Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Target Audience: Teens
Pages: ARC - 323 pages
Release Date: September 7, 2010
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret. - Summary from Goodreads
As a fan of dragons, the premise sounded promising - a hiatus from vampires, werewolves and angels while still lingering in the paranormal zone. Curled up in my bed for a couple hours, I read this novel in one sitting, my attention constantly tethered to the rapt and engaging plot. But alas, my eyes uncovered a paltry, watery novel that washed through my mind and caused me to forget about it soon after.
I love the concept of draki, the descendants of dragons, morphing into human, and their customs are interesting. However, I wish the author included more draki lore and history, along with their feud with the dragon hunters. For example, Jacinda mentions an "evasive flight maneuvers class", which sounds interesting, and I would like to learn more about. Jacinda barely spends any time with the dragon pride, and the reader merely experiences them through her memories. Reading this book would be a much more enthralling affair if we actually encountered the pride alongside her, gaining background information about drakis and enriching myself, thus making the rest of the novel more enjoyable.
The majority of the characters are lifeless and perilously flat. Will, who I've now nicknamed as "the Wallflower", fails to be mysterious and sexy as the author intends. He only snags my attention when Jacinda begins pining and whining over him, and though many other reviews claim their love to be intriguing and captivating, all I see is another paranormal romance that bores me. Their love is unbelievably instantaneous and predictable, lacking any depth. When Jacinda's inner draki flares to life around Will, it is the definition of cheesy, especially since the author reveals no explanation of Jacinda's fascination of this bland child. Many other reviews state their relationship to rival the romance in Twilight, but while I'm not a fan of that book, at least the author explains Bella and Edward's love. The romance in Firelight flounders to grapple my regard.
Jacinda's remarkably selfish twin sister Tamra and mother are extremely irksome and undeveloped. Her mother forfeited her draki spirit and eschews draki culture seemingly without any reason, and her sister complains about the most frivolous things. They aggravate me using their barely there personalities and do nothing more than set up meek obstacles of conflict for Jacinda to jump over. The character redeeming the rest is Jacinda, since she is surprisingly developed compared to the others; during the novel, my liking for her escalates as she demonstrated selfless, unpretentious qualities. She actually tolerates her irritating family members. I notice some other reviews chastising Jacinda for being selfish, endlessly complaining about the situation that her mother puts her in. However, I would probably react similarly if somebody hacks away part of my soul, just as Jacinda's mother attempts to rip away her draki. Jordan successfully captures Jacinda's raw anguish and the torture of allowing her draki to die, which is the equivalent of losing part of one's soul. She describes Jacinda's quest to maintain her identity using simple, emotional phrases.
The author's writing is very bland and repetitive, and after a while, I began to tire of Jacinda's distressed musings and cravings for Will. Jordan tends to echo Jacinda's thoughts in an annoying manner, and all her sentences are short and choppy, structured too simply. Though constructed using prose that lacks description, this book still consistently maintains its hooking attribute.
The ending is so annoying abrupt and unsatisfying that I couldn't help but roll my eyes once I was finished, asking myself if somebody had pruned off the real end of the manuscript. Don't get me wrong, I always bask in the afterglow of anticipation after reading a superb cliffhanger, but Firelight left off without any conclusion or thoughts to hold onto whatsoever. When I read a cliffhanger, I run off a cliff, though there are always questions and unsolved mysteries that keep me dangling on the edge. Firelight, however, has nothing sparking further curiosity, so I gallop over the edge and plummet to the ground.
Overall, this typical paranormal romance ensnared my attention for most of its three hundred pages, causing me to dub it as 'mildly addicting' and file it away at the very back of my mind. I'm sure, like many other paranormal romances, it'll acquire a teen fandom when it releases in September, 2010. I'll probably skim the sequel just to see what's in store for Jacinda and company, but I hold very little hope that this series can possibly redeem itself after this slight disaster.
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