Flame Riders

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Pub Date Jun 22 2021 | Archive Date May 01 2021

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The third and final instalment in Sean's rip-roaring 'firefighters meet dragons' fantasy series

In the final instalment of the Smoke Eaters series, the New United States Army has taken over and America has devolved into a full-on dragon apocalypse. Smoke eaters are banned and have gone into hiding to avoid being held prisoner by the soldiers. 
Guiellermo Contreras is a private in the NUSA, and when he’s accused of potentially being a smoke eater upon pain of death, he escapes and sets out to find the heroes who disappeared years before. But what he discovers is that the NUSA has been working on something unthinkable, and it’s going to take more than a few smoke eaters to stop them.
File Under: Fantasy [ Fly Away Home | Blowing Smoke | Scaly Surprise | Crunch Time ]
The third and final instalment in Sean's rip-roaring 'firefighters meet dragons' fantasy series

In the final instalment of the Smoke Eaters series, the New United States Army has taken over and...

Advance Praise

“Grigsby’s pulse-pounding sequel to Smoke Eaters is a worthy successor that expands on the series’ already strong foundation of vivid action and meticulous worldbuilding… vibrantly imagined characters who ring with authenticity, and firefighter Grigsby knows just how to pull readers into scenes full of smoke and flame. Readers will delight in this fresh take on action fantasy.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Starting with its title, Ash Kickers, tells you exactly what type of ride you’re in for then delivers on that promise with a story that hits like a Skyrim meets Ghostbusters battle royale. In it, you can almost feel Grigsby’s glee as he mixes together supersized heroics, mythic creatures, snappy dialogue, and furious fight scenes to form a narrative that reads like a passionate homage to the action blockbusters we all grew up watching.”

– Evan Winter, author of The Rage of Dragons

“An ingenious premise that Grigsby delivers on with intelligence and style. Smoke Eaters is a treat!”

– Jason M Hough, New York Times Bestseller

“Smoke Eaters is a thrilling, exciting, funny and strangely heart-warming book, and Grigsby’s experience as a firefighter shines through on every page, lending grit and realism to this rollicking ride of a tale in which firefighters become dragon-slayers. It’s exactly as bonkers – and as brilliant – as you’d expect and I look forward to more from this author.”

– Anna Stephens, author of Godblind

"Ash Kickers is instinctively and perceptively created and a joy to read. This has been a genuine pleasure to join Tamerica and her team and I look forward to more."

– Geek Syndicate

“Grigsby’s pulse-pounding sequel to Smoke Eaters is a worthy successor that expands on the series’ already strong foundation of vivid action and meticulous worldbuilding… vibrantly imagined...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780857669018
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

Average rating from 5 members

Featured Reviews

Brilliant battle scenes, dragons, and more dragon hunting firefighters! This one has it all. The third instalment of Sean Grigsby’s smoke eater series packs another punch. Flame Riders kicks off a little while after the events of Ash Kickers with the Army now taking over the fight against the dragons and it ain’t going so well. Like, not at all. The smoke eaters have been forced into hiding because the government wants to experiment on them and discover how they can survive dragon smoke.

One Nusie, and a smoke eater fanboy, Guiellermo Contreras joined NUSA to save people. As the lowest on the totem pole in his unit he is just a Private forced into an errand boy/bootlicker who has to “earn” his place in the squad. When the squad robot officer accuses him of being a smoke eater he has to run – or he’ll be killed – or worse taken captive by the NUSA to be experimented on.

Contreras runs straight into trouble. But finds his idols – the smoke eaters – and maybe they are all he believed them to be. They are certainly going to be the only ones able to keep him alive. But running from danger is one thing, running into danger is something else. He is being hunted by dragons and NUSA alike and he will have to think fast, and move even faster if he is to survive what is coming.

There are surprising twists and turns in this one. And the appearance of several old friends who made me cheer aloud. (One surprising guest star I was very very happy to see!) As always, Sean’s battle scenes are glorious to read. Full of exciting action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I devoured this in only a few sittings and I am always left wanting more from this talented writer.

