Flame (Sky Chasers Series #3)

Flame (Sky Chasers Series #3)

by Amy Kathleen Ryan


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In the thrilling conclusion to Amy Kathleen Ryan's Sky Chasers series, Waverly, Kieran, and Seth struggle to survive on-board the New Horizon—and take down their enemies before it's too late

Waverly and the other members of the Empyrean have been scattered, and their home ship destroyed. Their mission to rescue their parents didn't go as planned, and now they're at an even greater disadvantage: trapped with their enemies on the New Horizon, trying to find a way to survive. Kieran has been pulled under Anne Mather's wing, but is she really trying to make peace, or just using Kieran to build her own power? Meanwhile, Waverly is taken in by a mysterious old man who wants to help her bring Anne Mather down—but the more Waverly cooperates with him, the more dangerous her position is, and the more at odds with Kieran she becomes.

Seth's situation is even worse. After setting out from the Empyrean on his own, with only a vague strategy to guide him, he is a fugitive aboard the New Horizon. He's doing what he can to challenge the power of Anne Mather, but he's badly hurt, and getting sicker. All the while, unknown to him, the terrorist Jacob is making plans of his own.

Will Seth ever see Waverly again? Will his health hold out long enough to help her topple their enemies? And will Waverly find a way to unite with her friends before they all fall? Nothing is sure and every moment is a risk in Flame, the explosive finale of the Sky Chasers series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312621360
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Series: Sky Chasers Series , #3
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

AMY KATHLEEN RYAN earned an MA in English Literature at the University of Vermont, and an MFA in creative writing from the New School Creative Writing for Children Program in New York City. She is also the author of two widely acclaimed young adult novels, Zen and Xander Undone and Vibes. Glow, the first Sky Chasers novel, was a School Library Journal Best Book of 2011.

Read an Excerpt



When the metal helmet of the OneMan suit closed over Seth’s head, his ears popped. Sweat soaked his armpits and trickled down his sides. He’d performed only a few space walks before, and they didn’t get easier. During the last one he’d almost killed himself.

“I’m not going to die,” Seth told himself for the twentieth time as he enabled the thrusters and checked his fuel and air levels. The flight prep took him twice as long as it should because he had to do everything with his clumsy left hand. His right hand was badly mangled; two of his fingers twisted into ugly, agonized knots. He turned up the oxygen in his breathing mixture to compensate for the awful pain.

“If that Neanderthal can do a space walk, I can do it,” he said through gritted teeth, eyeing the empty housings for two OneMen, which must have been taken by Jake Pauley and his horrible little wife. She had been the one to set off the explosions that destroyed the Empyrean, then she broke her husband out of the brig and they must have come straight here to escape the dying ship in OneMen. She’d shown no remorse for leaving Seth trapped in the brig to die. If not for Waverly, he would have.

And to thank her he’d sent her all alone to the New Horizon—a snap decision that he already doubted. What was the alternative? Bowing and scraping to the people who had killed his father and destroyed his home ship? With his bad temper he’d get himself thrown in the brig, and he was damned if he was going to spend another minute of his life trapped like a rat. If he made it to the New Horizon and found a place to hide, he might be able to help Waverly, and maybe even do something to get back at Anne Mather.

He engaged the thrusters on his suit and hovered over to the air lock. Once inside, he turned back for a last look at the Empyrean. The shuttle bay was cavernous, quiet, deserted. Already it felt like a ghost ship. How many had the Pauleys killed today?

“Not the little kids. They’re okay,” he told himself, shaking his head against panic as he pressed the button to seal the air lock for the last time. The outer air-lock doors yawned wide to reveal the infinity of the open sky—black nothing carpeted with stars that seemed to rush away from him in a dizzying expansion.

Seth eased the OneMan out of the air lock and engaged the thrusters. He had enough experience now that he knew what to expect and was able to slowly maneuver his craft up and over the hull. At first the skin of the Empyrean looked undisturbed, but up ahead he could see plumes of freezing gases escaping in a billowing stream. Toward the aft he saw a vast cloud of white gas trailing behind the ship to disappear in the dark, leaving thousands of miles of air and water vapor in a long line cutting through the nothingness. Beyond that lay the nebula they’d left behind months ago, pink and glowing, belching flashes of electrical charge at the fringes. Seth turned away from its menacing beauty.

The New Horizon rose over the wound in the Empyrean like a deformed moon. Pieces of debris came into relief against the gray hull. Jagged bits of metal, pieces of furniture, plant matter, even a tractor—all fell away behind the ship with awesome speed. He turned toward the prow of the Empyrean to get ahead of the debris and gunned his thrusters.

As he circled, he saw objects in the distance hovering over the Empyrean, strangely stationary. Seth used the telescope attachment in his helmet to get a better look: four New Horizon shuttles. The nearest shuttle’s cargo ramp was hanging open, and from inside came four OneMen, drifting out like fish.

They were sending in rescue teams, Seth supposed. Or maybe they were looking for something that they wanted from the Empyrean cargo hold. He turned off his outer lights to make himself invisible, then scrolled through his radio frequencies until he heard voices.

