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Only One Opinion (Firelight)

literati_rain66 Sunday, September 12, 2010
FirelightReview of Firelight, by Sophie Jordan.

Quickie: Good story idea, but I had too many issues with it to be able to enjoy it fully.

Full: I loved the concept of Firelight. Jacinda is a draki (a human that can turn into a dragon) and she is an exceptional one at that- she is the only fire-breather in existence. Pretty spiffy, right? Not if you're wanted as breeding stock by your pride's alpha, and not if everyone else controls your life for you.

Feeling suffocated by the rules and expectations of her pride, Jacinda and her friend sneak out one morning to fly. This is, of course, strictly forbidden. Draki aren't allowed to fly during daylight hours for risk of exposing themselves and being hunted for their blood, skin, and the nest of gems all Draki families have. But of course, she ignores all that and flies in the daytime. And of course, hunters see her and she ends up trapped in a cave. Luckily, this particular hunter isn't full of bloodlust and rage... instead he mutters, "Beautiful" and leaves her be.

Unluckily, her pride knows what happened and they have a terrible fate planned out for her (this comes up in a dramatic exchange later... but it felt like the wrong place to me). Her mother decides that they must pack up and leave that night. I found this to be a bit dramatic, since you have absolutely no idea what this terrible fate is, and they really only mention it one time. It seemed like a huge overreaction for no reason. Anyhow, they sneak off in the darkness and Jacinda, her mother, and Jacinda's twin sister Tamra find themselves in a desert town with the name of Chaparrel. Quickly, Jacinda realizes that her mother intends to kill the draki part of her for "her own safety".

So far, so good. But here is where my issues starting coming forth.
-Jacinda's draki is dying. Okay, valid complaint. But goodness, must you complain for 1/3 of the book, without doing anything about it? You complain about the rules of the pride... but once you leave them, suddenly you are desperate to return to them. You complain about living in the desert, but you do nothing about it. Neither life is perfect, so she rejects them both. Newsflash- you can't have it all!!
-The dramatic sentences at the end of nearly every scene change and chapter. I get it. You like dramatic declarations. They didn't work for me. Less is more in this case.
- Jacinda makes a dramatic (I'm sensing a pattern...) vow about every two pages near the middle... and then breaks it. This was the hardest for me to read, I kept wanting to grab her by the shoulders and shake her. Make a vow, then keep it, you dummy. It was frustrating to try to follow along with her every-two-pages-I-change-my-mind thing. Especially when it's the same stinking vow!! "I vow to never even look at him again." "I vow to let him into my life, he sustains me." "I vow to never even think of him! He's bad for me!" "I vow to keep him close to me, he's saving my draki!" "I vow to get rid of him, he's bad for my family!!" on and on.
- As much as I felt for her- it can't be fun knowing your life is planned out for you and you are going to have to make little fire-breathing babies - I was upset with her selfish attitude. Her sister came off as totally self-absorbed as well, but she kind of had a right to be. Neither of them is very respectful to their mother, who, by the way, lost her husband and has been living a life she hated while raising her daughters by herself. A few times I felt that Jacinda really was being treated unfairly, but even so. Respect.

I'll admit, I really wanted to like this book. I loved the idea behind it, and the draki are fascinating. My friend Catie loaned me this book, and when somebody loans or recommends a book to me, I generally want to love it. But I can't honestly say that I loved it. I plan to read the sequel, because I really did love the draki and the whole story. Sadly though, it's a "meh" book for me.

3 out of 5 stars.


A Simple Love of Reading said...

Thanks for the honest review, I was thinking of picking this book up soon, but now I might wait a little bit. The story still does sound interesting to me, so I will get it one day!

literati_rain66 said...

*nods* The story WAS interesting... but yeah. *shrug* I had problems with it. :-p

Tiger Holland said...

Right on! Oh my goodness, I agree with everything you've said. Great ideas, lovely story setup, but the girl won't stick to her guns and will. not. stop. complaining. You explained it wonderfully. I forgot how much she changed her mind about her guy! *hugs*

literati_rain66 said...

Thanks! Her wishy-washyness with Will irritated the snot out of me! I don't honestly think a real guy would have stuck around. Talk about mixed signals! And it wasn't even like she was nice to him for a few meetings... it was as if every other time she saw him she either wanted to Ditch Him Forever or Love Him Forever. Argh! *hugs* :)

Catie S (Book Bound) said...

I think I liked it because I was a lot like her in the past, (Well, personality wise.) so that didn't bother me.
I did love the world it was set in, I'm very curious to see more of it. I'm curious to see the consequences of a few different things that are set in motion.

literati_rain66 said...

I loved the world too! And like I said, I plan to read the sequel because I really, really, liked the story and the draki. Thank you for letting me borrow it dear. :)

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