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Book Review: Fate of Flames Effigies bk1) by Sarah Raughley

(I received this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Goodreads Summary: 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 was really excited to receive this book but unfortunately I did have some issue with it.  Phantoms attack the cities and terrorize the world. There are four girls who are called Effigies and they are the only ones that can defeat the phantoms. They each have the power to control the elements. When one Effigie dies another girl takes her place along with her power and memories. 

The story opens up with a phantom attacking the city and Maia finding out that she is the next Effigie but for her to be one that means one of the other Effigies has died. This leads to speculation of how the other Effigy died. Did she kill her self? Or was she murdered? I could definitely see where the story was trying to go and see the potential of it. I did like the action with in the story and I liked the mystery of Saul as well although it was a bit confusing. 

I had a hard time grasping onto Maia. I felt she was one dimensional and had no character development through out the story. I could totally understand her frustration because basically the fate of the world was on her shoulders but with not being able to change her fate she really needed to put on her big girl shoes. There were times when she did show some skin but she backed away quickly and reverted back to the girl she was at the beginning. I was also a tad bit confused on the history of the Effigies. There was little background on them and I did wonder how they got chose to hold the title or is it all fate in itself. 
I do plan on reading the next within the series and I understand that this is the first one so maybe we will see character growth in the next one. 

Belle, Lake, and Chae Rin are the other Effigies. Belle is the stuck up Queen, Chae Rin is the rebel, and Lake is the dramatic one but on a much lower level. They each play a vital part when working together but the fact that they are less of a team is pretty hard. Rhys is an agent of the Sect that the Effigies are apart of. He has a past and I really wanted to know it. We only got little bits and pieces of it which is ok. I have a feeling get more in the second installment. 

Saul was just as confusing as well. I didn't understand the whole Alice and Nick situation. I got parts of it but not fully. 

The writing was ok. There were times I felt like it dragged and that slowed the story down a lot. Some of the revelations towards the end were some eye openers and put some things in perspective. There is a range of diverse characters as well. This does leave some room and add build up for the second installment. 

Rating. 3 Stars. 

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