Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Lexie Talionis’s Flames of Lethe is the first book in the Lethe Chronicles. Josephine and Christopher awaken without knowing where they are. Both lacked clothing and didn’t remember anything but felt they knew each other. Deciding they needed to look for water, Christopher leads Josephine across the glowing sand. Josephine realizes she isn’t thirsty, hungry, or tired after they traveled for several hours. She attempts to engage Christopher in conversation but his hostile reaction shuts her down. When the sun comes up, Josephine feels like she is on fire. Weeks later, they enter a dark area and find a gate. When the sun comes up, Josephine finds Christopher is unable to move and she burns her hand trying to drag him into the shade. The pair are allowed past the gate by guards. Separated, both learn that society is nothing like they expected.
LexieTalionis's creation is dystopian in nature. Josephine appears meek and easily upset in the beginning. Christopher’s hostility to her made me wonder what their relationship with each other was prior to being stranded in a glowing desert. Before arriving at the gate, I began to empathize with Christopher as he showed his personality was much softer toward Josephine. I understood why he tried to seem tough to prevent Josephine from becoming hysterical. The city they entered was hostile toward women. Adam’s appearance caused an unpredictable turn in the story. He knew something about Christopher and Josephine. The narration is through Josephine’s perspective until the end, where Adam's and Christopher’s views are briefly given. I hoped Christopher and Josephine would overcome the harshness of the city somehow. The conclusion shocked me completely. I recommend Flames of Lethe to dark romance fantasy lovers who enjoy intricate plot twists.