Sunday, September 4, 2011

Review: Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Series: Firelight (#2)
Pages: 304
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: September 6th, 2011
IBSN: 9780061935107

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love? 

Vanish is the second book in the Firelight series, and it wastes no time between instalments. You could read Firelight and Vanish back-to-back and have them seamlessly read like one book.

Jacinda is a Draki -- someone who can turn into a dragon. She's part of a pride of them, hidden in the mountains from hunters, who value her specifically because of her rare fire-breathing talent. When her mother drags her and her sister away from the pride, she falls in love with a hunter and exposes her Draki to him to save his life.

Vanish is another short, fast-paced story. Jordan's writing is skilfully paced, but it didn't evoke a realistic character voice. The writing style was intricate though packed with repeated and unnecessary descriptions. The first-person narration from Jacinda -- who admittedly lacks a traditional education -- was unnaturally embellished. She's a dragon, not a poet.

Jacinda's personality didn't feel fleshed out. It was established early on by other characters describing her -- as someone who doesn't submit, a spitfire -- yet a lot of this didn't hold up in her actions. Rather, she was mopey, melodramatic, and when in a bad situation, she sooner ran away than used her esteemed talents.

The secondary characters didn't stand out, either. None felt real or inspired any emotion from me. Their relationships with our main character were often explicitly described to us rather than shown, and so none were really able to intrigue me.

The action and romantic scenes (though I couldn't feel any chemistry) were well-done and exciting. They were fast-paced and it was easy to get lost in the rhythm of these scenes. But while they were fun to read, they would've had a bigger impact if you could become attached to the characters.

Overall, I'd say Vanish is perfect for people who loved Firelight, but this book isn't for people who find the characters themselves important and not just what happens to them.

I give Vanish a 3 out of 5.