Friday, July 22, 2011

READING: Firelight & Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Firelight - Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Publication dates: September 7th, 2010 - September 6th, 2011
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: NetGalley
Genre: YA Paranormal, Dragons
Ratings: 4/5 - 4,5/5
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.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again.
Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?
Firelight: I didn't expect to like Firelight because of the unbelievable hype it got, but I really really did. Let me be clear about something here. A book having tons of hype is not a bad thing. Readers having expectations that these books are actually worth said hype, is.

Anyway, yes. I liked Firelight. First off, it's about dragons and I haven't read any other YA dragon-centered book. I don't think there are a lot of them about. First couple of pages in I was relieved that the protagonist, Jacinda, new from the start that she is a dragon, or should I say "draki", and she lived in the draki world all her life. I prefer that to the character learning later on in the book "Oh look!I can fly!"
I generally liked the story but honestly, it was all too similar with Andrea Cremer's "Nightshade". Jacinda like Calla have to be "alphas" of their species and in order to do that they have to "mate" or "bond" with the male alpha, Ren, or in this case Cassian. Until they find a boy from the outside world, Shay/Will and fall in love with him with dire consequences, of course. I didn't mind that it was similar because surprisingly enough, it was better than Nightshade. Jacinda payed little to no attention to Cassian so the pathetic love triangle was non existent. It's way better to read of a protagonist who knows what she wants and goes after it instead of one that goes "Um, what? I have to decide? No. I don't want to. Let them do it for me. They are both so hot, you see." At one point in the middle of the book I was a bit worried about the whole "I sensed him, I know he's in the room before I see him" crap, but fortunately it had a sufficient explanation in the end.
Characters I found most interesting is that of Cassian, his father Severin and Jacinda's mother(whose I can't remember the name right now).Especially her mother, I don't know. One minute I think she is so cunning and knows tons of secrets and the next that she is totally useless and a bad mother essentially. 

I guess we'll learn more in Vanish, which I was lucky enough to read immediately after (hehe)

Vanish:Vanish was as good as Firelight. Maybe even a little better towards the end.
The story now takes place where the draki live, a place we saw little of in the first book. So we learn about the draki ways and how Jacinda, Tamra (her twin sister) and her mother handle the situation. Jacinda misses Will like crazy, even though she has en eye on Cassian who has changed dramatically since Firelight. Personally, I don't see a reason why there should be a love triangle but there it was. It would have been fine without the drama, if you ask me. And Jacinda gets a little too emotional and angsty for me at some point. She can't decide who se likes more, all the while trying to convince herself that Will is the love of her life, only to have that little voice inside her head going "Yeah…but I like Cassian too…" . Even though you had us all hating him in Firelight, Jacinda darling. Just saying...

Cassian, who we see a lot of in Vanish, is a complex character. Is he good, is he bad-what's his story? He seems honest about his feelings towards Jacinda, but then again he's his father son and he comes across so cold and distant that I believe draki will always come first for him and that's not what Jacinda wants. 
Now her mother is another story altogether. Her character fascinated me from the start, not in the sense of me liking her or not but more of wanting to see what will happen to her, her development after everything she's been through. I think in Vanish she just quit. She admits to herself that she has always been unhappy, being someone she didn't wanna be-that's why she let her draki die, and when she thought that maybe she could make a new life for herself she gets drawn back in the hell she took so long to escape from. She becomes a ghost of herself and loses control. 

In conclusion, Firelight and Vanish are two fast-paced, easy reads, that you don't want to put down. Vanish doesn't have a cliff hanger per se but we are left in the middle of a very important something and I really wish I had book 3. I've no idea when it comes out, but surely not soon enough!

*Vanish was given to me by NetGalley, free of charge.
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  1. I thought Firelight was just ok-good range. I'm hoping for more from Vanish. Thanks for the great reviews. :)

  2. I also enjoyed Firelight! I thought it was very unique, and I do love dragons! I can't wait to read the sequel.

  3. I haven't read the Vanish half of your review, because I want the book to be a total surprise when I read it, but I also think Firelight is pretty darn good!! :)

    I really like how Jacinda has to struggle against everyone, even her own family, to stay true to herself and hang on to her draki. I guess the only bit I could have done without is the cliffhanger, lol, but that speaks for itself.


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