“God. The damage is…,” a man was saying. “Why would anyone do such a thing?”

An image of Jake Pauley’s demented face appeared in Seth’s mind—the weird smile, the heavy bones of his browridge, his grimy teeth.

“That’s what I’m saying. This is useless,” another man said. “I don’t know why she sent us out here.”

To pick over our bones, Seth thought. He was so angry that he wanted to ram them, sever their air hoses, knock them spinning into space.

“I think she’s losing her grip. Did you see the way Dr. Carver was looking at her during services?”

“This is an open channel, boys,” a male voice warned.

They were silent for a few moments.

“There are still a few missing kids,” said a woman. By her tone, Seth guessed she didn’t much like her companions. “I’m glad to help look for them.”

“In an explosion like that? It’s amazing all of them didn’t die,” said a third man.

“I guess we have to look for them,” said the first man, “if they’re just kids.”

“Noble of you,” the woman said, and the other men laughed.

Once they were out of view, Seth started toward the New Horizon again, this time less hurried. He had time. The ship wouldn’t leave behind its search teams, after all.

Seth kept his eyes on the hull of the Empyrean as he moved. As long as he was near the large ship he didn’t feel so exposed, but when the hull of the Empyrean rolled away and the starscape widened before him, he gasped.

“Did you hear that?” a woman said in his ear.

Stupid! He was so stupid! He’d forgotten to turn off his radio. He flipped the switch, just as someone else said, “Feedback from the other team.”

His heart galloped and he trembled in his suit. He couldn’t make a mistake like that, not ever again.

His problem was exhaustion. He’d just finished a grueling journey through the dying Empyrean carrying Waverly on his back. Aside from his mangled hand, his brain was still sore from oxygen deprivation, and his thoughts were fuzzy. He needed to concentrate.

He kicked the thrusters harder. The New Horizon was miles away; the sooner he closed the distance the better.

Seth ran over the mental picture of the Empyrean schematics he’d spent his boyhood studying. There were small air locks for maintenance all over the ship—one of them had killed his mother, along with Waverly’s father, in what had been called an accident. The New Horizon was practically a replica of Seth’s home ship, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find an air lock in a seldom-traveled area.

He decided to try the storage bays toward the lower levels. They were far from the habitation levels, so it was unlikely he’d be seen, but if he needed, there’d be plenty of places to hide.

Closing the distance between the two ships took almost an hour, even pushing his thrusters at maximum capacity. He heard only the hollow sound of his breath inside his helmet, and if he strained, he could hear the blood coursing through the veins in his ears. He entered a kind of trance, distant from the pain in his hand so that he could concentrate on keeping his course true.

When the air lock in the storage bay came into sight, an alarm light from the OneMan’s guidance system warned him that he was going too fast. He gunned the reverse thrusters to slow himself, grimacing against the unpleasant pressure of the inertial force. The metal hull reared up before him, and he hit hard.

Frantic, he shot out his magnetic arm to keep from bouncing away from the ship and clung to the controls, panting and shaking, waiting for his heart to stop racing. His entire body was trembling, though he felt paralyzed.

“Last space walk ever,” he promised himself.

He checked his air: only ten minutes left. He shouldn’t have turned up his oxygen after all. Another stupid mistake!

He looked around for surveillance cameras on the outside of the ship, for surely he was in view of at least one of them. He found one about thirty yards away, but it was turned slightly away from him. There was a chance that he’d been observed on his approach, so he should hurry.

Seth engaged the outer air-lock control and the door popped open. He guided his craft inside, and as soon as the air lock filled with air, took off his helmet. The inner door opened, and he drifted inside and set the OneMan down on the floor of the storage bay. He was surrounded by huge storage containers stacked to the ceiling—rows and rows of them, full of equipment and supplies for colonizing New Earth. The planned arrival on the planet was so many decades away, Seth doubted he’d live long enough to see it.

He’d released most of the clamps sealing the suit along his chest when he heard voices.

“Hey!” someone yelled. Four men ran toward him, carrying guns. They were about three hundred yards away, closing fast.

Seth pulled at the last remaining clamp on his suit and, ignoring the pain in his hand, catapulted himself out of the lower portion of the OneMan and started running.

He was winded almost immediately, but he wove between the room-size shipping containers, listening for footsteps and voices, which sounded close at first but soon faded away. Despite his physical exhaustion he had the advantage of youth and natural speed. Seth slipped through the door to the starboard outer stairwell and ran up several flights until he found the rain forest level. He dove into the velvety humid air. It was warm here, and it smelled beautiful. He sprinted down the path until he found a patch of large ferns growing under a teak tree and collapsed into them. He sprawled, listening, panting, wiping sweat from his brow with the back of his left hand. No one came. He was safe for now. But only for now.


