Source: ARC from Carol (Bookluver Carol)
Grade: 2 stars out of 5
Jacinda is the first fire-breathing draki to be born in the pride over the past couple generations. Because of this, the pride is determined to keep this trait alive within the community and Jacinda becomes nothing more than a “thing”—a breeder. But her mother wants nothing to do with that and so she secretly escapes Jacinda and her twin sister Tamra out of the community in the mountains. They escape to a desert town where the scorching heat is slowly killing the inner dragon…something that her mother and sister want, both of whom cannot manifest into draki.While Jacinda is a fire-breather there was nothing intense or smoldering about Firelight for me. If fact I find entire novel lukewarm, slowly getting colder and colder. But dang, I wanted to love this book! This was a novel that I've been waiting and dying to read for months now with a summary that commanded to be devoured.
In a new school Jacinda comes face to face with Will, a draki hunter who had almost captured her once. Something about Will makes Jacinda’s true form come out, something that is attributed to a strong sense of emotions: anger, fear…and passion. But Jacinda should not only keep her guard up with Will because her family is also being hunted by the pride.
There are various things, however, that I found disappointing about the novel:
1. Jacinda, Will, and almost all the characters in the novel: everyone is alarmingly flat. There seemed to be one or two thought processes behind each character. For Jacinda it is about rejoining the pride or at least letting her draki survive. It is about battling her desire to stretch her wings or doing what is best for the family. Jacinda takes 3 steps back, 5 steps forward, 18 steps back, 1 step forward, does a little hokey pokey and throws her hands up. In the end her major decision she was supposed to face is decided for her.
Will, Will, Will. Will can fade into the wall for all I noticed. His presence is a dim light only fortified when Jacinda starts whining. Nothing about him really leaps at me.
There were also too names that served no purpose. Unless they play a role bigger than a ‘Hi’, ‘Bye’ or random date I prefer not to memorize so many names.
2. This is a scene from the book. It is not spoilish enough to ruin the plot, but if you hate spoilers of ANY kind then you can skip this (in fact highlight it if you're curious): Jacinda gets bullied and jumped and what does her sister do? Throw a fit.
I understand that living in your sister’s shadow can piss you off, but when your sister gets punched and kicked by a group of jealous girls in the bathroom you are more angry that you did not make the cheerleading squad than your sister getting hurt!? And maybe the argument is that it is your sister’s fault because she liked somebody and that somebody liked her back, but that somebody is supposedly “claimed” by this girl who has a big say if you make the squad or not. There is always next year to try out sister!
Perhaps if Tamra had been more developed with more time to shine rather than ‘I hate you’ and ‘You’re my sister, I love you’ I can be slightly more sympathetic to her, but right now I find her extremely childish.
3. I need more background information about the draki and the hunters. How much does the draki communities interact with the human world? If a draki’s ability to shift into humans is survival technique how did hunters first find them and how does the rest of the world not know? How is each different draki’s ability passed down? Sure isn’t heredity it seems.
4. The ending: cliff hangers piss me off, but sometimes it is necessary when it comes to series. This ending felt more like someone hacked it off a manuscript. Just saying.
I like a few of the characters, but they played secondary roles. I like some scenes in Firelight, but there was no strong emotional outburst from me. I think the cover is gorgeous. Stunning! But what good does that do for the novel?
Firelight is out now: Amazon / Indie Bound / Book Depository