This Golden Flame is a good novel with great LGBTQ representation. Unfortunately, the last 25% leaves the reader wanting more.
The most exciting part of This Golden Flame was the representation. It was clear early on that Karis is asexual. It is great to see this rise of asexual representation in media. Society is still trying to understand what it means to be asexual, and for Victoria to put herself on the page is incredible.
Karis is such an easy character to connect to because of how the author chose to give her life. Delving into their own experiences, the author brings in much-needed representation and gives readers an insight into what it means to be asexual. For asexual readers out there, this is incredible because they see themselves appropriately represented on the page. So many times, some authors miss the mark on representation. While many of their attempts are commendable, they are not accurate. That is not the case here.
Emily Victoria is a brave author to use her own experiences and give Karis life, and that alone deserves applause.
However, they do not stop there. Victoria is diverse in her characterization, bringing to life more LGBTQ representation through Karis’s brother. It is such an enjoyable novel to read, to see the LGBTQ represented with solid characters.
Despite This Golden Flame having some great representation, some characters fail to drive the plot forward.
One character almost ruins the last 25% of the novel, and that is the villain. The author tried to make them relatable to the heroes, to make him greyer than pure evil. However, he comes off as dull. Nothing is menacing about this guy; he seems generic and unmemorable. Bringing him into the story gave the other characters some tension and moral dilemmas to contend with, but his existence did not serve the story as anything more than a plot device.
Unfortunately, this one fell flat with all the other strong characterization because it did break up the pacing; it did slow it down when it should resonate the tension from those tense moments. The climax may be rising, but listening to this guy do his cliché villain speech just made the last quarter of the novel fall flat.
This Golden Flame is not a bad book. With compelling characters and strong representation, the story makes up for the lackluster villain at the end.
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|Pub Date: February 2, 2021||Page Count: 384pp||Age Range: 13 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-3350-8027-1||Publisher: Inkyard Press||List Price: $18.99|