Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vanish: A Firelight Novel by Sophie Jordan Review


3 Stars.
May contain very minor SPOILERS... but nothing you couldn't predict reading the first book. 
Firelight ended with Jacinda, her sister Tamara, and her mother being hauled back to their pride after the disastrous night when Jacinda revealed herself as a draki to a group of human hunters. Now back at home, Jacinda's being shunned, her sister's star is on the rise due to her newly manifested abilities as a Shader, and Jacinda's mom has slipped into a deep depression over their situation. 
Vanish is the sequel to Firelight, and both books are really more about the relationships of the central character, Jacinda, than anything else. The fantasy elements are almost a background for Jacinda's angst and longing for Will, the human hunter she left behind in the first book. But we did get to see and learn more about the draki culture and history in this book, and I found it interesting. 
I think it's good to know what you're getting into with any book. Vanish is a romance, and there is a lot of emo angst going on in this book. If you can't stand a character who is torn between two guys, you won't like this book. I will hand it to Jordan: she made Cassian a believable and sympathetic love interest, and considering how unlikeable he was in Firelight that's an accomplishment. When it became clear Jacinda wasn't interested in Cassian and just used him because she was lonely, I actually felt bad for him. Although I still find Will a likable character, and I was glad when he and Jacinda found each other fairly early in the book. 
Jacinda is extremely changeable in lots of way. She'll go from being firmly decided on one course of action to planning the exact opposite thing within a few pages, and back again. I suppose this is realistic for a teenaged character in a stressful environment but it wore me out. 
I did enjoy how the book ended, with Will, Jacinda, Tamara, and Cassian teaming up for a rescue mission. I hope it will turn out her Dad is still alive, since there are hints pointing that way. I started to give Vanish four stars, but Jacinda longing for her missing love (Will) while kinda-sorta-maybe having feelings for another guy just because he was there and nice to her (Cassian) is a little too reminiscent of other YA books I've read.
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