Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen 

Pages: 323
Received: Library
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 
Goodreads Page










Summary

From Goodreads:

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.

Review


Don’t judge a book by its cover

Who actually listens to that advice? Well, probably people who are less superficial than me. I can’t help it, and can you blame me with that gorgeous cover? I first saw the cover months before the book was released. It was insta-love. Angels sang, light shone on the cover, and the whole world disappeared. I couldn’t wait for inter-library loan to send me a copy and so I begged my fiancĂ© to drive me forty five minutes to pick it up directly.

Unfortunately, a pretty package wasn’t enough to keep our relationship going (me and Firelight. The fiancĂ© was cool with things).

We had a good thing

There are two things I loved about this book: the draki mythology and Cassian. Sophie Jordan created a thoroughly engrossing mythology surrounding the draki. Their history, culture, and biology are all explored in fascinating detail. I loved her world building in this regard and desperately wanted more. She really only scratches the surface in this book, though I suspect book two will delve into the draki mythology more.

Cassian was my other favorite thing about this book. Jacinda doesn’t like him very much, but I think there’s a lot more to him than she gives him credit for. He’s definitely the alpha male (both literally in their draki community and characterization-wise) and I can rarely resist an alpha male. I can’t wait to watch her swoon along with me when we (hopefully!) get to see more than a few glimpses of his romantically attentive side. If that doesn’t happen in the sequel then I’m so done with this series.

We’ve been through this before

Romance was the primary focus of this book, and I wasn’t feeling this romance at all. There was nothing wrong with Will, but he didn’t really stand out to me beyond the stock paranormal romance guy (insta-love, dangerous for her to love, sensitive, etc). Even some of the scenes, especially the scenes in school, were so reminiscent of a handful of other YA paranormal romance books that I felt like I had already read this book.


Readers who love Twilight and Edward and Bella’s romance in the first book will probably be overjoyed with this reenactment. I didn’t hate that relationship, but it kind of bored me. So take two in Firelight bored me too.

It’s not you, it’s me

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to reach into the book to smack Jacinda or if I was just too bored to bother. She spends most of the book grappling with her resentment toward her mother and her love for a draki hunter. The premise is sound, but Jacinda’s indecision was dragged on for so long that I lost all sympathy I had for the character and instead just wanted her to make a decision—any decision.

  
The excitement is gone

Not much actually happens in this book. Most of the time is taken up by excessive stage setting, primarily in the form of Jacinda's repetitive inner monologues. It felt like the book was unnecessarily stretched to take up enough space to justify a trilogy, even if there isn’t enough substance here to justify a complete book. The whole thing just felt very unbalanced to me.

THAT’S how you’re leaving me?!

Once I got to the final quarter, things started to get a lot better. Tension increased building steadily until the exciting climax…which is a complete cliffhanger. Right in the middle of everything THE BOOK JUST ENDS! I just slogged through all that whining and all that boredom FOR THIS?? Just as things were finally getting good and I was finally into it the.book.just.stopped.

Rarely has a book pissed me off so much. I’m not just annoyed or frustrated, I’m actually honest to goodness pissed. This wasn’t a Delirium cliffhanger or an Unearthly cliffhanger. Those are normal cliffhangers. They’re frustrating, but, whatever, they come at a logical point in the storytelling. This didn’t feel like a cliffhanger, it felt like a printing error.

Now I'll definitely read the next book, though I'm completely resentful at what feels like manipulation to stir interest in the next book. A sequel should be read based on the strength of the first book, not because the author left you hanging right in the middle of everything with zero resolution.

I’ll give the next book a chance through the library, but if I’m not hooked early on then I’m DNF-ing it.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 


Want to see a variety of views? 
Click to go to the Review Comparison for Firelight










Looking for another paranormal romance? You might like: 
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon




22 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you weren't a fan. It seems like people either love this book or hate it. The Draki mythology does sound fascinating. I'm very curious. It's funny - I loved Bella and Edward's romance in Twilight, but it frustrates me in almost any other book. Perhaps b/c Twilight was where I first experienced that type of romance, it's the only one that can do it for me.

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  2. thanks so much for the heads up on the cliffhanger! I hate books that end abruptly... I need a proper ending, even if its not always what I wanted. and I agree w/Alison, I was a fan of the twilight romance, but when it comes to other books its just a bore. I'll have to read Firelight and make an opinion of my own. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts :)

    Diana
    ps. I always tend to judge a book by its cover. I know its wrong, but like you, I can't help it!

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  3. "I just slogged through all that whining and all that boredom FOR THIS?? Just as things were finally getting good and I was finally into it the.book.just.stopped."

    That said it all for me.

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  4. Aw, too bad on this one! I actually really enjoyed it, but it would be boring if we all liked the same books:) Maybe Vanish will be more interesting to you!

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  5. Oh shoot.... when I read the Goodreads summary, I thought, oh cool! a dragon book. Then I read your review. What a letdown. I think this book may be something I could like. I'm going to wait until the second book comes out, then I won't have yet another cliffhanger plot to deal with. Gosh, I can't hardly keep track of the ones I do have.

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  6. Oh, it's a shame this one didn't do it for you! That ending sounds very frustrating. I was consdiering buying it in the amazon kindle spring spectacular sale because it was so cheap and I fancied something a little different fro, what I normally read but your review has made me realise it's probably not for me. Thank you :)

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  7. I loved this one! Loved the Draki mythology, the relationship (I thought it was an interesting love triangle, and should get even more interesting in the next book!) loved the relationship between Jacinda and her sister too. Overall I thought this one was such an enjoyable, exciting read, and I loved the cliffhanger ending! I'm weird though - I love a good cliffhanger ending. Like, I loved the end of Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick which left a lot of other people tearing their hair out!

