ARC REVIEW & GUEST POST: Flicker & Burn by T.M. Goeglein
Flicker & Burn
by T.M. Goeglein
Cold Fury, Book Two
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: AUGUST 20, 2013
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.
MY THOUGHTS: 5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
***SPOILER ALERT: This review is of the second book in a series, and therefore will contain spoilers for the first book. To See my review of the first book in the series, Cold Fury, CLICK HERE.***
Sarah Jane Rispoli still hasn’t found her kidnapped family, but she has found herself a big player in the midst of Chicago’s mafia, the Outfit. While she’s busy running from pale, red eyed assailants she’s called Ice Cream Creatures, she’s easily forgotten that she’s still a sixteen year old girl, and one that has to start her school year like nothing is wrong in the world.
While balancing this, Sarah Jane also learns more about her family legacy, the ghiaccio furioso, or Cold Fury. Will she learn to take control of her power before it turns her into a person she doesn’t recognize?
I know I’ve mentioned it in my review of Cold Fury, but I’ll say it again. I LOVE SARAH JANE RISPOLI. Though she’s quickly becoming an integral part of the Outfit, she’s doing it begrudgingly and is trying so hard to stop herself from becoming like the killers she’s surrounded by. She doesn’t have many people she can lean on, and for those she does have, she must make the decision to keep them close for her own sanity or let them go for their own safety. Who could imagine a teenage girl having a weight like this on her shoulders?
While this sequel didn’t have as much fast-paced action as the first book, it was a page turner in a different way. Sarah Jane is still researching everything she’s found in the Rispoli Notebook, and uncovering horrific secrets about her family she wishes she’d never learned. But she’s also learning more about her Cold Fury, and why it just may be connected to her family’s disappearance. She is definitely next on the list, so she’s doing all she can to stay one step ahead of her enemies.
My favorite parts of this book are the stories about Prohibition-era Chicago. T.M. Goeglein makes the tales about seedy speakeasies so realistic, you can imagine yourself there drinking a glass of bootleg molasses rum. While some history buffs wish it was a time they could go back to, the author paints a different story, and the main color is red–for blood.
Sarah Jane has suffered so much, and just when she thinks she’s catching a break, something comes up to take a good thing away from her once again. She’s got some steely reserve, but I’m not oblivious to the little cracks in her coldly furious armor. I can’t wait to finish her journey with her.
Big, Mean, and Beautiful
by Ted Goeglein
Even before pen hit paper, the most important character in my COLD FURY trilogy asserted itself, demanding the spotlight in all three books.
Chicago – Windy City, My Kind of Town, City of Big Shoulders – whatever you want to call it, I call it home. The architecture and grime, art and crime, generosity and graft – I own all of it just like it owns my imagination and me. It’s a city where anything seems possible, maybe because its existence defies possibility. It’s built on spongy marshland and wet clay, the river runs the wrong way, and the weather can be so miserable that it seems like a personal spit in the eye.
In other words, Chicago has always attracted personality types that thrive in rough conditions. Tragedies present opportunities. Insane dreams seem logical. Loyalty to its institutions should require institutionalization.
Frankly, the joint makes people go a little crazy.
Example: the Fire of 1873. The entire place burned down, people shrugged, and blamed a cow. Example: the skyscrapers. Only an ego so enormous and ridiculous would put up buildings so enormous and ridiculous. Example: the Cubs. They’ve been consistent losers since before the invention of TV. And penicillin.
In FLICKER & BURN, Chicago looms over Sara Jane Rispoli, creeps up behind her, and provides cover from her pursuers. The city is an ally in her quest to find and save her family, but one that can’t be trusted, not completely. There are too many dark alleys; too many apartment buildings with eyes peeking through blinds; too many people offering a helping hand while using the other to punch her in the head.
Chicago’s enough to make a girl go a little crazy.
About the Author
T.M. Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies. As a screenwriter, he created both original scripts and worked as a script doctor for several production companies in Los Angeles. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post ‘Living’ section, and continues to write for both the national edition and Huffington Post Chicago. Read T.M. Goeglein’s stories on the Huffington Post.
His debut young adult novel, COLD FURY, was published by Penguin/Putnam on July 24, 2012 and is the first in a trilogy. It will be available in paperback in June 2013. The second installment in the Cold Fury series, FLICKER & BURN, will hit the market in August 2013. The author is currently working on the third book. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and two young children.