Rated Reads

Dark Flame (The Immortals, book 4)

by Alyson Noël

Rated: Moderate

Once again, Ever and her love of many lifetimes, Damen, are hoping to consummate their longtime passion (well, longtime for him; he’s a 600-year-old immortal and can remember all of their love affairs; she is 17 years into a new incarnation and can’t remember her past lives). And once again, someone is standing in the way of a night of amour at some swanky hotel. This time it’s Roman, a rogue immortal introduced in book two. What’s particularly galling about this time around is that Ever got herself into the particularly bad predicament that haunts her for most of Dark Flame: she was messing with magic, and, of course, messed up. Now she has a weird uncontrollable “thing” for Roman, even though her heart still wants Damen.

So most of the action of Dark Flame involves Ever trying to undo her magic and/or still get Roman to give her the antidote to the elixir that he tricked her into giving Damen in book two, which now keeps the lovers from being able to “exchange bodily fluids” (ick, ick and ick). That’s the biggie, but Ever’s other main concern is how to rein in her best friend Haven, now an immortal who is reveling in her new abilities and threatening to misuse them.

Dark Flame had me annoyed for a good chunk of my reading time. The series grew tiresome just in its second incarnation, and now into the fourth one, I’ve lost patience. The characters are childish and largely give the reader no reason to like them; the plot is thin and hasn’t changed over the course of four books. The main motivating part of the plot is that Ever and Damen want to be able to have sex for the first time. And they keep getting thwarted. That’s it? Couldn’t Noël have come up with something better to move the books’ stories along? Not to mention that it’s irresponsible for a book aimed at teens. This is the last book I’ll be reading of The Immortals series: no more incarnations for me.

Rated: Moderate, for some mild and moderate language, a character who likes to say “fug” instead of strong language, and teens having a plan to have sex as soon as they can. There is also increasing use of magic. This magic is not Harry Potter fanciful stuff, either: it’s a modern teen in a typical setting calling on the dark stuff. I wouldn’t really be encouraging my daughter to invite that into her life.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Dark Flame (The Immortals, book 4)
  • by Alyson Noël
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: