Book Review: Hidden by Sophie Jordan

mTitle: Hidden

Author: Sophie Jordan

Series: Firelight #3

Genre: Teen Paranormal Romance

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

The Overview: Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the “prince” of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian’s sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.

The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there’s no guarantee they’ll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning….

The Review:

Has anyone else noticed that most romance novels focus mostly on relationship development and inner conflict? It seems as though creating any sort of sustainable plot is a low priority. I supposed that’s the point, though, as the author is trying to evoke emotion. Personally, I prefer my novels with a bit more substance. This is why I didn’t enjoy Hidden as much as I could have; it was clear the author was drawing heavily on her skills as a romance writer.

Books one and two were decent, and I really got into the whole concept of this hidden society of dragon-shifters. Jordan did a great job at building the world, making it my overall favorite element of the series. This final book, however, brought the whole thing down for me. The storyline was just a bit too thin, and I caught holes in the plot left and right which definitely took away from my enjoyment of the story. The sad thing is that they were stupid errors that I think could have been easily avoided with a little revising. This speaks to a rushed and almost lazy effort on the part of the author (which, to be fair, could’ve been due to pressure from the publisher). Either way, a book I’ve been anticipating for a year got put down in favor of other books no fewer than three times. 

Plot holes aside, I found it irritatingly repetitive. I don’t usually go into specifics, but holy crap – if she explained one more time that the human can’t understand what she’s saying while in dragon form I was going to throw the book across the room. It was seriously tacked on to literally every sentence. Again, this is another thing that points towards a rushed effort because I think if anyone examined it closely they would’ve caught such a blatant repetition.

I realize I”m being harsh, but I haven’t been so let down by a book in a long time. The only reason I gave it a 2.5/5 is because there was resolution to the series, the relationship development was actually quite good, and the first books made great impressions on me. Despite my gripes, I would still recommend reading it if you’ve already committed to the first books – you might as well see how it all ends.

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by Niki Hawkes

Book Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Title: Firelight

Author: Sophie Jordan

Series: Firelight #1

Genre: Teen Paranormal Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away;if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

The Review:

“Firelight” really was your typical paranormal teen love story – I’ve read at least a dozen other books with the exact same relationship setup in the last year alone. What made this novel stand out was the originality of all the other aspects of the plot. Jacinda and her sister are from a secret society of dragon-shifters. To avoid certain political arrangements within this society, their mother takes them to live in the human world. Stuck in the deserts of the southwest, Jacinda meets a cute boy who just so happens to belong to a family of dragon hunters… all adding up to a fun fusion of fantasy and teen romance. I love anything to do with dragons, and the author does a great job at building their culture, even going as far as introducing different types of dragon shifters (which was my favorite creative element to the story).

Overall, while the love story is the same old format, it worked well in this story. I thought the whole thing was really sweet. While it seems like most books in this genre are only appropriate for older teens, I am happy to report that “Firelight” is great for even the youngest teen readers.

by Niki Hawkes

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