3rd March 2011, Oxford University Press
288 pages, Paperback
Young Adult, fantasy
Dragons, elements, hunters and the hunted, fugitives, school life, teen romance (some moderately strong sections), family secrets, betrayal, lies, solitude, sibling ties, fear at every turn
Summary from Oxford University Press
A hidden truth, mortal enemies, and a forbidden love . . .
As a draki forced to live in the mortal world, the one thing that makes Jacinda's life bearable is Will. She knows she should avoid him at all costs, for Will and his family hunt her kind. But the passion he stirs within her can't be ignored, even if it means risking her life .
This book is zingy. (Bear in mind I've been up over 11 hours already at 2.30pm, so I can't vouch for the coherency of this review). I loved the concept of who Jacinda was, that she wasn't human and could transform into a dragon. The idea that every dragon had their own talent is highly appealing. I love books like that. Jacinda's voice is quite funny. She tells things like they are. She isn't a miss perfect, although her sister would prefer it if she were. Jacinda doesn't mess up her sister's life on purpose. She just wants to be true to herself, true to her instincts. I thought it was harsh when her mother took her and her sister away. That was nothing compared to when she finds out what the Tribe plan to do to her. It's worse than death. Death would have been peaceful (in a bizarre way). Unfortunately the way the book ends Jacinda is still at risk from the horrendous punishment. I'm glad it's a series, although having to wait until September isn't the funnest thing in the world - I want to know what happens next right now!
I think I'm so hooked by Jacinda's tale because the action, tension & drama are non-stop. I'm constantly going 'oh'. It's really tough how her mother tries repress Jacinda, because it's who she really is. She likes being who she is. Which is why when the opportunity comes for her to let herself out, she eventually goes with it. She gets fed up of holding everything it. It causes a lot of trouble, but by doing so she also saves someone. As for her enemies *shudders*. They are distinctly evil. I was petrified when she ends up in the middle of their lair. Okay, so she was perhaps a bit stupid to willingly go there, but the terror is intense. There's always danger nearby, especially at school. I did laugh when Jacinda found a friend in the most unlikely person ever. I hope to see that person again in the other books too. It's pretty cool that Jacinda has dragon features - I hope there are more surprises about her skills in store in book two, which I've been reassured will probably be out in September this year. Yay!
Firelight is the perfect modern fantasy tale that'll get you sitting at the edge of the chair going 'what? no? & huh?' If you like shape changing tales, step into Jacinda's life and see how dangerous being non-human can be.
Alpha by Rachel Vincent (you may want to start with the first in the series, Stray. Alpha is the last one!) All about life in a pack (not a Young Adult book)
The Iron King by Julia Kagawa, not about shapeshifters but it matches Firelight for action and intrigue.