I really wanted to love this book. As a matter of fact, for the first 5 chapters or so, I did. It’s got dragons, an interesting spin on dragon folklore, and romance all in the same book. Awesome, right? Wrong. So very WRONG.
Jacinda is a young draki* girl who is the only fire-breather in her pride. Fire-breathers have been extinct for a long time, so the current alpha decides that she will marry/breed with his son (the next alpha). Jacinda is out flying one sunny day (whoops number one) and is nearly caught by a group of hunters (whoops number two). She escapes because a young hunter boy lets her go (for reasons unknown, but mostly because she’s pretty). When she makes it back to the pride, they want to punish her for nearly exposing them and her mom, not wanting her daughter to suffer, escapes with Jacinda and her twin sister. They move to a desert town, where the young hunter just happens to live. There is an awful lot of angst, true love, super-mysterious secrets, mortal danger, blah, blah, blah, OHMYGOD, please shut up.
It’s hard these days to find a paranormal-ish YA fantasy that doesn’t have people drawing parallels to a certain series that shall remain nameless (a clue: it sparkles). Sometimes, like now, the comparison is deserved. The story is told from 1st person (check). It’s about a young girl is made to move to a new town where she doesn’t really fit in (check). The young girl meets a young boy who is very, very bad for her (check). There isn’t a lot of interaction between them but they LOOOOVE each other (check). There is some stalking and obsessive behavior from the young boy (check). There is a romantic sort-of rival who borders on abusive (check). There are a lot more checks, but I don’t feel like enumerating them. Suffice it to say that once Jacinda got to the new town, I didn’t go a single chapter without thinking OOOH SPARKLES. Plus, the writing could have used a much more judicious editor. I cannot count how many times I read the words stark(ly) or dark(ly) or bleak(ly).
But now, despite all these numerous faults, I have to read the next book. Because holy forking shit, the ending? CLIFFHANGER, an entire fucking mountain range worth of zero resolution. And for no good reason because there were a million ways to tie up the storyline and still leave room for expansion in the next book. It was utterly UN-fucking-NECESSARY to leave the story unfinished.
Don’t read this. It will just make you angry because you’ve been manipulated into reading the series.
Firelight, A Firelight Story, Book 1 by Sophie Jordan
*Some background: The draki are not actually dragons but are descended/evolved from dragons. They have a bunch of rules, chief of which are 1) only fly at night when people can’t see you and 2) never betray the fact that the draki can take human form. The draki use magic to hide themselves from people, but are hunted by a select group for the healing properties of their blood, their ability to find jewels, water, arable land, etc. There, now you know way more than you need to.