Purple Flame by J S Rais-Daal
|Purple Flame by J S Rais-Daal|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: Demons and school - it's hard to say which is scarier. Blending them together into a dark piece of Urban Fantasy, Purple Flame is a fun, frantic read.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 248||Date: March 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Life hasn't been easy for teenager Zach Ford. He just lost his entire family to a freak car accident, and he's barely keeping himself together. Each day is more gruelling than the last, but for Zach, it goes much deeper than the pressure of exams and the threats of bullies and teachers at school. Zach has a secret power that many seek and a few would kill for. He is possessed by a demon, but the demon has a purpose: revenge on the people responsible for Zach's pain. As it turns out, the car accident that killed his family wasn't so accidental. Every tragic thing that's happened to Zach recently has been carefully orchestrated with one mistake — Zach was supposed to die in the accident, too. Since he didn't, he has become a target, but the demon inside won't let him go quietly. Zach will fight, even if his behaviour leaves him alone and struggling. He'll get his vengeance, but it soon becomes apparent this supernatural battle goes back a lot longer than Zach's lifetime. Something ancient now festers, and a final battle brews amidst Heaven and Hell.
J.S Rais-Daal or Jack Crawford as he's also known, is an author based just outside of Edinburgh. He enjoys writing fantasy, as well as Science Fiction, and lives with his wife, daughter, and a menagerie of animals. Purple Flame blends fantasy concepts with some horror themes too, creating a read that blends the supernatural with the suburban extremely well.
The story is split into two parts - Flint and Steel, and Spark and Ignition. Flint and Steel puts the pieces of the plot together - plunging the reader into the action with compelling speed, and introducing the characters in school scenes that swiftly induct the reader into their lives - it's packed full of interesting personalities and fun, sparky dialogue. Everything changes with Spark and Ignition, a time jump allowing the plot to swiftly grow in urgency and pace, driving the reader along to an explosive, apocalyptic, and thrilling climax. It's a really fun read - and whilst I found some of the dialogue a little clunky to start with, it soon clicks into place - fitting alongside the action to create a book that, initially, reads like a slightly darker, British Buffy the Vampire Slayer, before finding its own voice and veering into territory more epic that one may initially expect from the school setting. All of the characters are drawn well, and read as genuine teenagers (something I find adult authors rarely do well), but it's Zach who is the most interesting - a strong lead undergoing a struggle which is extremely compelling - not just to read, but as an intriguing metaphor for growing up too. It's clever, carefully written, and hugely enjoyable. An epilogue sets things up well for further books, and Rais-Daal has crafted a world for which there are many possibilities which I'm looking forward to seeing explored.
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy - for further reading I recommend Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No. 1: Night of the Living Rerun; Coyote Moon; Portal Through Time by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover and Alice Henderson - a book that compiles three adventures set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - a world that, much like Purple Flame conveys the pain of adolescence and youth with brilliant metaphors and sparkling, witty dialogue.
You can read more book reviews or buy Purple Flame by J S Rais-Daal at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Purple Flame by J S Rais-Daal at Amazon.com.
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