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The Firmament of Flame

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For fans of Firefly and James S. A. Corey's Expanse novels, The Firmament of Flame is the third installment in Drew Williams' Universe After series. For nearly a century, the Justified have been searching for gifted children to help prevent the return of the pulse. Until recently, they thought they were the only ones. Jane Kamali and her telekinetic protégé Esa, now seventee For fans of Firefly and James S. A. Corey's Expanse novels, The Firmament of Flame is the third installment in Drew Williams' Universe After series. For nearly a century, the Justified have been searching for gifted children to help prevent the return of the pulse. Until recently, they thought they were the only ones. Jane Kamali and her telekinetic protégé Esa, now seventeen, barely managed to claim victory against a Cyn--a being of pure energy--hell bent on hunting down the gifted. Now they face an army. The Cyn and their followers will stop at nothing to find Esa and the others. No one knows what they want, but Jane, Esa, and their allies in the Justified are determined to find out. Even if they have to go to the ends of the known universe to do it.


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For fans of Firefly and James S. A. Corey's Expanse novels, The Firmament of Flame is the third installment in Drew Williams' Universe After series. For nearly a century, the Justified have been searching for gifted children to help prevent the return of the pulse. Until recently, they thought they were the only ones. Jane Kamali and her telekinetic protégé Esa, now seventee For fans of Firefly and James S. A. Corey's Expanse novels, The Firmament of Flame is the third installment in Drew Williams' Universe After series. For nearly a century, the Justified have been searching for gifted children to help prevent the return of the pulse. Until recently, they thought they were the only ones. Jane Kamali and her telekinetic protégé Esa, now seventeen, barely managed to claim victory against a Cyn--a being of pure energy--hell bent on hunting down the gifted. Now they face an army. The Cyn and their followers will stop at nothing to find Esa and the others. No one knows what they want, but Jane, Esa, and their allies in the Justified are determined to find out. Even if they have to go to the ends of the known universe to do it.

30 review for The Firmament of Flame

  1. 5 out of 5

    Morgan McGuire

    The first book in the series was good. The second one was an exhausting, nearly pointless chase scene. This third one has some good world-building, but the pacing is awful, the characters blur together, and the writing is weak (you can only repeat "ouroboros" and "defilade" so many times to show off that you've learned two new words as an author, especially if you're an author whose go-to adjective is "fucking"). You'll find the following within the first few pages of the first chapter (so, not m The first book in the series was good. The second one was an exhausting, nearly pointless chase scene. This third one has some good world-building, but the pacing is awful, the characters blur together, and the writing is weak (you can only repeat "ouroboros" and "defilade" so many times to show off that you've learned two new words as an author, especially if you're an author whose go-to adjective is "fucking"). You'll find the following within the first few pages of the first chapter (so, not much of a spoiler). Sho has become pointless in the series, as Esa's Gift essentially incorporates his now. Javier, Marek, and Preacher are forgotten until needed for some minor comment, even though they are in nearly every scene. Esa and Jane are indistinguishable, which is particularly confusing as they alternately narrate chapters, and if it weren't for the name at the top, you wouldn't know who is who. Esa has essentially become one super-character who absorbs all of the others, breaking up the party dynamic and destroying any interesting conflict between them. (view spoiler)[And to make it worse, there are two new antagonists...who are exactly the same as Esa and Jane. The characters even say that they are exactly the same. (hide spoiler)] There's a great plot twist around 75% of the way through, which is then squandered by a confusing and generic ending. This series had a lot of potential, but it felt like Williams raced through it after the first novel without sufficient critical feedback on the overall plot structure. He writes great snarky combat scenes, but doesn't handle the larger elements well.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    THERE HAD BETTER BE A FOURTH BOOK IN THIS SERIES This was incredibly, ridiculously good.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hobbitviolinist

    If this is the last book in this series I’m going to be unhappy. Write more Drew! Also, that was incredible and it made me feel a great number of things.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I’m going to SCREAM I need the next book immediately please and thanks

  5. 5 out of 5

    Randal

    Ooh, second-book syndrome in a third book, that's new! Middle books in trilogies are notorious for being weak links, where the author expounds on stuff that is fairly tangential to the main plot, after they have gotten your attention with book one and before they wrap things up in book three. That's this one. Padding things out is a lengthy and deeply unsatisfying subplot involving Jane's mysterious background (view spoiler)[so Jane almost but not killed this person once before, watching them spir Ooh, second-book syndrome in a third book, that's new! Middle books in trilogies are notorious for being weak links, where the author expounds on stuff that is fairly tangential to the main plot, after they have gotten your attention with book one and before they wrap things up in book three. That's this one. Padding things out is a lengthy and deeply unsatisfying subplot involving Jane's mysterious background (view spoiler)[so Jane almost but not killed this person once before, watching them spiral to what seemed like certain doom. And here, Jane watches her fall to almost certain doom. C'mon man, she's either dead or you're going to try to wring even more pages out of this marginal character. (hide spoiler)] I was expecting this to wrap up in three books, and it certainly could have. I don't feel like there's a lot more I want to know about the main characters, there's the token sidekick death, and a multipage boss battle. (view spoiler)[Although I am glad it didn't go full The Return of the King and have the invisible / unnoticed Preacher / Gollum character fall into the Crack of Doom with the McGuffin (hide spoiler)] . I'm good. Let's slap an ending on this and call it a day. Instead, there's a cliffhanger, introducing a new plot twist that means this almost has to be a five- or six-book series. I don't think I'm invested enough in the Universe After to read another book with the same characters / world, let alone two or three. Part of it is that Williams has run out of interesting ways to describe the lennnngggtthhy battle scenes. If I have to read about Esa coiling the energy around her fist like barbed wire one more time ... sigh. And why barbed wire? That's a western thing, from the first half of the 20th century. Why not razor wire, barbed wire's grown-up cousin? Something, anything else. I'm starting to feel like the longer this series goes, the more the limits of the author's wordsmithing become A Thing. I called the series an homage to Scalzi. I think it's starting to show why John Scalzi is JOHN F***ING SCALZI and Drew Williams isn't. 3.5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5 stars

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason Wilson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  9. 4 out of 5

    Curry Patrick

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jackson Poulos

  13. 4 out of 5

    Allison6876

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary Baxter

  16. 4 out of 5

    Max Meltser

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ronan L'Hénoret

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erik

  19. 4 out of 5

    Scott Kardel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donald

  21. 4 out of 5

    T

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fogg

  23. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  24. 4 out of 5

    Graeme Lennon

  25. 4 out of 5

    Darren

  26. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

  27. 5 out of 5

    Loan Stars

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dsreebny

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kyra

  30. 5 out of 5

    Luna

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