Friday, May 29, 2015

Earth God (World Aflame #4) by Jon Messenger Review

Hello readers and a very happy Friday evening to you all! I have a very special review to share with you all tonight. One that really is a bittersweet experience for me to share, as it was the series finale to one of the best series I've picked up in a very long time. What am I raving about tonight? Earth God, the thrilling conclusion to Jon Messenger's World Aflame series! Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and out author:


The Fire Elemental has risen and its followers, the Fire Caste, have destroyed the planet. Humanity hangs on the cusp of extinction; their only hope now lies with the troubled Wind Warrior, Xander Sirocco.

Xander has absorbed the power of the Wind and Water Elementals but at great personal cost. Finding Sammy has been his anchor through the chaos around him, but now he finds himself wondering if saving her is enough.

Sammy remains a prisoner of the Fire Elemental, her mind trapped, as the dragon possesses her body. Her love for Xander keeps her going, but will her passion be enough to stop the Elemental from killing Xander once and for all?

Humanity's last hope rests in Xander finding the Earth Elemental. Claiming the power of the Earth is the last step before he can confront the dragon holding Sammy hostage. Unfortunately, he's not the only one who knows the location of the Earth Elemental.
It's a race against time between Xander and the dragon to claim the last of the Elemental power and bring an end to a war that's spanned millennia.

Earth God is the exciting conclusion to the bestselling and award-winning World Aflame series.

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

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Goodreads *

My Thoughts:

Anyone who has read my reviews of the other three novels in this series will tell you that it seems as though I've really had a love-hate relationship with these novels. I just went back and read those reviews from all those months ago in preparation of crafting this one. I found myself really having trouble with many of the elements in the other three novels and really hoped Messenger would rectify every concern I had before he rounded out this series. I may have found some huge faults with this series, but it's still among my favorite in the genre. I can say without a moment of hesitation that Earth God was exactly what I have been waiting for, and so much more!

The entire World Aflame series has been building up to this heart-stopping climax. With the powers of the Wind and Water Elementals merged inside him, Xander almost has what it takes to stop the Fire Elemental and his Fire Cast from burning the world of man down to the ground, wiping away all traces of humanity in an effort for the next stage in evolution to take hold. Only by locating and obtaining the powers of the final (and arguably most powerful) Elemental, Earth, can Xander finally have what he needs to take down Fire and, hopefully, save Sammy in the process. Confused? It's an important book. Basically the entire thing is a near-300 page action sequence. Battle after battle, trial after trial. Things always look darkest before the dawn and it's time for the sun to rise for Xander Sirocco as it sets on an incredible series. 

The plot to Earth God was amazing. It wrapped up nearly every loose end the story had and left me so satisfied. It's like Messenger took the best parts of each of his works and compiled them into this and then multiplied it by a hundred. Earth God is Messenger's best work to date!

While the plot to Earth God was incredible, it was really the characters who really helped to make this story shine. In the beginning, as evident by my Wind Warrior review, I hated Xander Sirocco. I found him to be lazy, boring, immature, and pretty much everything that causes me to roll my eyes at a story. Over the course of these three stories, Xander has grown exponentially. He's not just more mature, Xander is a hero. He has truly come into his own with this series. Sean and Jessica took some huge strides in this final story and really shaped their own destiny. They played a huge role in Xander's final battles and their involvement was so much greater than I expected it to be! I was not a fan of Jessica in the beginning and by the time the story ended, she was one of my favorites! The Fire Elemental, General Abraxas, and Lord Balor played huge roles in this novel. I think one of my favorite things about Messenger's writing is that we get to see everyone's side of the story. It isn't all about the good guys, it's about every character, their struggles, their triumphs, and their demises. Everyone gets a share of the spotlight and Messenger writes them to perfection. But what of my favorite character, Sammy? Unfortunately we really don't get to see much of 'Sammy' in the finale. Having been possessed by the Fire Elemental, she's been reduced to a mere 'inside voice'. While Sammy does still play a huge role in the story (one of the biggest), I was a little bummed to see she wasn't able to get more of a time to shine. I would have liked to see her weird her incredible powers one last time! She's still my favorite and I'm so glad Messenger say her story to such amazing completion.

