Amy Kathleen Ryan
Flame (Sky Chasers, Book 3)
Macmillan (US: 7th January 2014; UK: 16th January 2014)
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My history with trilogies is that usually the first book is the best. In the case of Amy Kathleen Ryan’s Sky Chasers, the third book is the best. Which fills me with such delight, because it means the author’s skills have IMPROVED over the course of the series – just the way writing should be.
With the two earlier novels, the three lead characters were very annoying. That’s gone here in Flame – Waverly, Kieran, and Seth are more concerned with staying alive and the wellbeing of their parents than they are about relationship dramas.
In the earlier installments Anne Mather seemed like a cult leader, but here she’s just a political figure – and there’s more political intrigue in store. Will Waverly and Kieran commit perjury? It’s Mather and her crew versus the church elders, and neither team is ideal to lead.
What I’ve most loved throughout this whole series is the marvellous setting, complete with nebula. This is science fiction the way it should be: more about actual SCIENCE, rather than military/war/invasion. And there are medical issues all the way to the end.
I was all set to rate this five stars, until I got to the final chapter. It’s not labelled as an “epilogue”, but we all know what it is. The more this last chapter continued, the more disappointed I became.
Less is more, authors. You don’t have to tie every knot – you can leave something up to the reader to decide for themselves. Better to leave something unknown, rather than erase possibility. I still heartily recommend this series to anyone willing to try it. Just go without that final chapter.