Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Firelight, Book 2

Synopsis: To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

Rewiew: In the previous book, Jacinda revealed the secret of the draki to save the boy she loves. Now all her kind is in danger. As they can no longer stay in Chaparral, Jacinda as well as her mother and her twin sister Tamra try to escape with the Cassian’s help. In this second book the story starts where book 1, Firelight left us. So we find Jacinda, Tamra, their mother and Cassian in the car on their way to the pride. But during the journey they are attacked by the hunters and it is at this moment that the improbable happens: Tamra shifts into a draki for the first time…

I didn’t enjoy Firelight mainly due to the heroine, Jacinda whose attitude annoyed me a lot. Unfortunately, in this sequel she does not change much. She remains an immature teenager, selfish and completely obsessed with Will, so much that it becomes ridiculous. Moreover she constantly changes her mind. At first she wants to forget Will and continue to live with her kind. Then she does not want to… So no big change compared to the first book.

We see Jacinda’s return within the pride and the least we can say is that the welcoming is far from being friendly: she has betrayed her kind and they know it. Nobody trusts her and even her best friend Az ignores her. Rejected by all she turns herlself to Cassian the only one who seems to worry about her. But this situation does not please at all to Tamra as she hoped to finally attract Cassian’s attention now that she is a draki. However I found this book more exciting than the first one. Probably because we finally learn more about the habits and customs of the draki, at least concerning the pride that Jacinda comes from. We discover a village completely isolated, away from prying human eyes and where life is far from being idyllic. Severin, Cassian’s father, leads the pride with a heavy hand. People must follow strict rules and if they don’t conform to them, they are severely punished. Severin does not hesitate to use some cruel and barbaric practices to spread terror and we understand why Jacinda’s mother fled away with her two daughters. The draki who live there are not free. Is it the same in the other prides? It is a good question.

Concerning the male characters, we have a Cassian more present and it is clear that he is madly in love with Jacinda. Honestly I don’t know what he can like about her especially when we see how she treats him throughout the story. Of all, he is my favorite character because there is a certain aura of mystery that floats around him. He fascinates, intrigues, and then he is really handsome. I was sad to see him so unhappy. We do not learn much about him in this book except that he really seems to care about Jacinda and he would do anything to protect her (poor man). I hope that in the next book we will see him more and that he will play an important role because he is a very interesting character and so different from other pride members including his father. Regarding Will, although I do not appreciate him as much as Cassian, I must admit that I preferred him in this book. Perhaps it is because he is less present here… well I don’t know but I appreciated each of his appearances. That said there are a lot of questions about him and about the extent of his powers that remain unanswered. I wonder what will happen in book 3 concerning him. Corbin is the archetype of the evil character, the equivalent of Xander but in a draki version.

There are also other characters, mainly pride members. Regarding Tamra, we can say that she does not appear much. Regarding the Enkros, the other draki’s enemies, we still don’t know anything about them. So we will have to wait for the last book in the series to learn more. The end is rather successful and promises a sequel rich in action and twists. So I will read the third and final book in this trilogy with pleasure to finally know the outcome of this story.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight, Book 1

Synopsis : 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—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 away—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.

Review :
I couldn’t wait to read this novel but unfortunately, once finished, I was mixed about it.

Jacinda and Azure are both drakis. Their clan has forbidden them to fly during the day. But one day the two girls decide to break the rules and so leave the protected area in order to shift into the draki form. Soon, they are stalked by their enemies : the hunters. Azure manages to escape but Jacinda is injured. Surrounded on all sides, with no way out, she ends up taking refuge in a cave but she is soon found by Will, a young hunter. Curiously, he doesn’t deliver her to the other hunters and thus saves her life…

The beginning was promising : the author takes us into the action from the very first pages. But later, the story becomes slower, we return to more traditional things, found in all Young Adult novels, which is a pity because there are enough to make something more original. We wanted to learn more about the world of the Drakis which seems very interesting: How did they emerge? How many categories of Drakis are there in total? What are their talents? How exactly the drakis evolve in dailylife? Etc. In addition we don’t learn much more about the enkros who are with the hunters the worst enemies of the Drakis. I think all these issues should have been more exploited. But instead of that the author choses to focus on the love story of our two main characters! So we end up with a girl who arrives in a new school where she tries to integrate herself and there she meets a handsome and mysterious boy who will occupy all her thoughts! In short, nothing extraordinary and I confess I expected more.

Regarding the characters I have to say I was very disappointed by Jacinda. I didn’t find her touching at all. In a sense, she acts just like her twin sister. Indeed, Tamra acts like a kid, she’s a selfish person but at least she has an excuse, she has always been unhappy among the others drakis. Jacinda on the contrary was always the favorite because of her talent as a fire-breathing. If things are not going so well for her in the clan it’s mostly her fault because she disobeyes the rules all the time!

I also think that Jacinda is very ungrateful towards her mother. Her mother has done everything possible to protect her and avoid the sad fate that awaited her and instead of thanks, she blames her. The situation is difficult, they don’t have money to live, her mother is forced to work hard to support themselves. And instead of taking everything on it and try to fix things, Jacinda only makes them worse, all under the pretext that she is primarily a Draki and she wants to stay a draki! So rather than staying hidden and keeping a low profile, Jacinda prefers to be very imprudent. She just wants one thing : to shift into the draki form to keep her draki’s side alive even if it means to put her family in danger! She is a selfish and immature teenager. Moreover, she doesn’t know what she wants: on one hand she is in love with Will, but on the other hand she wants to run away from him and her family to return to the protection of her pride!

Moreover, her relationship with Will isn’t convincing. They don’t have the behavior of young lovers, I have the impression that they yield to an impulsion more than anything else! The other characters however seem to me a little bit more interesting. I like Catherine, she’s very friendly. Xander is the archetype of evil and cruel character. But the character which touched me the most is undoubtedly Cassian! He tries to get closer to Jacinda but she despises and rejects him systematically. I hope he will be more present in the next books because yes, I intend to read the sequel although I didn’t like the first one! I know I’m crazy but it must be said that this book isn’t all bad: the style is fluid and it’s still very readable, like any Young Adult book. And although I didn’t appreciate some things I read this novel in less than two days and the end… the end is horrible and terribly frustrating! Sophie Jordan managed to revive my interest in this series and finally, despite my very mixed review, I still really want to know what will happen next.