By Cynthia Bujnicki
Evie and Luc have been through the wringer. However, with a massive conspiracy putting them and all Luzen in danger, the two take their friends and go on the run. However, someone from their past is hunting them and will not let them go without a fight.
A compelling sequel, The Burning Shadow, has numerous twists and turns that keep the story entertaining.
Once again, the novel deals with complex themes such as immigration and xenophobia through a science fiction lens. People are using circumstances to spread fear and hatred to blind the masses, and it highlights something new about Evie, who was not necessarily indifferent in the previous novel, but she did not pick a side as she has in this novel. Evie has realized that keeping silent; she is not helping those who need help. Finally, Evie picks a side and raising her voice against the injustices, growing as a character and creating tension within the novel.
It is a great way to highlight important issues in society for all ages. It is an excellent read with intense development in the storytelling. It is energetic and moves quickly, telling the story with ease and evolving the mechanism behind the plot effortlessly. Despite the character development, there are times when Evie and Luc seem like Mary Sue caricatures. There are just too many times when they are too perfect, too powerful, too in touch with their power. It comes naturally to them, how they use it without difficulty. Nevertheless, Armentrout highlighted their flaws and explored them and the darkness that hovers at the fringes of their personas.
It is the flaws that make the characters so gravitating. Luc seems so perfect at times, but the dark lengths he is willing to go through make him so flawed, especially with the way Armentrout highlights how they haunt him and scar his soul. Moreover, the way Evie lets her fear and anger sometimes overwhelm her balance out her seemingly perfect output.
Both characters drive the story forward and bring up important issues. They make hard choices with the world changing around them.
By the end, the story has evolved so much and has made quite a fantastic sequel. (★★★★☆)