F i r e l i g h t by Sophie Jordan
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Go Buy It: Amazon★Barnes&Noble
Word Blurb: Exhilarating and intoxicating!
Synopsis- "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."
Quick Thinking: Unique and exhilarating was this first look in this draki-filled world of Firelight, where these outwardly human-lookalike descendants of dragons isolate themselves in beautiful, secluded areas to protect themselves from being exposed to the hunters looking to obliterate them for personal gain. Here YA book readers will find themselves enraptured by the mystical beauty and power of these dragon-like creatures, engrossed in Jacinda's story of attempting to acclimate to human society, her struggle to reinstate a part of herself which her family seeks to hide and destroy, and a sizzling romance that sparks in the midst of all the angst and danger within the pages of this novel.
My Thoughts In-Depth: *Note: May not be spoiler-free.* When I think Firelight, intoxicating quickly comes to mind. For me, the best part of reading this book was learning all I could about the draki in Firelight. They were a constant source of fascination that carried throughout the book. Just visualizing them for the first time right in the opening scene when first meeting Jacinda, the way their skin and hair look, their eyes, and the wings that spring up from their backs like another set of limbs. Fascinating, I tell you!
The plot was indeed what got me the most: the backstory of the draki, the reasons for the hunters tracking and killing their species, and what their intended next move was going to be toward these clusters of draki known as 'prides'. I wanted to learn the inner-workings of how the pride functioned, how it's leaders were chosen, how the location for their settlement was agreed upon. The mystery behind Jacinda's father's untimely and suspicious death. Never before had I been so absorbed in a story before!
I was a little disappointed in the character development department. I didn't get to really know the characters, there was no relationship or connection between we two, The Reader and the character. And more, I turned up not liking most of them. The mom angered me totally, though I tried to view their situation as if I were her, or better yet a mother. And I'm still not sure if Jacinda's mom is making the right kind of choices. Jacinda's sister, Tamra, I did pity some and sympathize with. I mean, in love with a guy who would never look upon her, ostracized by a society scared of those not like them, and losing the attention of nearly everyone she'd ever known because her draki sister had an extremely special and important gift. Jacinda's love interest's cousins were anything less but entertaining and everything frustrating and creepy. Even Will himself wasn't all that remarkable or standout-ish. There's nothing eye-popping about him.
Which brings me to the romance. I love that Will accepts what he knows of the real Jacinda. But, who is the real Jacinda entirely? Does he even know or understand? Honestly, their passionate scenes were wonderful, but how often did this couple actually talk and discuss things. No lifestories needed. Just some basic background and personal information. I don't mind the excitement that comes with all this newfound love. But, I didn't get to see any real depth to Will. And that wasn't much fun. However, on the flip side, I loved that Will, though he was a hunter, could easily accept the other side of Jacinda, the draki side, and willingly. It was plain to see that he fell in love with part of her too, which was awesome and in a strange way moving! It all goes back to accepting a person and loving them anyway. I just really wish they talked more!
Cassian was not the best of people to read about. I didn't enjoy him as a character. He was too arrogant and possessive for my taste. I saw a hint of underlying sweetness in his character but without getting to know him very well, it's too early in the series to decide completely on his whole personality and whether or not he has any redeeming qualities.
So, this I-guess-you-could-call-it-that love triangle didn't score too high with me.
And the ending didn't entirely satisfy me either. I don't mind cliffhangers, but I just felt like the ending kind of popped up out of nowhere. I didn't even realize the ending was fast-approaching until I noticed how few pages were left. All around, it wasn't a satisfying closing to this first novel, for me.
The biggest thing and most fascinating aspect of Firelight was learning about Jacinda's world and species. Learning about the hunter's plans, as well. An added bonus was learning of Will's own abilities as one of the best trackers in his hunter family. I'm not necessarily anxious to get to the sequel, but I'll be excited for it's release nonetheless. Overall, Firelight was interesting and unique which took precedent to the parts of it that displeased me.
Recommended: If you enjoy discovering a whole new world and breathtaking and one-of-a-kind species, as well as an action-packed, angst-y ya paranormal romance read, you'll definitely like Firelight.
"I know the precise moment he sees me. He freezes, stills in the water, sinking low, his lips brushing the waterline.
We stare at each other...
Then he moves, swims closer in an easy glide...He looks...curious.
He slaps a hand on the ledge and pulls himself inside. With me...Our gazes crawl over each other. Two strange animals inspecting each other for the first time...
He lifts a hand. I don't even flinch as he closes a broad, warm palm over my arm. Feeling, testing. His touch glides downward, and I'm sue he's comparing my skin--draki skin--to human skin. His palm stops, flattens over the back of my hand, rests over my long, talonlike fingers. Heat zings through me at the contact.
He feels it, too. His eyes widen..." (17-18)
'I would be mad, if I could.' He frowns. 'I should be.' He inches closer to me on the couch. We sink deeper into the tired cushions. 'This is impossible.'
...For a long time, he says nothing. Stares at me in that way that makes me want to squirm. For a moment, it seems that his irises glow and the pupils shrink to slits. Then, he mutters,'A hunter in love with his prey...'
I don't even mind when he stops and watches my skin change colors, or touches my face as it blurs in and out. He kisses my changing face. Cheeks, nose, the corners of my eyes, sighing my name like a benediction between each caress. Hid lips slide to my neck and I moan, arch, lost to everything but him. In this, with him...I'm as close to the sky as I've ever been" (258-259).
Thanks for reading!