Thursday, January 16, 2014

Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Sky Chasers trilogy book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the Sky Chasers trilogy, Glow and Spark, Stop! I don't want to ruin the series for you.

Seth rescued and sent Waverly off to the New Horizon alone. Now he hopes to make it on his own to the enemy ship and stay undetected. Then he can try and help Waverly and possibly get back at Anne Mather. Using a One Man, he makes it to the ship but is soon detected. Tired and injured, Seth is still able to make it to the rain forest pod and hide.

Waverly and Sarah pilot the last load of children from the Empyrean to the New Horizon where Anne Mather is waiting for them. She is still holding out hope that her mother is still alive. Mather tries to make amends but in the end, Waverly breaks down and succumbs to defeat. Mather escorts her to an apartment where she will be under house arrest until Waverly's true intentions are revealed. Her mother is waiting for her inside. Their reunion is anything but ideal. Waverly's mother has fallen under Pastor Mather's spell.

Kieran is being kept prisoner in Anne Mather's office. His mother, who has also been brainwashed by Mather, is with him. Mather continues to insist to him that Jacob Pauley and his wife acted alone when they blew up the Empyrean and the nuclear reactor failure was an accident. Mather allows Kieran to see the destroyed spaceship through the porthole and he knows Seth is dead. Even though the two were enemies, Kieran still feels the hurt. Mather gives him a list of the missing, many of them his friends, and lets Kieran know she has people searching the ship for any survivors. He blames himself for letting everyone down. Mather promises the young, former captain of the Empyrean that he can see his crew in the morning; Kieran realizes that she wants something from him but he hasn't figured it out yet.

Just before he can fall asleep in the rain forest, an alarm sounds and an announcement is made to be on the lookout for an unaccompanied young man. Before he can escape and hide elsewhere, guards enter the pod. An older couple working has an argument with a guard over their locality to Mather. The guard walks away and orders more men to join the search. Seth decides to make a run for it but trips and falls. The couple covers for him when the guards come looking. The man fakes his own fall and injuries. They head to the infirmary. The guards are still looking for him when two gunshots ring out. In the ensuing panic, a guard comes to Seth to rescue him before either one of them are found out.

After a trying couple of days with her mother and no answers as to why she is so submissive, Waverly receives a visitor, a handsome man who introduces himself as Jared Carver. They leave her apartment to take her to visit a friend. Housed in an uninhibited part of the ship, Jared tells her that Anne wants to "move forward to a peaceful future for all" or at least that's her story. She is not going to be allowed to see her friends for the time being after what happened the last time and the fact that there is a fugitive aboard the ship. Waverly believes that it is Seth but she tells Jared no when he asks if she has any idea who it could be.

Jared takes her to the administrative level of the ship and into a narrow office lined with books. He introduces her to Dr. Wesley Carver, an older man of an indeterminate age. He has had her brought to his office because she has shown mettle and promise as a leader. Her four minute speech during church services before her escape discredited Anne in the eyes of many of the ship's inhabitants. In Waverly, Dr. Carver sees her as the future leader of the New Horizon. He and the remaining church elders/Central Council want her to help them destroy Anne. She has made them vulnerable to chaos, predictability ensures that order remains. He tells her to name her price for her help. She asks that he look at her mother. He agrees when she doesn't trust the ship's doctors. At first, he finds nothing wrong with her. Upon further questioning he sees that she seems emotionless until he threatens to take Waverly away. Dr. Carver isn't sure what is wrong with her but he will find out if Waverly helps him.

After four days, Mather allows Kieran a breakfast reunion with the children from the Empyrean. Looking out at them, they begin to ask about their parents. Never having informed some off them about their parents' deaths, he wonders what he is going to say to them when Felicity Wiggam walks in. The children are delighted to see her and begin to ask her the same questions. She takes one look at Kieran and knows the truth about her own parents that she had suspected. Soon more children arrive. Waverly is one of the last along with her and Kieran's mothers who act like old friends. Kieran begrudgingly tries to tell the children about their dead parents. Suddenly, the surviving adults from the Empyrean enter the room and chaos erupts over the tearful reunions. Mather and her guards appear at the back of the room. Before he can begin to tell the remaining children that their parents are dead, the surviving adults take the children aside to tell break the devastating news. Kieran looks around the room and sees parents and children alike grieving their lost loved ones. He comes to the realization that all of the sermons he gave were nothing but lies. Kieran breaks down only to be comforted by his mother.

Seth wakes up in a real bed. He is in hiding in Maya's apartment and she fixes him something to eat. They talk a bit before the man who covered for Seth in the rain forest comes into the bedroom. The man turns out to be Dr. Molinelli and he is there to secretly treat Seth's mangled hand. When he asks Maya why she is helping him, she tells him that she and several others don't agree with what Anne Mather did to Waverly and the girls. They consider the girls family now since several of them are now pregnant with their embryos and she has hurt their families. Seth is stunned when Maya announces that she is pregnant with one of Waverly's embryos. He asks to be alone, wishing that he could hold Waverly in his arms.

Soon it seems like battle lines are being drawn not only between the original residents of the New Horizon but hose of the Empyrean as well. Lies from years ago begin to come to life bringing with them devastation. Can Kieran, Waverly and Seth remember who the real enemy is before it is too late? What happens when Anne Mather asks Kieran to help her lead the ship? Can Seth remain hidden or will he be found out? Will Waverly end up with either Seth or Kieran? Who is Dr. Wesley Carver and what does he want with Waverly? Is Jared related to him somehow? What are his intentions? Will she accept the deal Dr. Carver offers her? Have Waverly's mother and the other adults have been brainwashed? Can Kieran get over the feeling of guilt that he carries? Are there any survivors aboard the Empyrean? What happens when the first babies are born? Will there ever be peace aboard the New Horizon? Readers will be left on the edge of their seats to see how this thrilling ride ends.

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