Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Source: ARC received from Book It Forward ARC Tours
Rating: 4 Bookcases
Roar! Dragons have arrived on the paranormal scene and if Firelight is any indication, they will definitely be sticking around.
Jacinda is a draki. a descendant of dragons who is able to shift into human form. Even among her pride, she's special because she is the first fire breather born in over 400 years. As a result, she's become important and the pride hopes she'll marry the alpha to be. When Jacinda breaks the rules, her mom and twin sister help her flee the pride and the awful punishment they had planned. Jacinda doesn't want to leave the pride and resists trying to be happy. While her sister, Tamra who never manifested, blooms Jacinda's draki begins to wither...until she meets Will. Will grew up in a family of draki hunters and is a hunter himself. Jacinda knows she should stay away, but finds that she can't and soon she's risking everything to be with him.
I'm of two minds when it comes to Firelight. On the one hand, I got swept into the story. Ms. Jordan knows how to set a scene. Her descriptions were wonderful, especially when Jacinda was in draki form. And the romance was epic. Again, Ms. Jordan has a way with romantic, steamy scenes. Those scenes with Will and Jacinda were some of the best scenes in the book. Also, most of the bad guys were really bad; there was this subtle menace to them, but at the same time Jacinda knew exactly what they were capable of. The ending was the best kind of cliffhanger. It answered just enough of my questions that I was satisfied, but it also had me asking a bunch more and wanting the sequel.
On the other hand, while the romantic scenes were wonderful to read, the romance itself felt rushed. Jacinda and Will see each other across the hall at school and from that moment, Will is all Jacinda can think about. There are all these looks and Will tells Jacinda he's not a good guy and that she should stay away. Tamra tells Jacinda to stay away from Will. And then all of a sudden they're in love with each other. I wanted more of the getting to know each other part. Here's the thing about Will; he's gorgeous, rich, only hangs out with his cousins, never dates anyone. Does that sound like any other male characters you might have read? Yeah, Will reminds me of a few other gorgeous, hot, pretends to be a bad boy when he's really got a heart of gold romantic leads. While this isn't a horrible thing, for me anyway, he blends in with the rest of them. I'm hoping that in the next book, we'll learn something about Will that really makes him stand out.
There is more to Firelight than just the romance. There is this whole family tension, let's get away from the pride because it would be better for us plot line that I really liked. It's obvious that the pride want to rule Jacinda's life and really take away her choices. The pride scared me with their aggressive nature. Dragons are not meek creatures, so obviously I didn't expect the draki to be pushovers. But their willingness to punish Jacinda so severely for her rule breaking was shocking, especially since she was so important to them. So, I completely agree with Jacinda's mom that they should leave the pride, I just didn't agree with her methods. I felt that she went in the opposite extreme living in a place that was unhealthy for Jacinda. In a way I completely understood Jacinda's wanting to go back to the pride, because that was familiar. But, I wanted her to see that her mom and sister were trying to help her. The relationship Jacinda has with Tamra is strained to say the least. They are opposites in lots of ways, the most important being that Tamra never manifested and is wholly human. For most of the story she comes off as very bitter, but it's very one note and she seems one dimensional. I want more of their relationship in the sequel.
Some other things I'm looking forward to in the sequel are getting answers to the questions left by the last chapter, more information about the draki especially their mythology and structure, and seeing how the two worlds (draki pride and human) might intersect.
By now you're probably wondering why I gave Firelight 4 bookcases. The thing is that I was completely immersed in the story while I was reading. I read it striaght through without even stopping to take notes. It was easy to picture everything and see the action almost as though it was a movie I was watching. I know that I'll read Firelight again, especially since it's the first book in a planned trilogy. I've read all sorts of reviews for Firelight, both positive and negative, and my final vercict is that it's definitely one of those books (more than any other book I've read this year) that you have to read for yourself and decide how you feel about it.