Copyright © 2013 by Amy Kathleen Ryan

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Flame (Sky Chasers Series #3) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This entire series was simply beautiful. I became so attached to the characters, and I can't remember a book that tugged so strongly at my heartstrings. This was a phenominal close to a fantastic series, and it was incredibly well written. I wish I could relive the experience of reading these books for the first time because it was just amazing. The book Flame is more violent and graphic in comparison to Glow and Spark, but it was not excessive it was just more than I expected. At times I found myself wanting to stop reading in a desperate attempt to not read something so painful; the characters were so skillfully developed that I felt their pain. This is a long review, so I'll sum it up. Read this. You will not regret it. I wish the series could be turned into a movie! That would be a way to relive these books. A great series. It was beautiful.
terferj More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a fantastic ending to the series. It was probably my fav out of all books. I really liked how it switched between the characters-Kieran, Waverly, Seth, and one other (I won’t tell who because it’ll spoil it a little). The characters didn’t get long chapters like in the previous books but it made things go by quickly and kept my interest more that way. I like that the mystery person got a few chapters. Although it wasn’t much, it was nice to get a glimpse of what they were going through. I liked everyone this time in this book. Yay! It was nice to see everyone grew out of their past actions and learned from their mistakes. I liked where everyone ended up especially after all the uncertainties leading up to the end. Even though we got a glimpse of their future, I almost wish there was a short story or something dealing with after settling. I think that would be awesome. So yeah, I thought this was a good series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The teen walkedto the doc in her plain american flag biki and rand to jump in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sat at the bottom of the lake to think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only rp one cat, too. And how would you gain new members?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Av, i need asistace
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this entire series kept me captivated from the moment I started reading. I could wait to know what would happen but didn't want it to end either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Sky Chasers Series as a whole is very mediocre. I found myself skipping whole pages as the same information was relayed again and again or similar scenarios were repeated. It got very trying at several points. I finished reading the series only to see what happened to one of the main characters, and even their conclusion was disappointing. The character development was sporadic and seemed to contradict itself on occasion. The idea and theme of the series is wonderful but in execution it fell flat. I would not recommend this book or series as a whole.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
The final book in the Sky Chasers trilogy, I can't believe it went by so fast! After finishing Spark, the second book in the series, I was literally dying to find out what happens next. Time passed by, and when I finally got this book, I kind of forgot what happened in Spark. Oh, the struggle. As I started reading though, everything slowly came back to me and I started remembering bit by bit. Flame starts off where Spark ended. I was so happy to get back to reading about Seth and Waverley and all the other members of the ship. I do wish that Amy Kathleen Ryan might have made a way to remind the readers about what happened, but despite that, it was a great read overall!What I like about this series is that it is kind of told in multiple POV's. It's a narrator that is speaking, but each chapter is kind of made for a different character. I forgot how unique these characters were, and my love for them! Seth has always been a favorite character of mine, but something was just missing in this book. I feel like a lot of emotions were involved when reading about him in Spark, but there wasn't much in this book. Maybe it's because I was hoping to find out more about him, but I just wanted more and I didn't get it.  Waverly is still an amazing character, and I'm glad that nothing made me change my mind about her in this book. She still goes through a lot, and is still able to find ways to protect everyone around her. Then there is Kieran. I have a love/hate relationship with Kieran, but I think I have finally settled into loving him. Kieran was a character I felt sorry for a lot. At a young age, he had to take responsibility, and he is obviously bound to make mistakes. I'm just glad that I was finally able to understand him, and grow my love for him as well. I did want to see more interactions with the three characters, but unfortunately that did not happen. I guess Flame being the final book, the climax is slowly coming to an end. I understand that, which is why I'm not complaining too much about there not being another love triangle (I find it interesting when another love interest pops out), or about there not being much problems with the three main characters. I do applaud Amy Kathleen Ryan for the twists she had in this book. I have to admit, she shocked me once or twice there. The ending was absolutely beautiful, and I honestly couldn't have asked for a better one. Me not being a fan of books set in space, this series totally blew me away! I'm so happy that I was able to read it, and would totally recommend it to all sci-fi readers out there! I will be looking forward to future books by Amy Kathleen Ryan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No but just keep putting up adds as much as posible cats will join
the_library_girl More than 1 year ago
I just finished this fabulous third book in the Skychasers series.  The whole series is one of the best science fiction series I have read in a long time.  I kept forgetting that it was supposed to be YA.  The depth of the characters and concepts are stronger than many ‘adult’ series.  This last book does not wrap everything up neatly.  It is gritty, emotional, and hard to read at times.   Ryan is so good at description that I felt the physical pain and emotional struggles of the characters.  The ending is very logical and not what you would necessarily expect and I like that.  When I read the first book in this series I spent most of it being very angry at some of the characters to the point where I thought I didn’t like the book.  Then I realized it was just because I was so attached to the characters and what they were going through.  After that I couldn’t wait for the next book to come out.  I am being very vague because the plots are so complex that I don’t want to give anything away.  Suffice it to say, if you like science fiction that explores the human condition while examining the constructs that humans cling to in desperate situations, this is the series for you.   
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Yes you can
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*purrs and nuzzles him* lets go.
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