    I also love that we all love different books as I like reading different opinions on books I've loved! Too bad you didn't enjoy this one! :)

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  8. Alison, The draki mythology really was fantastic. I hope it gets expanded on more in the sequel. I’m disappointed I fell into the “hated it” camp, but maybe the sequel will be better for me. I think, for me, the relationship in Twilight was what it was, but every other book just feels like they’re trying to be a copy of that. What is acceptable in an original just becomes boring and irritating in repeats.

    The Lovely Getaway, You’re welcome! I so stupidly thought that this was a standalone book, so that cliffhanger really threw me. I hope you fall into the “loved it” camp when you read Firelight. Haha, glad to hear you’re with me on the cover judging :)

    Yiota, Haha, yes, I remember your review!

    Jenny, I’m so glad you liked it! I do hope Vanish is more for me. I’m already crushing hard on its cover :P

    Gina, You may still like it so do give it a shot. But, yeah, you might want to wait until the sequel comes out because gah, horrible cliffhanger!

    Stephanie, The ending was so frustrating, but I guess that won’t matter as soon as the sequel is released. Then there won’t be any waiting. If that sale lasts until May 1st, then come back here then to see the review comparison. I think there were about nine submissions, so you’ll have a wide variety of opinions to read through and help you decide :) I’d feel so badly if I turned you off from a book you would like.

    Leanna, Oh I hope the love triangle picks up in the sequel! I want to see lots of Cassian wooing :P I’m also really curious to see how things develop with her sister. That’s the sister on the cover of Vanish, right? Looks like something is going to happen with her. I love seeing all our different opinions too. The review comparison for this book (will be posted in a few days) was so much fun to compile and see all the differing viewpoints.

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  9. Since I saw this bok and read its synopsis, I fell for it. I am so glad when I found out that this book is about to be published by my local publisher. Cant hardly wait.

    I am so sorry you are not that into this book.

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  10. Oh the synopsis got me (and the cover) - I can't resist a good dragon story! It's my guilty pleasure for sure. But your review did get me thinking...may wait a bit before I make a choice on this one!

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  11. *gives cupcake*
    Sorry, I hate when books piss me off too.
    I actually loved the cover and was tempted myself - pretty covers often sway me, but when I read the description I realized it wasn't my kind of book at all :P

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  12. Don't feel bad! Reviews are there to give a good idea of whethe a book is for you and I wasn't sure about this one to start off with I'll look at a few other opinions too before I make a desicion.I'll definitely keep an eye out for your review comparison and check when the sale ends. Thanks for the info :)

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  13. Now I just want to read the last page! That's how the ending of Bumped felt to me - very abrupt, as if someone just deleted the last few real pages. Annoying!

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  14. So, I think it is safe to say you were bored.

    Smalls, I totally feel your frustration with that ending. The romance, familiar as it may have been, I could have at least reasoned that I could take comfort in the familiar, but I can't deal with cliff hangers that are obvious ploys to force readers to book two.

    I own this book because like you I just loved the cover and had to have it, but I think I will put off reading it until the next book is released. Also, I think the romance sounds a lot like the one in Nightshade. And I was really upset by that one because the girl didn't pick the guy I wanted her to choose.

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  15. Aleetha, I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

    BookGeek, I can’t resist dragon stories either. And that cover! It’s so gorgeous. I hope the review comparison helps you decide :)

    Alex, Ooh, cupcakes! :) (see how easily distracted and made happy I am?) The cover really is so pretty.

    Stephanie, Aw, thank you :)

    Logan, Haha, the last page is almost literally a cliffhanger. Really, like edge of a cliff. I didn’t know that about Bumped! I didn’t really want to read it to begin with, but now knowing about that ending I definitely won’t be picking it up. At least not now.

    Missie, Haha, yeah, I was very bored. I think you really should wait until the sequel comes out if you're at all like me when it comes to cliffhangers. I wish I had known! I haven't read Nightshade yet, but Jacinda definitely chose the wrong guy as far as I'm concerned. Maybe she'll fix that in Vanish.

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  16. I thought this one was okayish and didn't really understand what the fuss was about since there's not a lot going on and Jacinda was annoying.

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  17. I know the frustration! Not with this book, though I'm glad I read your review before getting it. Ugh, I couldn't stand the Twilight romance, nor the copycats of that romance. >_< I'll wait to see how the second book is before getting the two.

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  18. I reviewed this this week too - gave it four star because I quite enjoyed it but I can see why it annoyed you so much! ^^

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  19. I was with you I didn't exactly love the book, but I want to know what happens so I'll probably end up getting the second. The ending aactually made me a little mad as well. Awesome review as always. :)

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  20. A Canadian Girl, Ugh, totally me too. It wasn’t horrible but I don’t get the hype. I wish I did.

    Dazzling Mage, It really is an extremely similar romance. It has room to grow into something different, but at least in this first book way too many scenes were very similar to Twilight. I hope the second book focuses more on the draki stuff because that was pretty original.

    ComaCalm, I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did! I’m still in love with the cover :)

    Angelic Nytmare, We can stomp our feet about that ending together then! :) And then groan and cave in and get the second book to find out what happens next :P

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  21. You didn't like it? I'm totally in love with it. But I understand what you're saying. Great review. (:

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    1. No, I didn't, and I was SO disappointed :( I'm glad you're in love with it though! I'm still in love with the cover, if that counts :P

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