Author: Sophie Jordan

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan | Book Review

Posted November 2, 2018 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 1 Comment

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan | Book ReviewReign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Series: Reign of Shadows #1
Published by HarperTEEN on February 9, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Audiobook
Source: From the publisher through Edelweiss
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5 Stars
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

This is not your magical, light and fluffy Rapunzel retelling! Reign of Shadows is dark and creepy and intense and so unbelievably exciting. Luna, the lost princess of Relhok, has been sequestered in a tower with her guardians for her entire life to protect her from those who would do her harm. She’s the rightful heir to the throne, and the current king is making life miserable for the members of his kingdom. The land is also ruled by evil creatures (dwellers) who delight in killing anyone who crosses their path.

While exploring one day, Luna stumbles across three people and saves them from a pack of dwellers and brings them back to her tower. These are the first strangers Luna has ever met. One of these people is a handsome archer named Fowler, who captivates and excites Luna. Due to circumstances beyond their control, they set out on a journey together in search of a safer place to live. As they journey together across a barren, dark wasteland that has been ravaged by the dwellers, they learn to depend on one another. Together they have a unique set of skills that aide them in heir survival.

I liked both of these characters a lot. Luna is so sheltered and comes across as being very helpless, but she has spent her life developing and refining her ability to survive. She’s unassumingly strong and courageous despite her lack of exposure to the world. She’s able to trust in spite of the murder of her parents, and she’s able to love regardless of the fact that he family was ripped away from her as a baby. Fowler is damaged and has hardened himself in an effort to avoid more pain. Those he cared about are long gone, and it’s easier for him to be alone than to risk losing someone he cares about. He has no interest in being a part of Luna’s life, but he also has this deep sense of loyalty and honor even though he doesn’t really owe anyone anything. I liked that about him.

The romance is pretty swoony, and very slow building. I like romances that take a long time to develop, though, so I was totally on board with this one. I also like romances in life or death situations because there’s a lot of tenderness and need in addition to pure trust and dependency on one another.

I don’t want to say too much and spoil the book for anyone, so I think I’ll leave it here. Reign of Shadows is filled with little story elements that made it unique from the original tale of Rapunzel. I’ve always loved Sophie Jordan’s writing, so I had a feeling I’d enjoy this book. I listened to it on audio, which was very well done. All in all, I really loved the story.


Firelight by Sophie Jordan | Book Review

Posted September 21, 2018 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 7 Comments

Firelight by Sophie Jordan | Book ReviewFirelight by Sophie Jordan
Series: Firelight #1
Also in this series: Hidden
Published by HarperTEEN on September 7, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 323
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought it!
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4 Stars
A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.


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 story of Jacinda and Will grabbed me from page one and had me reading long into a night I should have spent sleeping instead of reading. I’ve often wondered if my bookishness is detrimental to my health and personal well-being, but I digress! Back to the subject at hand… I’m having a hard time reviewing this book, and I’m not sure why. I’ve written a review probably 5 times already, and I’m still not happy with it. Maybe it’s because the story has a lot in common with other YA Paranormal romances out there. I’m not saying it’s not worth the read, I’m just not sure what I can say about it that’s new, other than the fact that we’re dealing with dragons. I’ll try!

Jacinda’s glowing orange skin and intricate wings are not all she has going for her. All Draki have a special talent. Some can breathe underwater, some can control human minds, and some can fly extremely fast. Jacinda breathes fire—a talent that was thought to have died out long ago before she was discovered. Thus, she is extremely valuable to pride. Things were planned out and set in motion for her to marry the Draki prince, Cassian, and create a ton of little fire-breathers just like herself. This unappealing future, mixed with her rebellious nature, mixed with the fact that she barely came home alive after being tracked and shot by a group of hunters prompted her mother to sneak Jacinda and her non-draki twin sister, Tamra, out of the pride and move to Arizona. Her mother chose Arizona because drakis can’t survive in such dry and barren conditions. Jacinda’s draki would eventually die off just like her mother’s, and they could live normal, safe lives as humans. Jacinda was not ok with this and did everything she could to keep her withering draki alive. Then, she saw Will—one of the hunters she encountered the night her mother forced them to flee. He was the one who stared into her draki eyes that night and let her go, leading his family of hunters away from her. They lock eyes in the hall at school, and an instant connection is made. He ignites the draki within her, and she captivates him for a reason he can’t quite figure out. Even though he’s the one who keeps her draki alive, she has to constantly fight her attraction to him (and resist his to her) and keep her distance. She can never let him know what she is without risking the lives of all those she holds dear. The hunters can never find out their best-kept secret—that draki can take on human form.

I really enjoyed this book! First off, how refreshing is it to finally have the girl be the paranormal one? Yes, there are a few mythical heroines out there, but we all know it’s usually the guy. It was fun to read how a girl deals with being different. Jacinda is SO driven by her emotions. She goes through highs and lows, and she’s always freaking out about everything. She’s not calm, cool, and collected like our mainstream paranormal heroes in other novels. I’m not saying she’s spastic and annoying. She certainly handled things better than I would have. I just enjoyed reading about her inner struggle rather than a guy’s, like I usually do.

This book moved really quickly! The tension built up fast, and I found myself trying to read faster than my brain could handle. There was no lollygagging in this book, and I really enjoyed that about it. I never got bored.

