Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Pages: 326
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: September 7, 2010
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "A hidden truth.  Mortal enemies.  Doomed love. Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form. Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy. Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide."

Jacinda is a draki, which means she is a descendant of dragons, but she can also be in human form as well.  She lives with a pride of others just like herself, but she finds herself in a precarious situation one night as she is being hunted.  She is almost captured but at the last minute the hunter who blatantly sees her, decides to not kill her.  This memory stays with Jacinda for a long time.  Meanwhile, the leader of her pride is angry with her for not following the rules and her mother has had it. She decides that they are going to leave the pride and live as humans in a small town outside of Las Vegas.  What is even more upsetting to Jacinda's mother is the fact that the pride wants Jacinda to "mate" with the pack alpha's son as she is the first fire-breathing dragon in many years.  Jacinda is really reluctant to leave her pride as she is proud to be a draki, even though her mother, a former draki, and her twin sister are not.  As she starts her new life out in the desert, it's hard to survive as the dry air represses and literally kills her draki.  Her sister, on the other hand, is happy to start over somewhere where she feels normal and not the odd man out.  Jacinda and her sister enroll in high school and this proves to be an even more challenging experience for Jacinda, that is until she encounters the hunter, Will, from the night she was almost captured.  She finds out he is a student at the school and she knows she shouldn't associate with him, but she can't deny their attraction.  She even finds her draki coming back to life around Will and in the middle of the desert this is almost an impossible feat.  Sophie Jordan's first installment in the Firelight series is brilliantly entertaining and unique.  Fans of the fantasy genre will absolutely love this series.

At first when I bought Firelight on vacation last year, I was intrigued, but I wasn't expecting much. I mean I love the fantasy genre, but a story about dragons? I simply wasn't sure; however, I was pleasantly surprised by Firelight.  Jordan creates an interesting backstory about draki and hunters.  I never thought I would like a book about dragons as much as I enjoyed Firelight. Well done, Ms. Jordan.

Jacinda has it rough in the middle of the desert.  Her draki is slowly dying and I felt badly for her.  Jacinda's transition to high school was tough to read about.  She felt awful assimilating in the "real world" and in turn, she was killing her inner draki. On top of it, she knew she shouldn't like Will, but their chemistry was to-die-for and they couldn't deny it.  It was definitely the opposites attract kind of relationship that I love.  As their relationship progresses, readers will wonder if Jacinda's big secret will be found out and if disaster will ensue. I was flipping the pages way into the night to find this out and then Jordan hits us up with a crazy plot twist that I didn't see coming.  I was definitely on the edge of my seat.

A lot of reviewers mentioned that Jacinda has the Bella Swan syndrome, meaning she lacks independence; however, I didn't have an issue with that in Firelight.  For example, the high school mean girls in Firelight were absolutely horrible; there's a scene in the school bathroom that I found hard to read as it was so upsetting, but thankfully, Jacinda held her own.  The other secondary characters in Firelight were also well done.  Will's cousins were beyond irritating and the quintessential "bad guys."  Jordan did a good job making us feel especially on-the-edge-of-our-seat around Xander, Will's evil cousin. I was definitely not a fan.

My only issue with Firelight was the insta-love factor that has become commonplace in the fantasy and paranormal genre.  I felt like the relationship with Will and Jacinda progressed quickly and although I loved their chemistry, it was a bit too all of a sudden I love you. 

The ending of Firelight had me dying to read book two, Vanish, which is already out in stores, and Hidden, which comes out this month.  I can't wait to see what happens next.  In sum, I can't believe I am saying this, but I'm sold on dragons and in turn, I'm a fan of the Firelight series.

7 comments:

  1. YAY CHRISTINA!!!! I loved this one too, despite the insta love factor with will - I'm usually more forgiving of insta love in a paranormal story for some reason. I didn't think Jacinda suffered from Bella Swan syndrome either, I really enjoyed her. I'm excited to see what you think of Vanish, I adored Cassian in that one!

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    1. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Vanish! Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!

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  2. I heard that about the character too & I was a bit scared to read this book. Now I know I should get it. I mean, dragons? How cool. Great review.

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  3. I love dragon books! It sounds a little similar to Seraphina (which I adored) but still very different. I'm intrigued by the sound of this book, great review!

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  4. Oh, insta-love...but at least the book rocked, otherwise. I've got this one on my Kindle, but I haven't read it yet. You've definitely made me eager to start it, though :)

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