Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review - Firelight (Firelight, Book 1) by Sophie Jordan (2/5 stars)

FirelightReading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 7, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0061935085
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in theFirelight series
Source: Borrowed from libary
Rating: 2/5 stars

I was excited to read this book and have heard a lot of great things about it.  I finally borrowed it from the library.  It was a quick read and the writing style was very readable.  It is another one of those star-crossed teen stories.  It was cool that the main heroine can shift into a dragon but not so cool that the story was very similar to other YA star-crossed love stories out there.

Jacinda is a draki and extraordinary among her race because she is a rare Firebreather.  Her mother and her sister aren't draki though; and her mother especially wants Jacinda to let her draki part die.  Her mother forces Jacinda and her twin sister Tamra to flee the clan and take up residence in a smallish desert town.  There Jacinda bumps into a boy named Will, a dragon hunter, whom she is drawn to like no other.

This book is set in modern times and a lot of it takes place in a high school setting where Jacinda is dealing with trying to blend into a new high school, pretty standard teen stuff.  Jacinda also has to deal with the fact that whenever she is near Will he brings out her draki nature (makes her glow and get all hot...literally).  Jacinda starts the story as a spirited character and then kind of turns all plain and boring; she doesn't stand up to her mother or really do anything other than just drag her feet through the book.

I found it disturbing that Jacinda's mom wanted her daughter to kill part of herself off throughout the book.  This gave the book a very yucky feeling to me and seemed completely counter-intuitive to how a mom would treat her daughter.  Definitely not a healthy mother/daughter relationship there.

The whole Will and Jacinda relationship is the type of relationship that I hate seeing in YA books.  They basically fall in love at first sight; for no apparent reason.  Then Jacinda is all "Will stay away from me!" and then a few pages later "Oh, Will I want you." then a little bit later she wants him to stay away again.  It is maddening and obnoxious.  Will is your run of the mill stalker, and follows Jacinda everywhere...even breaking into her house.  How is this romantic? Then of course their relationship is starcrossed because Jacinda gets so hot when she is with Will that she almost burns him alive...oh yeah and he is a dragon hunter. I didn't like any aspect of their relationship.

The book is pretty much predictable from beginning to end. As for the world-building, there isn't much of it.  There is some mention of clans outside of Jacinda's, but not much and there isn't much history given on the draki.  The book really just focuses on the social teen aspects of high school and Jacinda and Will's starcrossed relationship.

The book ends with a number of things unresolved and really doesn't give any closure on anything.  So if you read this, and enjoy it, be prepared to immediately pick-up Vanish (the 2nd book in the series) when it comes out in September to see what happens.  Jordan's writing style is easy to read, if a bit too simple at times (no complex sentences or large words).

Overall this book was not one of my favorites.  I was so excited to read a book about dragons and what I got was yet another mediocre story about high school teen angst and star-crossed love.  This is one of those books where the most positive thing about it for me was that it was a quick read.  If you are a fan of teen stories that focus on high school life with a couple that inexplicably falls in starcrossed love for no reason and has shapeshifting dragons in it this may be the book for you.  Personally I will stick with other more interesting stories.  For a great YA read check out Divergent by Veronica Roth, Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready, Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, or Paranomalcy by Kiersten White. 

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge



  1. Nice review! Your reservations were things that pinged my annoyance radar as well - I was really pretty bugged by the family dynamic, and I am definitely always skeptical of instant connection in romances.

    It is a cool concept, though, so I may still pick up the sequel in the hopes that it will contain more awesome dragon-lore and less predictable teen romance.

  2. This sequel was just as good as the first book, which had a lot of original ideas dealing with dragons. The characters are interesting and so is the story, even if it is a bit cliche. If you liked other books such as "Nightshade" by Andrea Cremer, "Matched" by Ally Condie, and "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore, you will definitely like this series.