Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book Review: Hidden

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....

Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy. Quoted from Goodreads


Okay, so you're probably not supposed to compare books too much when you do a review, especially when they aren't related, have different authors, subject matter, etc.  However, I read Sophie Jordan's Firelight the same week I read Andrea Cremer's Nightshade, so the two series have always been sort of tied in my mind. I mean, there's the strong, special girl as the main character, both shape-shift (draki/wolves), have a boy pre-chosen for her by her pride/pack.  She meets another boy with mysterious powers who she falls in love with (so both have love triangles).  Both series have evil, controlling people leading said pride/pack and outside threats who hunt the pride/pack.  From there, of course, the plots differentiate, but there are a lot of similarities.  For my money, though, I absolutely choose the Firelight trilogy.

I should probably start out by saying you should read the first two books, Firelight and Vanish.  I mean, they have a fun, fresh take on dragons (well, draki) and are full of conflict and and new mythology.  As this book starts, Jacinda, Will, and Tamra were running away from the pride, but Cassian's sister Miram  was captured, so before they escape forever, they decide to help free her. Thus begins the conclusion.

Honestly, for me what made this book fun is that it all took place in a couple of action packed days.  We got to see the mysterious enkros, had showdowns with the Hunters, and solved the mystery of who betrayed Jacinda's father.  Plus there were several new characters I really enjoyed . . . cough . . . Deghan . . . cough.  I also felt Tamra grew up a lot, and while I didn't much care for her insta-love thing, I really did like the fact that she found someone who is perfect for her, began to fulfill her potential, and finally stopped whining.  

This book had a lot of fun moments.  We got to see Jacinda fight another draki and meet others outside of her tribe. It was interesting (albeit sad) to see how humans viewed the dragons they captured and the types of tests they ran on them. I especially liked when Jacinda and Will payed stupid teenagers in love for a bunch of Hunters. 

Then there's the love triangle. Okay, there might be a few spoilers here, but nothing that I don't think was obvious.  I've never been a fan of Cassian as love interest, and honestly the love triangle felt forced to me.  Will was always the clear leader in the race for Jacinda's affections, and I liked that in this book, Jacinda doesn't lead Cassian on.  Yes, she has a few problems leaving her old life behind to run away because crazy things keep happening, but I didn't feel like it was Cassian that was holding her back at all.  At this point she had picked as side and stuck with it. Thank goodness.

My biggest problem with the book was trying to figure out what Jacinda looked like in her Draki form. I know it's a little thing, but it sort of drove me crazy.  I need an official picture. At first I thought it was like a mini-dragon, scales, nose, sharp teeth and claws, the whole bit. But they kept saying things, like she had skin around her mouth that the duck-tape covered when she was captured, etc, and she had her hands tied up in draki form, etc.  I could never quite figure out exactly what she transformed into.

All in all, Hidden was a great ending to a fun series, and a nice, quick read.  I give this book 3 stars straight across the board.  It wrapped everything up nicely, without too much epilogue.  You could see the direction everything was going. It wasn't perfect, but it was hopeful, and I felt satisfied with the conclusion, and if there's a spinoff series, I will absolutely read it.

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