Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Firelight Trilogy by Sophie Jordan

      I will be posting about the entire trilogy and it's crash and burn. Here is it's tragic story. Spoilers ahead.
 4 stars

What seemed like such a promising beginning, ended in pain and misery for this book nerd and my OCD book cover tendencies. 

Firelight seemed promising and while it was unique, it's love story was not. A girl, Jacinda, who lives secluded in a forest among a pride of half dragon/half human folk with her mother and twin sister. They are usually in human form, but they can summon their "draki" at will. This pride tends to be old fashioned, with strict rules not just meant for order but for protection since draki are hunted and sold to enkros. We are not told what enkros look like, or what they are.

Jacinda is considered precious to her tribe since she is a rare "firebreather" type.
 I found myself confused at breathing was the typical dragon, and now it's not? Meh. Putting that aside, Jacinda and her friend decide to break the rules and fly during daylight, and they both nearly get caught by hunters, except she is spared by one who finds her beautiful. He even touches her and they feel a shock. I did say it was a typical romance. When she returns she is, no better words to be found, in deep shit. Her wings will be cut, or she can marry the "prince" of their pride, Cassian, to ensure her behavior and safety. 

Feeling her twin daughters and herself are no longer safe, Jacinda's mother whisks her family off into the night into normal society. They take up residence in the desert, hoping that the lack of proper moisture and environment will kill Jacinda's draki off, leaving her human. In other words, Jacinda is miserable, but her twin sister, Tamra, is thrilled to be among humans since her draki never awoke, thus making her a pariah among the pride. 
It is here that Jacinda meets her fair hunter, Will. Their romance begins to bud, and she finds that her draki thrives with him around and that he loves her for both her draki and human sides. 

Shit hits the fan when Cassian hunts Jacinda down, in order to return her to the pride, and ensure her place by his side. He promises to temporarily butt out, but returns to see Jacinda and Will smooching, among Will's hunter family at an outing. Draki are revealed, hunters are outraged, Cassian and Will throw punches, and Will loses a lot of blood. The book ends with Will and Jacinda vowing to find each other, and Cassian packing Tamra and Jacinda into a car and fleeing. 

Lovely matching cover, isn't it?
3 stars

 The second book picks up where the first book leaves off, except that the hunters catch up to Cassian and crew and everyone faces impending capture. 
             presto chango!
Tamra's draki suddenly awakens,
saving everyone's asses by using her newly found fog powers that can erase people's memories. The crew heads back to the pride to face both scorn and joy; scorn that Jacinda and her mother left the pride, and joy that Tamra has awakened into a useful and rare dragon. Tamra is again, thrilled since she has been forever in love with Cassian who wasn't interested. Jacinda however is the definition of miserable, especially since she thinks Will has forgotten her due to Tamra's abilities, and their mother has turned to drinking which is quite depressing. She becomes so lonely, that she even shares a heated moment with Cassian that involves kissing, and half changing, it's all very dramatic and ends in denial on Jacinda's end. Apparently, she's scared of hurting Tamra, but yet she showed no hesitation while playing tonsil hockey with Cassian.

To summarize even more drama the mother gets banished from the pride, 
Will shows up at the pride like "oh hai," and Jacinda is annoyingly indecisive on whether she is going to stay or go. Eventually, Jacinda screws up again, and the pride decides that Jacinda and Cassian shall bond in order to save Jacinda from getting her wings clipped. Tamra is very bitter about this bonding, btw. Jacinda finally decides to run away for real, except Miram, Cassian's sister follows her and they both get captured by hunters. Will saves Jacinda, but is unable to rescue Miram. By the end of the book, Cassian, Will, Tamra, and Jacinda team up in order to save Miram from the enkros.

okay....BOOK 3.

C-C-Combo breaker! WTF HAPPENED.
2 stars.

Tension.  Tension with Cassian and Tamra, tension with Cassian and Will, but tons of bonding connected feelings with Cassian and Jacinda due to their dragon ritual in the previous book. Cue tension between Jacinda and Will. Why so much tension.

  For starters, so many strings were left hanging, the whole book was rushed and felt somewhat pointless.  

Jacinda's time with the enkros was super short. It literally lasted 49 pages before Cassian and Will come to break everyone out, so basically one day. Jacinda was there one day. I was also truly disappointed by was the fact that enkros were so...boring. I was expecting some mysterious clan of freak lizard creatures from the sound of their name, but no, just creepy ass scientists in lab coats. 

