Check the Shelf Book Review: Flamewalker

Flamewalker book review

Flamewalker by Wendy Vogel

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Publisher/Year: Word Branch Publishing | April 24, 2015

Pages: 312

Series: Stand-Alone

Genre: Fantasy

Format: ebook

Source: Own

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Shannan’s Summary

Khalira passes through the flames, changed like no one else.  While some are not chosen, those that are only have one marking given to them by the Goddess, Khalira is marked head to toe.  Three abilities known, one no one has seen before.  As with any unknown, many don’t know how to react to here, some are intrigued, and others are jealous or fearful.  Khalira must navigate the unknown of her abilities with the unknown of a new home, all with darkness lurking just one country away.

First Off…

So many people in my writer’s group were talking about how much they liked this book, so I decided to bump it up my e-book tbr.

Thoughts as a Reader:

I almost feel like I need to reread the story for the review, it went so fast. It definitely didn’t feel like a 300 page book.  Vogel does a great job of keeping the story moving.  From beginning to end your captivated by the story and world that’s been created.  I loved that the story was driven by the actions of the characters, which feels rare in YA.  So often it seems to get lost in all the internal emotions that you get as frustrated as the characters.  With this story, though, I was able to connect with the characters and what was happening and how they were feeling without wanting to throw things.

I loved the magic system.  I always find it intruding when there is a system with a limited amount of outlets.  I personally think I would want to a Flamewalker.  I’ve never had much interest in reading minds or the medical career.  I also loved the “tattoos” that signified someone gifted.

This is a very fast paced story.  The action is the key to this story, it’s one thing after another.  You follow the main character Khalira through most of the book, with occasional interludes of a second character.  And while I prefer my stories are more action driving than character driving, I still would have liked to see a little more interaction between characters.   By the end of the book, that’s what I was what I was left wanting, more information about the characters, which really just makes it a good story.

Thoughts as a Writer:

One of the great pieces of this book is that you can clearly understand the point Vogel makes without her ever preaching it.  This is something that can be difficult, especially if you know on the front end the point you want to make.  The juxtaposition of the two characters I think is what makes this a seamless process, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions while still understanding the points Vogel wanted to make, all without disruption of the storytelling process. Vogel also does a good job of writing sensitive topics.  There are some sex and rape in the book, but Vogel writes about it in a way that let’s you know what’s going on, but without getting too graphic. 

The world is new and interesting.  Vogel does a great job of creating a unique magic system with guidelines and limitations.  Again, I think Juxtaposition can be difficult at times as a writer, but even with the world building, Vogel did a great job having to countries that brought tension and insight into her world in a way that made sense.  It’s similar to the world building that happens in Snow like Ash: Everyone has the same magic resource, but the way it is used provides different outcomes, in more ways than just good and bad people.

I think my one disappointment with the book was I wanted more world/character development.  What is in the book is great, but by the end, you just want more of the world and characters.  I think some of it desire comes from following two main characters so close.  There are other people that come and go through the book, but you don’t get to know them as well.  It lets you really connect with your main characters, but wishing you could know a few more people in the world.

In the End

This is a great story that leaves you satisfied with the ending, but still hoping for more.

10 Second Summary:

  1. Fast pace: this story is driven by action.  By the end of the book, you wonder how you got there so quickly.
  2. New kind of magic: This magic system is a new concept.  Three outlets of magic that can only be wielded by women.
  3. Some Sexual Violence: Vogel does a great job of keeping it conceptual without being detailed.  So the reader understands what’s happening without being lost in detailed brutality.

Check the Shelf Review

I’d have to say paperback on this one.  I wanted just a little more support character interaction, but it’s one I will definitely re-read.


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