Journey into the Flame (Rising World Trilogy, Book #1)
by T.R. Williams
Release Date: January 7th 2014
2014 Atria Books
Ebook Edition; 448 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Science-Fiction
Source: Review copy from publisher
4 / 5 Stars
In 2027, a cataclysmic
event known as the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained
solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its
axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a
man named Camden Ford, fleeing a band of marauders, went into the Ozark
Forests where he discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.
Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles,
hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books
have also found a different owner: Logan Cutler, a young painter who
mysteriously inherited them when Camden disappeared. But when Logan
auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands.
The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the
shadows, is now launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control. And
the books are at the center of its plans.
When another original
set of the books is stolen and several members of the council tasked
with disseminating their philosophy are murdered, Logan realizes hes
made a terrible mistake. With the help of Special Agent Valerie Perrot
and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to find the last set before its too late.
Journey into the Flame is the first book in a planned trilogy, and frankly, I enjoyed the blend of mysticism and spiritualism with science-fiction and action. If you like a post-apocalyptic adventure mixed in with mystery, secrecy, spiritualism, suspense, thriller, and action, then you will probably like this one quite a bit, as I did.
First of all, there is a bit of a mysterious atmosphere to this world that takes place over thirty years after an unexplained solar storm destroyed most of the earth's population in 2027. Although we get a bit of a glimpse into what the world was like in the early days, it's most thirty years later, and people are still struggling to make sense of the events thirty years earlier. It's also at that time period when the younger generation has never known anything different from their current situation, while the older generations attempt to deal with the world as it is now and try to remember what it was like before the Disruption. And not everyone is happy with the way things are now. This type of situation has allowed a group called the Reges Hominum to work behind the scenes to try to gain absolute power in a world they believe they should regain dominance over once again, similar to their forebears. And they will do anything, including murder large groups of people, in order to gain that dominance.
The main players in this novel, Logan, Valerie, and Mr. Perrot, were quite interesting in their own way. Logan is the son of the original discoverers of the Chronicles of Satraya, a set of spiritual books that were discovered when things were at their lowest after the Disruption. Everything in this novel revolves around the books and I found the spiritual teachings and revelations to be quite fascinating. This might not be for everyone, but I never felt like the author was being preachy like I have felt in some of the Christian novels, so I just went along for the ride and enjoyed the story. Keeping an open mind and remembering that this is a science-fiction novel certainly helped with that. I definitely liked some of the scenes with the blue candle (spoiler) and hope to see more of them in future novels.
All of the characters were quite interesting, but because there were so many layers to the story, I think it was difficult to really character build and develop them in this novel. The plot was a bit complex and you had to pay attention to everything that was happening or you could miss something important. There was one obvious connection that I missed completely and I'm still not sure how I missed it as I usually pay attention to these things. I thought the author did a great job keeping things mysterious enough about the Chronicles that you just wanted to find out more; and yes, there is plenty more to learn.
Journey into the Flame was interesting and intriguing, and I definitely enjoyed both the spiritual and science-fiction elements found in here. The author manages to blend mysticism and spirituality with action and suspense quite well, and I don't think that is easy to do. As mentioned before, I thought the characters lacked a bit of depth, but am hoping character development will be explored further in upcoming novels as it would add quite a bit to the story. For readers who are interested in these things, this novel is very thought-provoking and appealing; I also thought it was quite fast-paced and interesting from a suspense point of view. I'm looking forward to digging into book two, Journey Through the Mirror.