Lea's Reviews > Firelight

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
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's review
Jun 20, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: dragons, contemporary, had-potential, high-school, meh, not-what-i-thought-it-would-be, paranormal, high-school-drama-fest, whining-and-pining, redheads
Read from August 31 to September 03, 2011

Alrighty, so I just finished this book. And I'm wavering between a 2.5 and a 3 star review.

Overall, you know, it wasn't bad. I've read much worse (Fallen series, anyone? Anyone?) The premise of the story is different, which I definitely liked-- I mean, a book about a girl who descends from dragons? That's cool.


I don't know, try as I did, there were just things about this book that left me frustrated. It's not that I didn't like it-- more that I think it had the potential to be a lot better.

Jacinda is a "draki" -- a descendant of the ancient dragon prides that once roamed the earth. Her kind are now an endangered species, as modern-day hunters capture and kill draki for their valuable skins. One of the draki's main defenses is that they can shape-shift into human form in order to blend into the human world-- however, if anyone ever found out that draki can disguise themselves like this, it will probably mean the end of their race. The best thing they can do is stick together and stay as hidden and isolated as possible...

Sounds like the start to a kick-ass story, am I right??

Well don't get your hopes up just yet.

So the first few pages, I was super excited-- Jacinda and her friend Azure sneak off to transform into glittery, iridescent dragons and fly over lakes and mountains, and I was like, sweet! This is going to be some awesome, high-fantasy adventure, all Lord-of-the-Rings or Brisingr-like with dragons and magic and battles...

Yeeeeah, not so much. About 5 pages later, Jacinda and her sister Tamra are in a beat-up old car with their mom, escaping from the dragon "Pride" for some small town in Nevada.

Goodbye, magical world.

Hello, stereotypical high school and teen angst-ridden love story.

The biggest problem I had with Firelight was the choice of setting. Like I said, the story starts out in this forest with an enchanted village where the draki live, and it's all nature-y and magical, and I'm all ready for this crazy whirlwind dragon adventure. But then, the story takes this huge, random swing over to some modern-day school near Las Vegas-- and now all of a sudden we're in Been-There-Done-That Territory.


I don't get it. Why take such an amazingly unique plot and turn it into the same ol' same ol'?? What happened to the dragon/draki mythology??

I wouldn't have minded the juxtaposition of the two worlds-- draki and everyday-- but we barely got to see anything about the draki. I am seriously hoping that the next book takes place in the draki world, because honestly, I am not a fan of the overdone, cliche high school drama-fest.

Sorry, I'm just not.

(SIDE NOTE: I'm ALSO not a fan of lust and shallow physical attraction being passed off as some deep, meaningful, loving relationship-- but I'll leave that lovely little rant for another day.)

(SECOND SIDE NOTE: OK, can we please talk logic and geography here for a second? Fact: Jacinda's draki pride is located in the Cascade Mountains. This means she and her family lived somewhere between British Columbia and Northern California. THEN Jacinda's mom moves Jacinda to some high school near Las Vegas, Nevada. OK, now PLEASE TELL ME: How is that Will, the hunter who was after her in the Cascades, happens to go to the EXACT SAME SCHOOL in.... Nevada. What are the odds of this? I'm no mathematician, but there ARE more than say, two high schools, between the Cascades and Las Vegas, right? Seriously, I am not buying this ridiculous coincidence.)

(THIRD SIDE NOTE: Seriously? If I read ONE MORE BOOK with The Blond Bratty Cheerleader who becomes oh-so-jealous because The Unattainable Guy is head-over-heels for the Flawed Female Protagonist because they are "inexplicable drawn to each other"-- I. Am. Going. To. Snap.)


So let's talk about Jacinda's love interest, Will. Once again, he's not horrible. He's not Edward Cullen or Daniel Grigori, if you know what I mean. Yes, he's got the whole "I'm-bad-stay-away-from-me" vibe going on, all handsome and irresistibly mysterious, and of course Jacinda can not stay away. Since Will is from one of the hunter families who kill draki for their skins, it was a good conflict to have Jacinda--a draki-- fall in love with him. Overall, I liked Will. (Umm... except the part where he went into Crazy-Stalker-Mode and looked up Jacinda's school records-- to see where she lived-- and then SHOWED UP there-- in the middle of the night-- totally uninvited. Yeah. I know.)

Jacinda herself was an easy enough character to like-- I just didn't think it made any sense to portray her as a typical, average teenager. I mean, she comes from an ancient line of freaking DRAGONS, right?! I just think she should have had something more mystical and ethereal about her-- more depth and connection to her dragon heritage. She just seemed... boring. And she gets kind of whiny at times. I don't want to read about a whiny dragon-- I want to read about a fiercely awesome, fire-breathing, scare-the-pants-off-you, courageous, warrior-princess dragon!

Sigh... I know, I demand way too much from my books.

Basically, I just wish that Jacinda stood out from any other teenage character I've read about and had some backbone, because she's a dragon for crying out loud (wow, have I made that point clear yet?)-- not to mention, she's the only fire-breather dragon to exist in over 400 years! Because of this, I wanted to see her be a little more kick-ass and assertive, and a little less (ugh, here it comes) Mary Sue.