This is the first novel in the series that the 'New Adult' aspect was really evident in my eyes. The language was harsher, the situations more dire. There were a few adult scenes and a whole lot more adult level thinking. I applaud Messenger for pushing the limits to make this novel really reflect its' New Adult classification. This was probably one of my biggest complains about the previous installments in the series, but Messenger really stepped it up in this final novel. 

Like the other novels in this series, the setting for Earth God turns out to be a globe-encompassing adventure. Europe, Honduras, the Pacific Islands, and Los Angeles all play huge roles in the story and Messenger writes each setting to perfection. The post-apocalyptic world, scorched beyond recognition: dark, scary, and unforgiving. Messenger creates a landscape full of fear and still finds a way to supply us with a beacon of hope, a silver lining in a tunnel of darkness. 

Of all the themes that Messenger emulates in this series, I believe the most important one is to embrace your destiny and control your fate. It is only through our characters learning to accept their ultimate responsibilities and places within the world that they are able to fully succeed. Friendship, love, forgiveness, and revenge are all also thoroughly explained. Messenger really dives into the mental and emotional tolls of war, death, and violence on the human psyche in this series, his military background shining through in a beautiful light. It's written with such raw honesty that it is sure to open the eyes of reflection for all readers. 

As a whole, this series was a roller coaster for me. In the beginning I really didn't care too much for it. My problems with Wind Warrior almost caused me to not go any farther. A full series later, Messenger really came into his own and delivered a finale that really displays his talent. This is, by far, my favorite work of Messenger's to-date. Each installment of the series got better with time and I am so glad I was able to finish the final novel feeling whole and satisfied. 

After having finished the story, I still have lots of questions. What happened after the climax? What becomes of humanity. Are the residents of White Halls still alive? What does the future hold for the Elements? I was really anxious to hear what would become of the elemental castes after the conclusion of Xander's story, but alas, we really don't see much about it. Thankfully Messenger did write a short Epilogue that left me rearing for more! It seems as though one day a spin-off series may not be out of the question! If that day does come, I'll be one-clicking, that's for sure!

It is an extremely bittersweet experience to read the final book in a series you loved. This year has been hard on me and I've not seen the finales of FIVE of my favorite series. 2015 has not been good on my 'feels' level. I keep catching them everywhere I turn. I am so grateful for authors like Jon Messenger. Authors who can write honestly without fluff. It's such an honor to read from a male author like Messenger who gives me hope for male authors writing in the genre. With so few on the market, I am blessed that I've found an author like Messenger to add to my shelves.

It is with great honor that I am granting Earth God by Jon Messenger a well-earned near-perfect, 5-star review! Seriously folks, this novel blew me out of the water. From cover to cover, I was completely captivated and couldn't put it down. I know this isn't the end of the amazingness we will be seeing from Jon Messenger. I can't wait to see what journey he takes us on next! Be sure to add this one to your TBRs people, you will not be disappointed!

Check out my reviews of
Wind Warrior (World Aflame #1),
Flame Caller (World Aflame #2), and
Water Shaper (World Aflame #3)
by clicking the covers below!


Alright readers, sadly, for now, that is all I have for you on the topic of Jon Messenger's World Aflame series. This series has meant so much to me over the past year. It is through my discovery of this series that I found my place among the great folks at Clean Teen/Crimson Tree Publishing who have sense opened my eyes to a whole new world of reading. I owe Messenger and this series so much. I have considered it a great honor to review them here on the blog. Thank you all so much for stopping by. Hopefully one day we'll see more of these characters, and I'll be right here raving about them as well! Until next time, Happy Reading!


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