BOOK REVIEW: Flameout, by Keri Arthur
Flameout is the third book in the Souls of Fire series and it’s just as fast-paced and high impact as the first two books. My love for Keri Arthur’s work just keeps growing.
Flameout follows Emberly, a Phoenix living with her fated mate in Melbourne, as she falls further down the psychotic rabbit hole of Melbourne’s changing status quo. PIT’s manpower is spread thin between struggling to control the outbreak of a lab-born virus turning humans and supernaturals alike into pseudo-vampires and tracking the divisions and developments within the rat pack and vampire factions of Melbourne.
Emberly and her fire-fae partner, Jackson, are presented with a choice, work alongside PIT as consultants or back off their search for the cure. With a growing sense of foreboding and the attempts on her life stacking up, Emberly has no choice but to accept the badge but will she be able to hand it back when all is said and done? She’s not so certain.
I’m of the opinion that Keri Arthur’s novel style is progressively improving. This series, as well as her Lizzie Grace series, have focused on very realistic character behaviours (despite their supernatural nature). Emberly and Jackson are sensible and logical throughout, analysing their every move and do not get lost in the lust of the moment, unlike some other series I’ve read from other authors in this genre. They also openly admit their weaknesses and work within those parameters to survive which, for me, creates strong three-dimensional characters.
With every Keri Arthur novel, I find myself enjoying her habit of throwing the worst possible problems at her protagonists at exactly the wrong moment. Flameout was no different and it only served in strengthing Emberly and cementing our understanding of her character.
Every single scene in this book is placed strategically and focused on the goal of the novel. There is no deviation from the plotlines which drive the story forward. Throughout all three of the books so far, that quality has been key in building up the pace and developing the mystery behind the virus, taking the reader along for a thrilling ride.
This series constantly moves me in some way and this book was no different. Emberly’s foreboding was palpable throughout but I did feel her anger was ever so slightly restrained in the writing in the end, even as everything around her went up in flames.
The world building is exquisitely detailed as ever with Keri Arthur and I love how each book (no matter the series) pieces together parts of the puzzle. The only comment I have to make about this world, however, is that there are far too many interested parties. I struggled at points to keep up and, frankly, I stopped trying to line them up and just focused on Emberly’s survival.
I have so many questions from this book that I hope will be answered in the next book, Ashes Reborn. For example, the ending suggests another plotline will be replacing Luke in Ashes Reborn but then what’s going to happen to the hive mind and what plans does PIT have for Emberly?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to pick up the next.