I feel a rant coming on, but I’ll do my best to tone that down. For one thing, that’s the entire book, in a nutshell, the blurb above. There’s a lot wrong, in this reader’s opinion, with this book, but the blurb is what happens and if you’re looking for depth of any kind – character, romance, plot – it’s not in this book. I’ve heard rumblings from various people in the industry or who follow these kinds of things, that this kind of young adult book isn’t being bought as much and published. Maybe this is true, maybe it isn’t and I don’t have any proof. While I’m not a fan of saying don’t ever write another book like this again, I’ll certainly be happy never to read another one.
I started out genuinely liking Firelight. I find the premise to be, while not immediately a unique one, at least attention grabbing. Dragons haven’t quite taken off like angels in YA, not yet. But they’re coming, and the general carpet laid for this book’s use of a new mythology, that of these draki species being descended from real dragons, wasn’t a bad idea at all. I quite liked it. I liked that we get a glimpse of what life’s been like for Jacinda, the heroine, in her small hidden draki community. Her mother eventually comes to call them a cult, and she’s right. Terrified of their bloodline dying out, because draki being able to “manifest”, or change into their true draki forms, is becoming less and less of an occurrence. Something is happening to this species, and it’s not good. That’s why a teenager like Jacinda is so important. When her manifestation happened, what I came to view as, essentially, the puberty of a draki that brings on their first change into draki form, she turned out to be the first fire-breather in many, many generations. This is, of course, an instant reason for so many to want the talented young draki female. From the literal prince of the community, Cassian, to the hunters that exploit the draki for profit, Jacinda is the most wanted draki in existence.
I think this story could have gone in such a compelling and unique direction. I was set, in those first fifty or so pages, to really dig into a unique mythology about the draki, the motivations of their hunter and enkros (different from hunters, we only hear about them this installment) enemies and hopefully via a heroine that shapes it all.Instead, the book becomes disappointingly mundane.
The rest of my review is up at my blog. It's long, folks. A longity long ranty mcrant. Hence why I'm just posting a rant snippet here...