Release date: 13th July 2021
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: The Extraordinaries #2
Flash Fire is the explosive sequel to The Extraordinaries by USA Today bestselling author TJ Klune!
Nick landed himself the superhero boyfriend of his dreams, but with new heroes arriving in Nova City it’s up to Nick and his friends to determine who is virtuous and who is villainous. Which is a lot to handle for a guy who just wants to finish his self-insert bakery AU fanfic.
Here is where I give you the usual spoilery warning because honestly, I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone who is yet to read the first instalment of this fantastic super hero series with a twist.
Last chance to turn away or go read my review here so you can decide whether to read them yourself.
So, T J Klune knocked it out of the park with the first novel in this series, The Extraordinaries. It was punchy, intriguing and all together marshmallowy soft. Going in I was just a tad worried that this wouldn’t live up to expectations, but overall, it was actually a fairly good sequel.
We start off not long after where The Extraordinaries left off with Pyro Storm saving the day and the ‘other guy’ being led away to the closest institution for the criminally inclined. Nick’s main focus now is working through his own issues and attempting to deduce what his father is keeping from him. It’s all kind of a little monotone to begin but I seem to find that everything I’ve read of Klune’s has a lukewarm initial few chapters. They are good for situating the audience to where we are within the narrative and that’s ok with me.
Once Flash Fire gets into the swing of things, it really starts to take an interesting turn. The attentive reader will have realised that something isn’t quite right about the way things have been going down with Nick and this one expands upon what I assume most people will have picked up on when the whole bridge ‘thing’ happened with Rebecca Firestone and her miraculous rescue. Here is where I’ll stop though, because as the ever amazing River Song so rightly exclaimed, spoilers.
Once again Klune writes a narrative that from the surface seems light and fluffy but once you look a little deeper (and I mean I get it if you aren’t that person) it’s a commentary on societal expectations and our inherent need to know everything about everything in this world of instant gratification and fast information. I absolutely ADORED the inclusion of a damn drag queen super hero because why not be freaking fabulous while saving the world.
In Flash Fire, the villain is much more apparent from the beginning, with the return of old foes and the introduction of new ones in the form of Smoke and Ice. I just wish there was a little more focus on shenanigans throughout rather than a couple of chunks of confrontation separated by a lot of teen angst and embarrassing parenting. While I am a little confused how a certain event actually came to be (she turns into smoke, you couldn’t escape that?) overall the snarkiness and sheer determination to ruin everyone’s day was a welcome occurrence.
Also let me mention here, there is a twist with TK that I kind of picked but didn’t pick and now thinking about it, it was SO OBVIOUS. But also, not in the same way. Honestly, you’ll just need to read it.
Overall, it’s just a sweet story about a boy who’s in love with a super hero, still kind of oblivious to things happening around him but also, I feel like it makes me love him more. There’s underlying themes of found family, explorations of lost loves, a little too much sex education and all around just general shenanigans. If you loved Marissa Meyer’s Renegades, V E Schwab’s Vicious or pretty much any super hero movie, this one is definitely for you.
Until next time lovelies xo