Firelight by Sophie Jordan (review copy) - Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. She longs for the freedom to make her own choices, but when she breaks the 'no flying' rule, 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, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defence is her secret ability to shift into human form. And her rare ability to breathe fire makes her desirable, and important, to the survival of the draki. Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. There she meets 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 slipping away, and 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. From Amazon UK
Over the last few months, I have had a growing interesting in weres/shifters - I still love my vamps, but the way authors used or created mythology for different shifters was becoming increasingly more fascinating to me. Seeing Firelight was about Draki, people who can shift - or manifest in this case - into creatures descended from dragons, something so different, as soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to read it. I'm so glad I did!
The mythology of the Draki is just so interesting! The different types, the different abilities they have, how they live, it's just fascinating. Unfortunately, due to Jacinda almost getting herself killed, she leaves her Pride with her mother and sister pretty early on in the story, meaning that we don't get to see a lot of life in the Pride. We only get what we're told by Jacinda, but she's preoccupied with some boy most of the time, so we don't get much of it. We know Jacinda is a firebreather, an almost extinct ability, and because of this her Pride wants to control her. Otherwise, as a group of creatures, we don't find out a whole lot about them.
The romance is pretty awesome though. It does get pretty steamy in some places. Firelight is definitely a paranormal romance. Though some other YA novels may be classed as pararnormal romance, if there are issues besides the romance that have a large impact on the story, I consider them to be urban fantasy. With Firelight, the other issues that are brought up don't really have much page time, the romance being the main focus. I think in this way, Firelight is specifically the first book in a series; it builds the romance so that's solid enough for the audience, and in the next book we'll see more of the issues.
There were a few issues that I had with this book, though. Jacinda dithered too much about Will. You can understand her being cautious, but she chopped and changed her mind so often. "I should stay away from Will because he hunts Draki. I should be near Will because he wakes my Draki. But I have to stay away from him because I can't control my manifest when I'm near him. But I can gain information from him about other Draki..." On and on so that it semms not a huge amount actually happens, as it's mostly her internal conflict, with a few almost somethings. Also, I couldn't count the number of times Will looked at Jacinda intensely and hungrily. It seems he has very few facial expressions. It got a little annoying.
Saying all that, I did enjoy the story. It's not the best I've ever read, no, but I still thought it was pretty good. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, and finding out what happens next, because, god, what a cliff hanger! Well worth a read, I really recommend it.
Thank you to OUP for sending me a review copy.
Published: 3rd March 2011
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