Sunday, 17 October 2010

Book Review: Dark Flame by Alyson Noel.


Product details:
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Series: The Immortals #4
Other books in series: Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland.

At the start of this mesmerizing new installment of the Immortals series, Ever is helping her friend Haven transition into life as an immortal. But with Haven drunk on her new powers and carelessly putting them all at risk, their friendship becomes more and more strained. At the same time, Ever delves deeper into magick in order to get control over her enemy Roman and free Damen from his power. But when the spell she casts on Roman backfires, she’s bound to her deadliest enemy. Frantic to reverse the spell the moment the moon enters a new phase, she finds her efforts are fruitless—there’s a strange, foreign pulse coursing through her, one that propels her toward Roman. Desperate to break free of this terrible curse before Damen or the twins can discover what she’s done, she turns to Jude and delves deeper and deeper into dark magick, ultimately risking everything she knows and loves—including Damen. 


* This review contains spoilers for Shadowland - Immortals #3.

Shadowland, the third installment in Alyson Noel’s Immortals series ended with a delicious twist that saw Ever’s best friend Haven become an Immortal.  Now in Dark Flame, Damen and Ever must contend with the fallout of this. Haven was quite a handful as a normal human girl, so I just knew that when she became immortal she’d be impossible to deal with. Added to this, Damen and Ever are still on their seemingly never-ending quest to regain the antidote that will finally allow them to consummate their love. Meanwhile, Ever is finding herself increasingly drawn to her enemy, Roman, due to a spot of dark magic gone wrong. Will the girl ever learn? And will she ever get her hands on that antidote, and in turn, get her hands on the delectable Damen once and for all?

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have a soft spot for the Immortals series. It was the first Young Adult series that I picked up in those dark post-Twilight days, and Damen Auguste soon helped me get over my enforced break up with Edward Cullen. The series can be frustrating at times, and yet, despite this, I look forward to each new instalment. I love the premise of the series, along with it’s characters, and while things sometimes tend to veer off course, Noel always manages to include a great plot twist that leaves me wanting more.

My main problem with this book and with the series as a whole is the character of Ever. I warmed to Ever a lot in Evermore, but I feel since then she’s really regressed as a character. In Dark Flame Ever messed up so many times that she almost drove me insane. If there is a right choice and a wrong choice, then Ever will choose the latter every single time. She has the perfect guy in Damen, but instead of confiding in him and letting him help her, she turns to Jude, Damen’s rival for her affections. I will never understand some of the choices she makes, nor do I understand why Damen just goes along with it. She constantly lies to Damen and keeps secrets from him throughout Dark Flame, and he just accepts it all. He’s becoming a pushover, and this behaviour between the two main characters is becoming slightly nauseating. As part of a six book series, I feel that the storyline here is getting a little dragged out. Dark Flame kept me entertained for the most part, but it didn’t blow me away. Sometimes when I’m reading this series I feel like I’m going round in circles.

This book had it’s good points too. I liked the introduction of Haven as an immortal. It’s the shake up that this series needed, and while Haven caused quite a lot of trouble in this one, I’m sure there is more to come!  We also see get to know a lot more about Roman, and his background here, which made me rethink his character just a little.  Noel’s characterisations are great as always, as are her plot twists. There are quite a few surprises in Dark Flame that I didn’t predict, and it had a great ending.  While I didn’t fall in love with this book, in fact, the first book in the series, Evermore, is the only book I truly love, I'm still looking forward to the next book in this series. Night Star is released in November.  I need to know what happens next!

5 comments :

  1. Thanks for the review. I honestly did not enjoy Dark Flame too much, but I am invested in this series. I need to know what happens next!

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  2. Thanks for the review! I just bought the first part.

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  3. @Elizabeth - I'm in the same situation. I need to see it through till the end. I still love some things about the series - namely Damen, although he is a little too saintly at times!

    @Misha - Evermore is wonderful - a really special book. The other books in the series just haven't lived up to it in my opinion.

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  4. I saw today that Alyson Noel's books are translated to Turkish, and they're pretty cheap. Do you think I'd be losing a lot if I didn't read them in English?

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  5. @Simay - I don't think you'd lose too much in translation. The writing style is pretty direct/straightforward. :)

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