more questions then answers, but I am looking forward to seeing where the author goes with this next.

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23 responses to “Review: Fate of Flames (Effigies #1) by Sarah Raughley

  1. Love your winter header. So cozy. This one has a lot of potential, like you said, I like the originality. However, all the sticking points, would drive me nuts. I am going to wait.

  2. I didn’t like this one, sadly. :/ It felt too jumbled and random at times. I didn’t really connect with many of the characters, I couldn’t get on board with a romance, and I was little bored… I think, like you said, there was potential, but I doubt I’ll be circling back to read the sequel. Ah well, I tried!

    Wonderful review, Lily. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. The whole world of the story sounds interesting, but bummer it had some execution problems with the plot. I might give it a go because I’m a sucker for unique worldbuilding.

    Nice review, Lily!

  4. Oh gosh I love Captain Planet! And four girls gives the series a lot of potential. Like it has so many ways it can twist and turn. I hope the next book is just as good.

  5. Seems like I’ve seen a lot of books with similar covers lately and I get them all mixed up. It sounds interesting though. I’ll wait to see how the 2nd book pans out for you first. 😀

  6. I now have the Captain Planet theme song in my head 🙂 There’s a lot to like here, but some of the issues you mentioned did make me pause — I wonder if they’re deliberate to be revealed later on? I hope so, it would mean that the author has a grand plan in mind instead of rather large plot holes.

  7. Oh no! Infuriating? I can totally understand being annoyed with “chosen ones” being special for no reason other than they’re the one. I just don’t get it! I’m glad to hear it has potential but too bad it wasn’t better for you!
    Lovely review, Lily!

  8. Damn, this sounds like it has no much potential but just a little too busy to hold your interest. I love the girl power concept, but why the need to create these celebrity glamazons? Having powers and the ability to protect should be enough they don’t need to be perfect snowflakes as well. I would have probably loved this one but it sounds super frustrating sadly. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it though Lily, do you think you’ll continue with the series? Fabulous review! <3 <3

  9. Oh my! Look at those covers. Sounds pretty exciting plot too, but feel so bad with the flaws. Hope that would be sorted on the next book coz I really wanna try this one. Great review!

  10. I’ve seen a few reviews for this book but I just haven’t been motivated to add it to my TBR. It sounds a bit annoying with a special snowflake and too many plot holes. 🙁 I’m sorry it wasn’t better.

    Great review!

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