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A Reader of Fictions: The Beast and Dragon, Adored - Spoon

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Beast and Dragon, Adored - Spoon

Firelight, Book 1

Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Pages: 325
ARC Acquired From: HarperCollins booth at ALA 2010

Brief Summary:
Dragons used to exist, but no longer. What does exist are human/dragon hybrids; humans possessed of drakis. They can change into a dragon form, in times of danger or just for the fun of flying, but can blend in with humanity, for their own protection, as people the rest of the time. Jacinda is one of these. She lives in a tribe, one of many around the world, and is happy there, despite the way everyone in the tribe wants her for her uniqueness; she is the first fire-breathing dragon in centuries. Her twin sister never manifested a draki, which lost her the attention of the tribe leader's son, Cassian, who started liking Jacinda the moment she proved so powerful. To escape from everyone for a while, Jacinda goes on a forbidden morning flight and nearly gets killed by hunters; if the sexy, wet, young hunter had not saved her life by pretending she escaped, there would have been no tomorrow for her. That evening, Jacinda's mother announces that they are leaving the tribe; Jacinda does not want to, but her mother and sister outvote her. Even worse, they move to a hot town where mom and sis know it will not be long until her draki dies from the heat. But then again, moving may not be so bad, since she is now (shock of shocks) going to school with Mr. Sexy Hunter Guy and he gets her draki going.

Sophie Jordan wrote romance novels before foraying into teen paranormal romance for Firelight. There are some definite hints of this in the writing, not too overt and not worse than what happens in a lot of the teen books that are more about romance than anything else. It would not have bothered me at all, had I not had high hopes for the plot of this one. The premise is really great; how cool is the idea of people being able to turn into dragons!

There was one issue I had with the whole turning into a dragon thing though. Jacinda likes Will (Mr. Studly) partially for his ability to awaken her draki. (spoiler of obvious bit of plot point coming) Once Will has found out what she is, she no longer worries about shifting partway while they are making out, even though her face changes when that happens. Umm, what? Besides, do dragons even have lips? Or hands? The hands thing made me wonder too. At the end of the book, she brushes Will's face with her hand while dragon-ed out. That just does not fit my understanding of what a dragon would look like.

The relationship between Will and Jacinda is every bit the typical teen romance of melodrama-filled waffling between "I will love him forevers!" and "I can't be with him, because it's too dangerous!" Needless to say, that gets old, nor does it signal love to my brain. Unfortunately, the focus of the book (romance author) was on Will and Jacinda's relationship, not the cool fantasy story framing it. They make out a lot. And though her breasts don't heave, she does have intense physical reactions every time (dragon awakening).

I give this a resounding meh! It could have been good without the cookie cutter characters and the CW style romance, but as it is it's barely merits attention. Nevertheless, Twilight fans will likely adore it and the inevitable sequels.

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