Series: Cold Fury #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile on August 20th 2013
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Sara Jane Rispoli is still searching for her missing family, but instead of fighting off a turncoat uncle and crooked cops, this time she finds herself on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and pale white skin chasing her through the streets in ice cream trucks; they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures.
They're terrifying and hell bent on killing her, but they're also a link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them. While she battles these new pursuers, she's also discovering more about her own cold fury and more about the Chicago Outfit, how the past misdeeds--old murders and vendettas--might just be connected to her present and the disappearance of her family. But connecting the dots is tough and time-consuming and may finally be the undoing of her relationship with the handsome Max--who's now her boyfriend. But for his own safety, Sara Jane may have to end this relationship before it even really starts. Her pursuers who've shown her her mother's amputated finger and the head of the Chicago Outfit who's just whistled her in for a sit-down make a romance unthinkable. The only thing that matters is finding her family and keeping everyone she loves alive.
I have been anticipating Flicker and Burn since I read the excerpt in the back of Cold Fury last summer. As sequels go, I found myself immersed into the story right away without forgetting much about the first book, even though it has been a year since I read it. That's how much the first book stood out and Sara's character really swept me away in the first book. She is full of raw emotion and starts off just as edgy in the second book.
Possibly the one thing I didn't like about this book was the weakness of Doug's character. I know that Goeglein is very good at writing flawed characters, as each one we meet in this series has their own strengths and weaknesses. Doug transforms in this book and reveals his biggest weakness, the want to fit in and belong. Sara seems willing to let him go, if it means getting close to her family. I do love the singularity of her mission and find that she is willing to cut off all ties of friendship and caring if it means bringing her family back. Even so, it bothered me that the one person Sara relies on can become so easily turned away by the thought of popularity and beauty.
I felt the twist of this book was really when other family members randomly returned to visit and she finds her cousin might be more like her than she originally thought. Really all three of them are a bit of a shock and are more than meets the eye. I love the depth that the characters have in these books and the flaws and weaknesses shown. Sara starts to realize in this book that while she was playing at being part of the mafia, she finds that world pulling her in even more than she wanted. While she thought she was using them, they also are using her and in a way that may change her character forever.
I cannot review this book without saying that the villains of the book are quite the most creative and creepiest ones I have read. Sexless humanoid creatures that drive creepy black ice cream trucks around are the main enemy of Sara, although whoever is controlling them is the obvious boss villain. I still shiver just thinking about them.
Final Verdict: A solid sequel that really shows a turning point for the main character Sara while leaving a lot yet to be discovered. A great series filled with action, some paranormal elements and I am absolutely in love with the idea of hidden doors across the city of Chicago.