If you like Dragons, Dragon Hunters, Firefighters and fabulous action – jump on this series immediately.

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The Smoke Eaters are back again! I wondered if there were going to be any more stories of these dragon fighters, and was so happy to see another book come out. This one is centered more on a new-to-be Smoke Eater, who went AWOL from the New USA Army. While growing up he was a fan of the Smoke Eaters, who have now been disbanded by the NUSA. Gilly is surprised to become one of them, and finds himself on an adventure with his heroes.

Grigsby has done a good job in creating this futuristic apocalyptic US, and a new kind of hero the average American can do nothing but love. I wouldn't recommend reading this as a stand-alone novel, as part of the story line and characters are developed from earlier books. I was happy to see the return of CB, and the new twist that the Smoke Eaters have to face is not unexpected, though was curious how Grigsby was going to put it in story. Definitely recommend to others to read, if they start with the first one!

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Firefighters in the future with Dragons. An excellent way to pitch a series. I really enjoyed the two previous books in this series. After reading the third one, I can tell you that this one stands up well with those two.
This book starts out with the world in even worse shape than it was before. Our main character is a new Army recruit who is a big fan of the legend of the Smoke Eaters. He’s a likable enough guy, I just never found him as well rounded as characters from previous books.
This third book upped the stakes with bigger stakes, new gadgets and a couple of fight scenes that I just enjoyed.
I’ve read that the author doesn’t like writing action scenes, but in my opinion, he handles them superbly. All of them seem to have a cinematic flair.
I hope this series isn’t just a trilogy. I would love to see more from this world.

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It's been awhile since the Smoke Eaters were given their walking papers and the New United States Army has taken control of policing the country- or what's left of it. North America has become a dystopian society with great cities, such as Chicago, in complete ruin due to the dragon activity.
Guiellermo Contreras is a private in the New United States Army (NUSA), and as the low man in the company he is assigned to some community relations and doing some show-and-tell with the local children. What Contreras only comes to learn is that NUSA is more of a mercenary organization, intimidating the local communities into supporting them and providing them with resources. NUSA is also looking for Smoke Eaters (those who are able to breathe while in a room full of smoke and tend to be dragon fighters). This has caused the Smoke Eaters to go into hiding.

When the NUSA division that Contreras is with makes an attempt to harm a local child because they suspect the youth of having Smoke Eater abilities, Contreras, who has a hero-worship passion for Smoke Eaters and has studied all he can on them, steps in to protect the child and winds up stealing a NUSA tank and accidentally killing members of his unit. His desire now is to get away, get back to his home town, and try to forget all about the NUSA. But it doesn't quite work out that way and instead, Contreras meets, works with, and becomes one of the historical figures he has studied since childhood. Which is good, because the Smoke Eaters are going to need him since a band of NUSA supporters have learned to control and fly dragons, making them much more dangerous than they already were.

Just as with the first two books in the series, this is a heck of a lot of fun.

Author Sean Grigsby has done a wonderful job of taking this series and growing the characters and the story with each book while retaining what has made it fun - the action and the concept . The first book had some 'issues' with a sense of being a "Marty Stu" book - male fantasy toward women, sex, and heroism. That is gone, so it is quite easy to sit back and enjoy the ride here.

One of the reasons I can't give this a full five stars is because while I like that Grigsby keeps it new, with fresh ideas and characters, this also means we have to spend a fair amount of time re-learning this world and how it has changed since we last visited, and we have to get to learn the new character who is the primary focus throughout the book. I really wanted to dive right in and go, go, go, but I had to wait while I learned who Contreras was and how he would be impactful with dragons (I wasn't sure there were going to be dragons for the longest time, and I was going to be really angry if there weren't).

The Goodreads page for the book notes that this is the third and final installment in the series. I sincerely hope that is not true. There is a lot of new potential here as we end this book and this world is just too darn fun to abandon now. If someone were to make a summer film of these books I suspect there would be more books for years to come.

Looking for a good book? Flame Riders by Sean Grigsby continues the high-octane action of the Smoke Eaters series. If you are looking for an exciting beach read, pick this up.

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