Hidden

Warning:  Read Firelight and Vanish before proceeding! That is all.

Last night, I finally finished reading Hidden, the third (and final) book in Sophie Jordan’s Firelight trilogy. The book came out in September of 2012, but I didn’t make the time to read it until this week. (Honestly, I probably would have waited a little longer to read it, but the author, Sophie Jordan, will be attending the annual SCASL conference in March, and I wanted to finish the trilogy before meeting her.) This book was a very quick read, but, like the previous two books, it was full of action, romance, and adventure, and it packed an emotional wallop. Some of the events in the book were kind of surprising, but, all in all, it was a very satisfying end to a wonderful series.

Hidden continues the story of Jacinda, a draki (descendent of the dragons of yore) torn between her love for Will (a hunter) and her bond with Cassian (fellow draki and future leader of the pride). Jacinda, Will, Cassian, and Tamra (Jacinda’s sister) must now work together to save one of their own–Cassian’s sister, Miram. Miram has been captured by the dreaded enkros (mad scientist-types who imprison and experiment on the draki), and no one really knows what these people will do to her–especially if they discover that she can appear as human as anyone else.

In a move some would call crazy, Jacinda manifests as her draki self and allows Will and Cassian to turn her over to the enkros so that she can communicate with Miram and let her know help is coming. But Jacinda isn’t prepared for what she finds in the enkros stronghold. Miram is not the only draki being held, and the enkros treat their prisoners no better than lab rats. Now, Jacinda wants to save all of the draki tormented by the enkros. But it may not be as easy as she’d hoped. In a very short time, Jacinda starts to go a little nuts from being imprisoned and abused. When will Cassian, Tamra, and Will rescue Jacinda and the others…and will they arrive before something terrible happens?

Help does come eventually, but the enkros and their hunters are still determined to capture the draki that escaped (and any others they happen to encounter). Jacinda is determined to help her fellow draki, but a part of her longs for the freedom of a life with Will, a life away from the expectations that come with living with a pride of draki. But can she just turn off her bond with Cassian, her love for her sister, or the sense of duty she feels to make sure her fellow draki are safe from harm? And what will happen when it is revealed that the biggest threat comes not from the enkros or hunters but from a draki–a traitor in their midst?

In this final installment in the Firelight trilogy, lives will be lost, promises will be broken, secrets will be revealed, and relationships will be tested. Will Jacinda do what needs to be done to save her own kind? And can she find a way to be true to both her draki self and her love for Will? Find out if Jacinda can truly fly free when you read Hidden by Sophie Jordan.

While part of me is kind of sad that this series is over, I did like the way the author wrapped things up. Some will probably say that the ending was too neat, but, after three books of nothing but drama, setbacks, and danger, I think these characters needed a little break. Of course, not every character made it to the end of the book, but you’ll have to read for yourself to discover just which characters made it out alive and whether or not they were happy with how their stories concluded. I will say that I loved what happened with Tamra, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a follow-up book or novella detailing what happened to her after Hidden.

If you still haven’t gotten enough of the Firelight trilogy after finishing Hidden, there is an ebook novella, Breathless, that tells Az’s story. (You might remember that Az is Jacinda’s best friend in the draki pride.) I’m reading it right now, and, so far, it’s pretty good.

I look forward to meeting author Sophie Jordan in March and talking to her about her inspiration for this series and her plans for future books. If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Ms. Jordan, let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best to get some answers!

For more information about Sophie Jordan, the Firelight series, and other books, visit the author’s website, her Twitter feed, or her Facebook page.

If you’re still not convinced to give Hidden and the rest of the Firelight series a try, check out the Hidden book trailer below. That should do it!

Vanish

Spoilers (and dragons) ahead!  Before reading Sophie Jordan’s Vanish, you MUST read Firelight, the first book in this series.  (You should really read Firelight anyway.  It’s pretty awesome.)

Photobucket

If you’re still reading this post, I’m guessing you’ve read Firelight, and, if you’re anything like me, you thought it was great.  Now, I read Firelight in October of 2010, so you can imagine that I forgot quite a few details before reading the sequel.  But I still remembered the basics of this awesome story before I began Vanish.  (Revisiting my post on the first book helped a lot.)  This was extremely important because Vanish picked up immediately where Firelight left off.  Jacinda, a fire-breathing draki, is forced to choose between Will, the love of her life, and the pride she left behind…

After revealing herself to the dreaded hunters in an attempt to save her beloved’s life, Jacinda must make a heart-wrenching decision.  She must leave Will behind, possibly forever and with no memory of her, and return to the safety of the pride of draki who now view her as a traitor.  With her mother and her twin sister Tamra–who is demonstrating some surprising new abilities–Jacinda rejoins her own kind–descendants of dragons who must be careful to keep themselves hidden from the hunters who seek to destroy them.

