Hayley’s Review of “Burning Depths” by Madeline Stanford

By: Hayley Green

This is the final book in the trilogy, for now. Let’s just say Stanford left the ending in a satisfying way that wrapped up the major plot that spanned the first three books, so any new books in the series would tackle a new set of problems. It was satisfying but open-ended, which made me hope for more.

But some more things about the book: Alex and Flynn and their friend group have survived the bloody war in the last book with minimal casualties and some pretty big bombshells being dropped. Now, they are stuck with three sides to a looming war, the Azure Loyalists who want things to go back to the way they were with Attis as their leader, the Azure Rebels, led by Flynn and Alex, who want to overhaul the system and do what is right, and the Depths, run by Samuel, who want death and destruction and power.

There are some surprising deaths in this book and some twists and turns, not all of which I liked. At one point, Flynn told Alex that he needed her to be his moral compass. I didn’t approve of that. It made me feel as though the characters had become too dependent on each other, and some of the things that Stanford brought up in regards to Alex’s moral compass made me question the character. But overall her characterization was consistent throughout the three books, while showing a decent amount of character growth.

This book also had very violent scenes, like the last one.

I loved the book, but there were a lot of moments that made me stop and wonder what the characters were doing and choices that the author made. It was also a slow start to the book, but I’ve noticed that with every one of her books.

I loved this series, and I will definitely read it again, but it was a little frustrating to read things that made me pause and wonder why she was changing character’s personalities and choices. It was almost imperceptible, but it still felt like she was doing it just for the plot and not because that is really who the characters were. The first book is still the best, as is true with any series, but the second and third books were a little too violent and intense for me. I loved the ending though, other than a sacrifice, but it felt like there was no other way for it to have ended.

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