Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Book: Firelight
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: September 7, 2010
Source: Borrowed ebook from library
Series: Firelight #1

Summary: (from Goodreads) 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 â?? 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 awayâ??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.

First impressions: I was so intrigued by dragon shifters! In the first scene, she’s being hunted, and I was completely drawn in to this modern world full of dragon descendents.

Lasting impressions: Jacinda makes a really interesting character, and like a werewolf, she’s not always in control of her shift to draki form, which amped up the tension. I was sold on the concept alone.

Conflicting impressions: I do wish that the draki lore had been expanded a bit, so we knew more about their culture. Jacinda and her family exit that life so quickly that I was a bit confused on how much of the world knew of their existence or what the real consequences would be if that information got out. I mean, sure it would be bad, but how bad? How many hunters are there? How many draki? I had way more questions than answers.

Overall impressions: This was a fun, different read that I enjoyed a lot more than I anticipated. Jacinda is an interesting character – a draki shifter who flees her home because her status as a rebel firebreather has put her in danger, and her mother and sister are not able to shift. They desire a normal life, and haul Jacinda out to the Southwest deserts to kill off her dragon side.

Jacinda doesn’t handle this too well, despite knowing there wasn’t much of a life to look forward to back at the draki camp. She was betrothed to Cassian, a headstrong guy who just doesn’t do much for Jacinda, and would be expected to make little firebreathing babies with him. Because of her penchant for sneaking off and breaking rules, she also had some stiff punishment facing her. Knowing all of this doesn’t make her agree to run for the hills and try to live normally, though. She just wants to fly.

This selfish nature was a bit trying at times, and when she kept digging herself into holes I found it hard to heartily root for her to get out instead of maybe taking a bit of what was coming to her. Not that it was much easier to root for her to kill off an essential part of herself just to appease her whiny sister and depressed mother. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place on who to side with here.

Enter Will. A boy with secrets of his own, he is drawn to Jacinda as much as she is to him. They have an insta-love connection, and Jacinda has total Edward Cullen Syndrome going on – she can’t control her impulse to turn draki around him. This means lots of tentative kisses, followed by the need for restraint when things get too hot and heavy, thus avoiding any kind of physical intimacy the author (or audience) may find uncomfortable.

Give me a break.

Despite my frustrations at times, I did enjoy the setup of the draki world versus the real world, and look forward to reading the next book (Vanish, out now). I want to know more about the draki, and find out whether Will and Jacinda can find a way to be together, or whether Cassian will end up winning us over. It’s a pleasant story with a unique twist, and is a nice read for fantasy fans.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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