Life with the pride is no longer as easy as it once was for Jacinda.  Although her status as a fire-breather still offers her some measure of protection, Jacinda is no longer favored among the draki.  (That honor now belongs to her sister.)  Jacinda must work harder to prove herself to the pride and show them that her loyalty resides with them.  It is by no means easy.

The hostility, surveillance, and restrictions surrounding her are taking their toll on Jacinda.  Even though she longs to experience the freedom she felt when she and Will were together, Jacinda also desires the approval and acceptance of her fellow draki.  Only Cassian, the heir of the pride’s leader, seems to care anything about her.  It’s clear that he still wants her as his mate, and Jacinda gradually begins to believe that he might offer her a way to get over losing Will and find her place within the pride.  But an intruder into the pride’s settlement may change that…

When Jacinda is offered the startling opportunity to reunite with Will, she takes chances that endanger her life and the lives of everyone she holds dear.  What will she have to sacrifice to be with the one she loves?  Will it be worth it?  And what punishments will be visited upon her and her family if it is discovered that she left the pride to be with a hunter?  Will Jacinda ever find the freedom she longs for?  Read Vanish, the second book in Sophie Jordan’s Firelight series, to discover what one girl will do to be truly free. 

As is often the case with books I really enjoy, this post doesn’t even come close to capturing how wonderful and anxiety-inducing Vanish is.  I flew through this book simply because I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading.  I kept hoping that the next page would bring something good into Jacinda’s life.  (Sometimes I was right.  Sometimes…not so much.)  Like Firelight, Vanish was an engrossing read that will be popular with readers who enjoy characters whose love is seemingly doomed.  The prospect of Jacinda and Will being together despite all of the odds stacked against them is what keeps us reading.

Speaking of keeping us reading, the third book in the Firelight trilogy, Hidden, will be released in September of this year.  I look forward to seeing how events play out for Jacinda, Will, and even Tamra and Cassian.  Should be a fun ride!

For more information about author Sophie Jordan and the Firelight series, visit http://www.sophiejordan.net/ya/news.html.

 

Firelight

As many people know, I’m a fan of fantasy novels.  I like vampires, witches, werewolves, mermaids, and many other seemingly mythical creatures.  One creature that has never appealed to me, however, is the dragon.  I don’t really know why.  Well, that may have all changed after finishing my latest read, Firelight by Sophie Jordan.  This book is freakin’ awesome!  If you haven’t guessed by now, dragons, or at least their descendants, play a major role in this book, and I am now convinced that dragons are awesome and not just a cruel part of the first challenge in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Jacinda is draki.  She and those in her pride are descended from the dragons of old.  Unlike the dragons that came before them, the draki can take on human form.  This is their greatest defense and how they escape the hunters that are always after them.  Even among the draki, though, Jacinda is different.  She is a fire-breather, the first born in her pride in generations.  She is constantly watched, and her fate does not seem to be her own.  She yearns for freedom, and this urge to fly free causes Jacinda to break one of the most basic rules of her kind.  She is nearly caught by a hunter, and she and her family must flee the pride in order to remain safe, both from the pride and those that would hunt and kill her.

Jacinda’s mom decides to settle in the desert.  The hope is that the arid climate and inability to transform will kill the draki inside Jacinda and force her to become wholly human.  Jacinda fights against this and wonders why her mother and her twin sister, Tamra (who never managed to manifest into a draki), cannot accept her as she is.  Why do they want to kill such an important part of her?

Jacinda is convinced that she will wither in this miserable new environment…until she encounters Will at school.  They’ve met before, but he doesn’t remember.  He was a hunter who let her go.  Despite knowing what Will is, Jacinda is as drawn to Will as he is to her.  She knows it’s dangerous to be around him, not just because he could discover her secret, but also because she feels her inner draki stirring whenever he is near.  He may be the only way to keep her draki self alive.  Her greatest threat could be her ultimate salvation.

Can Jacinda survive in this new life?  Will she try for her mom and sister?  What will become of her relationship with Will?  Is there any hope for Jacinda to truly be herself when she feels that those who should love her most wish part of her would die?  Will she stay?  Or will she return to the pride who wishes to control her?  Discover these answers and more when you read Firelight by Sophie Jordan.

I may have given too much away in the post above, but it’s hard to know when to stop talking about such an amazing book.  I especially got engrossed in the relationship between Jacinda and her sister.  I spent most of the book extremely mad and irritated at Tamra.  She was just so self-centered.  So was the mom.  I know they had their reasons, but it was still very frustrating.

Firelight is just the first book in this new series, so look for more information on upcoming sequels.  I know Firelight  has already been optioned for a movie.  If done right, that could be pretty awesome.  Fore more information on Firelight and author Sophie Jordan, visit http://www.sophiejordan.net/ya/news.html.