Firelight by Sophie Jordan

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Firelight

Sophie Jordan

Spoiler Free (Goodreads version)

Jacinda must walk the line between keeping her inner dragon alive, and being discovered by the hunter that ignites that fire.

Forced to act, dragons hid the truth and their shape behind human flesh. When young Jacinda’s rule-breaking flight nearly costs her life, she is saved by a hunter. He disappears, leaving her to face her displeased clan. When her mother sees the threat against her that Jacinda doesn’t, they flee.

Stuck in the desert, away from her mountains with her family waiting for her inner dragon to die, the only light in Jacinda’s life is Will, the hunter who saved her. Around him, her dragon comes to life. She courts danger as she struggles between keeping her dragon alive, and keeping her heritage a secret.

I had a really hard time trying to connect with the main character. I feel like I should of, but in the end, I didn’t. In some ways, I do understand her. It’s typical for teenagers to hate their parents, to be jealous of their sisters, but I feel like there was no reason for her to hate them so much. From the beginning, it’s obvious her mother is forcing them to leave to protect her. Jacinda seems incapable of understanding that.

When it came to her sister, I couldn’t stand Jacinda’s actions. Her sister’s dragon never surfaced, causing her to remain “human” and become an outcast among the other dragons. When Jacinda’s mother leaves, it’s understandable that Jacinda’s sister is happy about it. I can understand Jacinda being jealous that her sister fits so easily in among the humans, but her reactions to it are cruel. Jacinda seems incapable of understanding that this is how her sister felt among the dragons.

Jacinda’s constant whining about how “speshial” she is is enough to make me want to gouge my eyes out. The only fire-breather in her clan of dragons, she constantly whines about how it makes her too special, how she is only known to the others as “the fire-breather”. There are ways to go about this that would make me sympathize, but this book doesn’t achieve it. Another “flaw” of hers, is her flying speed. Because she is quick of wing, the son of the leader of the clan desires her, causing her to bemoan her fate.

The girl is incapable of making a decision and keeping to it. One moment she has decided she will always remember that Will is a hunter, and will stay away from him, and the next moment, she’s doing the exact opposite. Constantly, this happens. I can understand being torn. Who hasn’t been attracted to a jerk, or a cheater, or whatever, and been torn between your crush, and reality, where you know getting with them is bad news? But there’s no sense that this is a real emotional struggle. It feels like the author just knew she had to throw that in there. The fact that it’s in first person just makes it worse. I won’t, I will, I won’t, I will x10. There’s never a sense of ‘screw it, I want this.’ She just forgets.

Then, there is the fact that her dragon is dying in the desert heat. To keep it alive, she has to be around Will; elusive, apparently sexy, and dragon hunter, Will. This I can understand. After all, Jacinda is a dragon, or at least supposedly. I can understand courting danger to keep that part of her alive.

However, their “love” falls flat. After their meeting in the cave, Jacinda happens to move to the exact little town that he lives in, happens to find the one dragon hunter that believes that they are beautiful and is willing to save them, and becomes attracted to her only because he can, unknowingly, sense the dragon in her.

Oh Will. You pain me. Never once did I find myself hoping that they would end up together. Never once did I care. when I said earlier that he was “elusive” I mean it. He has never shown interest in any of the girls at school before, and this is a fact known to everyone.

Will is the “perfect” guy. He’s not only loyal, he literally has no sex drive for other people. He knows his family is evil. He’s so flat that nothing else springs to mind. If he actually hated dragons, and the story involved him overcoming his prejudice, and questioning and trying to find the truth, and trying to find the right path, I’d have given it another star. Also, he does this weird stalking thing, where he parks outside her house in the middle of the night and just stays there. I don’t think I need to point out the unfortunate implications.

Maybe if the romance was stronger, I wouldn’t mind that the book was a “Look I can give Romeo and Juliet a happy ending, aren’t I speshial!” kind of book. But because the romance put me to sleep, I did mind. There was a really interesting idea in there, about the dragons and their way of life, and how it feels to be a dragon, but instead, it felt like a book about how speshial this girl was and how much it sucked. If her dragonness had been played up, had been something besides a plot device to get her and the love interest together, I could have rated this book higher. Her dragon felt like a vegetarian vampire. It was there, but only to make her speshial and connect her and the love interest.

It’s got a gorgeous cover, and an interesting title, though it’s a shame it’s so similar to twilight. Or maybe not. The writing wasn’t particularly memorable, but I don’t remember hating it. Ultimately, it’s the cliche plot, the lack of anything to do with dragons in a book that promised so much, and Jacinda’s speshialness that makes it one star. If it hadn’t been for Will’s strange stalking behavior, I probably wouldn’t have given it two, or at least one and a half, since it’s not incredibly offensive. A typical, lack luster, teenage, supernatural, re-warmed Twlight. If that’s your cup of tea, you’ll love this, and more power to you.

There are sequels, and this one ends on a cliff hanger, but I have no interest in picking any of them up.

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