Readers meet a few new draki, though only one sticks around. Which brings me to the insta-love. Tamra and Deghan's love bond was way too quick. Ultra-super-duper quick. Deghan meets Tamra, Tamra seems unnerved but then is interested! Deghan and Tamra are in love. And this literally happened between a moment of changing clothes. He shows up, she freaks out and changes into a draki, once everything is calmed down and explained and he stares at her like she is a fresh steak, she walks off awkwardly, changes, comes back, and then is a willing participant in this pathetic excuse for romance.

We find out that the reason the twin's father was captured was due to betrayal among the clan, which got me hyped again, but then I found out who the villain was. 
Cassian and Miram's Aunt Jabel, who we rarely see throughout the entire trilogy. Who also, later proceeds to stir up more "da fuq" moments by killing Miram. WHY DID SHE KILL MIRAM? Seriously. What was the purpose of that blood shed? She just came, saw, stabbed, threw in river, and walked away without giving a single fuck.

I also felt like a lot was left hanging between Cassian and Jacinda. So many questions left unanswered.  
Seriously disappointed.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievater

5 stars
This book! How can I convince everyone to read it? It feels like it's been awhile for me to truly say that I loved this book.

Supernatural? Excellent. Forbidden romance that is not overly dramatic? Yes! Mystery, death, psychics, and a hunt for something more? Lots of it. Needless to say I was hooked badly and was super excited. The 408 pages felt like nothing.

Stiefvater is an excellent writer and descriptor. Her characters were unique, and interesting and her story was fantastic. Blue is an eccentric character that is unique and loving. Her odd-ness comes naturally considering she comes from a psychic mother and lives in a house overloaded with them. The Raven Boys, Ronan, Gansey, Adam, and Noah are adorably complicated each in their own way, but apart they just aren't the same as they are together. It's hard to imagine each boy separately, since they are so complete together. Her words help me see each character as I should, for example:

  Ronan and and Declan Lynch were undeniably brothers, with the same dark brown hair and sharp nose, but Declan was solid where Ronan was brittle. Declan's wide jaw and smile said, Vote for me while Ronan's buzzed head and thin mouth warned that this species was poisonous.


Noah, unlike his pristine room, always seemed a little grubby. There was something out of place about his clothing, his mostly combed-back fair hair. His unkempt uniform always made Adam feel a little less like he stuck out.


 With that I felt like I was there, seeing the two brothers, studying them and understanding the danger of each one. But not only was she good at describing the characters, but her story was secretive and unique. I was truly thrown in for a lot of loops even though some part of me saw them coming. Everything in this book was dangerous, thrilling, and beautiful. To help intrigue you more, the book revolves around an ancient tale of Kings and Welsh heroes disappearing in thin air and a promise that if woken any request would be granted. Sounds like a genie, but darker with ghosts, and mystery.

I am so excited for the sequel! Dream Thieves review is here!

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

5 stars
Bravo, Rachel Hartman, Bravo.

This book simply swept me off my feet.
What was not to like? The story falls into a more medieval state of time with knights, princesses, earls, and so on. The story opens on our main character, the lovely Seraphina. I was immediately pulled in upon the first paragraph.
I remember being born. In fact, I remember a time before that. There was no light, but there was music: joints creaking, blood rushing, the heart’s staccato lullaby, a rich symphony of indigestion. Sound enfolded me, and I was safe.

Is that not poetically beautiful? I can usually tell when I’m holding a winner in my hands, and this book not only outshines all dragon books I’ve read, but other fantasy books as well. I easily fell into the stride and woes of Seraphina, as well as the people around her. The scenery was described so naturally that I felt like I was there. All the characters are easily loveable, and all the villains hate-able as I assume it was intended.
Seraphina has a deadly secret that she needs to keep, which gives her an edge of mystery and cunning. She is cautious but brave, as well as cleverly observant. Orma, another main character, is lovable in his own way. Despite that he is somewhat cold, and his affections do not come easily, you can’t help but want to love him and cuddle him.
Another bonus to this book is I was not bored with the plot even once, and Prince Kiggs is just…so adorable~<3 The more you know about him the more you grow to love his character as well. I was really fascinated with Seraphina’s mental garden.

The love was bittersweet throughout the entire book and a little sweeter at the end though still a little bitter.
Seraphina’s story is always climatic, and always in suspense. I highly recommend this book to all fantasy and dragon tale lovers. At least give it a shot, and see if you’ve fallen in love with this book as I have. I cannot wait for the release of the sequel! All in Ard, readers!