Book Two of the Cold Fury series
By T.M. Goeglein
Available now from Putnam (Penguin Random House)
Read my review of Cold Fury
In FLICKER & BURN, the sequel to COLD FURY, things get even weirder for Sarah Jane Rispoli. First, her family was kidnapped. Then she turned out to have a special power in her gaze, to paralyze people with their fears. Oh yeah, and she comes from a mob family and has to keep up appearances. As FLICKER & BURN begins, she's being pursued by ice-cream men. White skinned, red eyed ice-cream men. And sometimes she gets sloppy.
FLICKER & BURN contains just as much action as the first book and delivers the answers to several questions about Sarah Jane's family and just what is up with those ice-cream guys. There's not much on the cover to indicate that FLICKER & BURN is anything but a straightforward thriller, and the revelations within make it clear that the stranger elements are more science fiction than paranormal. It's the kind of science fiction that might as well be magic, but it's not magic within the universe of the story. But I think it's wise to market this series as thrillers, since there is far more emphasis on Sarah Jane's search for her family and work for the mob than on the science fiction elements.
I think FLICKER & BURN added a few too many new characters. One in particular had a lot of potential, but their arc went by so quickly it didn't have the full emotional impact. I liked the returning characters, like Doug, who is the greatest friend ever but deeply unhappy, and Tyler, the smooth young head of a different mob family. But the new characters felt like they came and went quickly instead of becoming a true part of the story.
Like COLD FURY, FLICKER & BURN ends with a hook. It's not a cruel cliffhanger, as so many YA authors seem partial to these days, but there are more mysteries for Sarah Jane to solve. I'm eager to see the answers, especially since Goeglein doles them out at a nice pace.