I mean, when I think "dragon," I think:

OH HELLZ YEAH. Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! Freaking Brooklyn the Bimbo and her sissy cheerleader cronies would get snuffed out like candles if Jacinda was anything like this bad-ass! XD

Also, totally did not buy the romance. Sorry, but no. So Jacinda can "sense" Will. Big whoopdee-doo, and I mean crap, we're only told this like five billion times, that she lights up like a Christmas tree and starts hyperventilating whenever Will is within a five mile radius. Wonderful. Is this supposed to make me believe they're in love? Because um... it doesn't. Oh-- and how about the fact that Will and his family HUNT AND KILL Jacinda's species and rip them to pieces for their skins?? Hmmmm... I don't know about you, but I would say that's a wee bit of a turn-off, no?

Finally, the writing style was not my favorite. It wasn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, and it was able to tell the story between Jacinda and Will fairly adequately.

I just don't like when writing. is. choppy.

And fragmented.

And breaks up sentences.

Into phrases.

Like, every.



Know what I mean? It's OK if it's to create a feeling or a mood or to explain the main character's thoughts, but it's just so dang difficult to follow throughout an entire book!

I will be reading Vanish when it comes out. Because really, I feel like this story has a unique premise and that a lot can still be done with it to make it stand out. I'm really hoping that we find out more about the draki- about Azure, Cassian, Nidia, Severan-- honestly, those are the characters I wanted to be reading about, screw the dumb cheerleaders! How do the draki live? What do they do with the gems? Are there dragon battles between the different prides? Can Will become a draki? Will Jacinda's mom rediscover her inner draki and kick some butt? What exactly are the Enkros? I am dying to know!

So all in all, this story has captured my interest, despite not quite meeting my expectations so far. I still have hopes that the next book in this series will answer my questions and deliver some of that fantasy and magic I'm looking for!

~Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland
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Reading Progress

08/31/2011 page 38
08/05/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by May (new)

 May You write the best reviews ever!
Also I don't need to tell you this but I may or may not stalk you.

message 2: by Lea (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lea Bhahaha that's totally OK with me-- and thanks! Honestly, this book wasn't a bad book, and I reviewed it pretty harshly for a 3-star review. I think it just turned into something that I wasn't expecting at all-- I don't MIND high-school drama stories, if I go into the book expecting that. Sometimes they're fun! But in this case, when I was really looking for a fantasy adventure to play out, it just threw me for a loop, you know?

Anyways, glad you liked the review :) I'm hoping to be kinder to Vanish-- we shall see, right?!

message 3: by May (new)

 May Totally!
But your harshness was fun was read! :P That's an ART right there! I am usually hesitant to write bad reviews unless the book was terrible! Not that it's a huge problem because a lot of the times I just stop reading after the first chapter if the book sucks so no chance to review!

TheReadingOwl I haven't read Firelight yet, but I get your point. Why does every magical/special girl have to go to high school and fall in love with the popular guy? I think you would love Poison Study (Study series) by Maria V. Snyder. The world she has created is amazing!

Astraea Nyx Okay, this is an awesome review, and sums up everything I felt about the book as well! I enjoyed reading it--but only barely. I did pick up the sequel, but I gave up only a few chapters in because I was boooored, and I had other books I wanted to read more.

You may like it better, though, because it seems (at least at the beginning) to be taking place within the Pride, so you get your magical world back. I ended up thinking it didn't feel as magical as I'd hoped, though, which is why I ended up putting Vanish down.

message 6: by Lea (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lea Astrea~ Ugh,I know, I SOOO wanted this to be more high fantasy, and instead it was just a teen-angst-ridden-love-triangle-suck-fest! :( And I did read Vanish-- even though it takes place in the Pride, it was still just more of the same lameness unfortunately....

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

ohh no! not another high school book setting! so unimaginative, the reviews for these books are so mixed i dont know whether to read it or not, im put off book set in schools, the fallen series put me off!

Raven Lucero I really like your review. I gave the book the same rating you did. I originally was going to rate it four stars, then I went down to two, but I changed it to three because the author didn't include that stupid vampire garbage. I liked the book overall, but it just needs some changes to make it really amazing.

message 9: by Anansigirl (new)

Anansigirl Your review had me LOL! :) I was planning to read this series because, hello, DRAGONS! but now, ewww. not. another. tormented high school heroine.

Am gonna re-read G.A. Aiken instead.

Cheers and keep the funny reviews up!

Sasha Ivashkov-Herondale-Jackson (aka Clarisse) i agree with u about the fallen series. ugh. just ugh. i cudnt get past the 1st book :(

The Reading Otter I got this book in an e-library book form and I am so very glad I didn't spend any money on it. I wasn't able to get into it at all. And I am with you on how bad the Fallen series is. I made it less than halfway through the third book and have no plans on finishing the series (I actually don't know how I made it as far as I did). And as far as Twilight goes, that story was just boring. In my opinion Fallen is much worse. I also don't believe that you expect too much from books. You are spending your money and time on them, they should be not only written well, but have interesting characters with substance.

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