Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flame Caller (World Aflame #2) by Jon Messenger Review

Hello readers! Today I have another review for you guys. A "new" to me Paranormal series that is promising and sure to be up come of your alleys! This book is part of a series, however I will not be covering this as a series review. I posted my review yesterday of book one. You can find that review by clicking here. I had a feeling that my thoughts on the series would drastically change after book one, and I was correct, so in this instance I wanted each book reviewed separately. Also, I just found out that the series isn't complete and there will be at least one more book (I hope to have more info on that topic soon). Today on the chopping block is Flame Caller, book two in the World Aflame series by Jon Messenger. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a little bit about the book and our author.

                                  THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,

                                  THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,

                                  THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,

                                  THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.

White Halls is no longer a sleepy little town. Its houses lie smoldering on their foundations. The residents take refuge in their homes, afraid to leave. And the town’s prodigal son and newest Wind Warrior, Xander Sirocco, has fled.

Xander survived the first assault on his life by the Flame Caste, but it’s at a great personal cost. He and Sammy are left to bury his family and tend to his grandfather, who lies in a coma.

With the weight of the world on his shoulders, he can’t help but feel the fight against the Fire Caste is hopeless. It seems that way, that is, until he learns of a secret race of Elementals, embodiments of the elemental powers that the different castes wield. With the power of the Elementals comes a chance to save not just the Wind Warriors and Sammy, but the world itself.

Emboldened, he sets off to find the Wind Elemental and with it, the hope for his survival. Too bad no one has seen the Wind Elemental in generations and now thinks she’s just a myth. As he quickly learns, however, the Fire Elemental isn’t a myth. It’s real and it has a secret plan for his girlfriend.

And it won’t stop until Xander is dead.

Can I just add before we go on that the covers for this entire series are absolutely phenomenal. Seriously. Kudos to the cover author because they are fantastic. Wow! 

Jon Messenger

Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through multiple combat and humanitarian deployments. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.

Find Jon Messenger

Before we get to my thoughts on Flame Caller, check out this awesome book trailer that was created for the release last summer! Book trailers are seriously one of my favorite things to watch and yet so many authors don't make them. This one is amazing. Way cool!

My Thoughts:

Okay, to anyone who read my review of Wind Warrior, you will remember that it definitely wasn't my favorite book ever, but I did highly praise Messenger's ability to craft this new paranormal world. My biggest complain was that the branding of the book was a little off. I highly criticized the fact that it's marketed as an NA when it is definitely not an NA in any aspect other than the age of the character. Unfortunately that is my biggest complaint for book two as well. HOWEVER I am not going to get that again here, why? Because book two was AMAZING. Seriously. I don't know what changed between books one and two but book two blew my socks off.

I'll start with the few negative things I have to say about this novel. And they can both be related to the first book. The language in this book does not read like an NA. Not in any way, shape or form. I was particularly confused at one part of the novel in which something terrible (no spoilers here) happens to Xander and all he can say is "I'm just pissed". He's "pissed"? Wooowwww. Alert the masses. Xander is "pissed". Again, in an NA there should be a whole hell of a lot more anger involved than just one word. I'm still not considering this an NA, I just can't.

Secondly, some of the characters really threw me off. We really were only introduced to two new characters in this book, but they were incredible. My problems are still with Sean and Jessica. I just don't see their point. At one point in the novel Xander says that Sean is the only person who can help them. Why? Because he can use the internet and read a weather map. I'm sorry, but a much better reason would have been "hey, I have to go save my best friend, I can't let him die". Instead he had to go with them because he was the only one who knew the way to Iceland without a map. Seriously? Wind Warriors can fly and detect air pressure changes. I'm pretty sure if they headed in the right direction that they would find a huge ass hurricane tearing up the planet, just saying. Jessica was still a brat, but not as bad as book one. If anything I think she shouldn't be there, but then again, this isn't my story. Aside from those two things, that's the only negative things I have to say about Flame Caller. That's it! Let's move on to the positives!

How about EVERYTHING ELSE?! Book two was everything I wanted from book one. It was emotional, it was suspenseful, and FULL of action. Man. I even read some parts a second time, just because so much happens! It was incredible. Huge props to Mr. Messenger for taking book 2 to the next level. The relationship between Xander and Sammy (my favorite character) was awesome and we see lots of great character development.

The villains in this book, well... the two villains in this book are truly terrifying. General Abraxas is one kick ass dude. He is ruthless and doesn't care who stands in his way, but once he "becomes one" with his destiny and teams up with our even bigger villain, the Fire Elemental, we have one unstoppable force. I want to talk about the Fire Elemental for a second, so precede with caution... **MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD** The Fire Elemental is a dragon living below the Earth and controlling the Flame Warriors. How kick ass is that? He definitely has a Smaug feel about him because he talks and is seriously evil. He has been trapped in his "much to small underground prison" by the Earth Elemental millennia ago to avoid his wrath at their plan to sustain humanity, who they have grown to like. The Flame Elemental plays a HUGE role in the very last chapter of the book and has be seriously wanting to hurry up and finish this so I can go read book 3. All I can say is that if Sammy dies, I'M going to be "pissed".

The Elementals, Fire and Wind are the two new characters in this book. They add so much to our story and really make this story great. Book three is about the Water Elemental so I can only imagine there will be a fourth book about the Earth Elemental. I have tweeted Messenger and am awaiting a reply on the status of the rest of the series. I will embed any reply I get here! Seriously though, those new characters make the storyline so much deeper and exciting to read. Xander has quite the adventure in store for him and I cannot wait to check it out.

All-in-all I am giving Flame Caller a 4.5 star rating! Much higher than my review of Wind Warrior, series, it was THAT much better in my opinion! For any readers who may have been on the fence about the series, go ahead and take the chance with book 1 because this second installment in the series makes up for it in spades! I am so glad I continued reading and cannot wait to present to you guys my thoughts on book three Water Shaper ASAP!
Where can you get yours?
Click the links below to get your copy of Flame Caller today!
Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Jon Messenger's Flame Caller, book two of his World Aflame series! I had a feeling that this book was going to blow book one out of the water and I was definitely correct! I am starting book 3 as soon as I hit publish on this post and will be back real soon to give you my take on it! Until then, Happy Reading!

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