The romance between Will and Jacinda was believable, but maybe not for their age group. I never thought of them as high school juniors. They have a very mature relationship, which I was happy about, as I have a hard time enjoying the whiny teenage romances. Even though the romance did not seem realistic for their ages, the high school life was pretty real to me. I remember when I moved to a new high school, I struggled with fitting in. I was picked on. Jacinda went through the same motions I did, and I felt for her and could relate to how she was feeling. She was a total fish out of water, with only one friend who wasn’t even really a friend—more like a person to sit with and talk to. High school’s really hard, and Jacinda dealt with it.

Unfortunately, there were not a lot of characters to like in this book. There was an overabundance of villains: the alpha of her pride (who wanted her for selfish reasons), her mom (who lied to her frequently, and tried to kill off an important part of Jacinda), her sister (who should have tried to be more supportive of Jacinda’s situation), Will’s family (who were complete and total jerks to Will, and almost perverts towards Jacinda), the school bullies (who tried to make her life a living hell, and even attacked her). I’m not used to only liking the two main people. I guess the author chose to do this in order to emphasize the odds against Will and Jacinda, but I really wanted to like more people!

I loved that Jacinda was so true to herself, against all these odds. She didn’t just sit back and let her mother get what she wanted (a draki-free Jacinda). They argued and fought all the time. Her mom kept so many secrets from her, and then when she finally told Jacinda the truth, she wasn’t even nice about it. This woman is just not a good mother figure—and I found her character to be a bit hard to believe sometimes. I know she was trying to protect Jacinda, but she rarely ever showed any compassion, empathy, or even love.

For the most part, I enjoyed the writing style. Several reviewers have mentioned that the book was laced consistently with sentence fragments, which got rather annoying. I totally agree. This is definitely not a book for people looking for pristine literary writing. I had to re-read and re-think some of the passages, just because my mind was not following the choppy writing style. It helped to add to the suspense, but it detracted a bit from everything else. Other than that, the action scenes were done very well and the author’s descriptions left little to be desired. She gave me enough information to be able to picture everything in my mind, but not so much that my mind couldn’t take a few liberties and allow my creative juices to fill in the gaps.

Regardless of a few complaints, I loved the premise, the story, the character development of both Jacinda and Will, the fact that Jacinda is such a likeable heroine, the descriptive passages that painted pictures in my mind, the fast-paced storyline that kept my eyes glued to the pages into the wee hours of the morning, and the fact that now I think dragons are sexy.

This review was originally posted on February 22, 2012, and was re-posted for some extra love.


Uninvited by Sophie Jordan | Book Review

Posted January 27, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 5 Comments

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan | Book ReviewUninvited by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Published by HarperTEEN on January 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Edelweiss
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4 Stars
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

I loved Sophie Jordan’s Firelight trilogy, so I was very excited to learn of her new project! The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report? Count me in! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I found this story to be terrifyingly plausible. Uninvited is set in the not so distant future where people are tested to see if they have a specific gene that, in the government’s eyes, guarantees that that person will someday kill a someone. Once that person has been diagnosed with this gene, their life is essentially over. They are immediately treated as though they have already murdered someone. It’s so scary to think that science could someday overrule a person’s moral framework. Isn’t that so scary? And so real?

2. Another scary aspect of this story is that a lot of the crime happened because these people are marked as killers. If you go around a put a sign on someone that says, “Hey! This person is going to kill someone someday, and it could be you!” don’t you think those people might end up being targets themselves? I mean, there’s a huge possibility that a person who would not have otherwise killed someone, might just kill that “killer” to prevent them from possibly killing. PLUS, these “killers” are going to live up to their label because they are being punished as someone who already has. I mean, why not kill that person you hate if your life is views as being worthless anyway? What more can the government do? What kind of twisted logic is this? In an effort to lower the crime rate, I seriously feel like the government in this book raised it instead.

3. So, we have all of these “killers”. One of them is sweet, innocent Davy who had her entire life ahead of her until that life-changing phone call made her lose her family, her boyfriend, her friends, EVERYTHING in a matter of seconds. And there’s nothing she can do about it. She will never EVER prove anyone wrong. Boy, did I feel for her. I was just like Davy in high school. I was viewed as being the person who had a bright future and was liked by everyone. I just kept thinking about what I would have done if I were in Davy’s shoes. I don’t even have words. Scared, terrified, heartbroken, hopeless, defeated. None of those words equal the pain of what something like this could do to a person. I connected with Davy so much, and felt for her SO much that it hurt me. She handled it so well. I was proud.

4. Because of Davy’s past, she was given the opportunity to be trained instead of sent to a detention camp. The government thought that they could train her to not give in to her killer instincts. She ended up going with two other carriers from school, both of which she liked. There’s Gil, who was very sweet and caring and then there’s Sean, the guy with the bad boy exterior who is so much more than what you see on the surface.

5. Speaking of Sean, I LOVED him. I was having a hard time with this book until I got to know Sean better. I loved how broken and worn down he was when I first met him, and then how Davy gave him a reason to act like a human. He immediately felt very protective of her and shielded her from a pervy teacher and a bully. He always seemed to be there when she needed him. She was his reason to live, and I loved seeing his dormant, feeling side awaken when he had a reason to wake it up.

6. I mentioned before that I had a hard time getting into this book before, and that’s because it is so depressing. I felt awful for the characters and the abuse they went through. Some of them deserved it, but not Davy, Gil, and Sean. They were just confused teenagers trying to figure out how to survive under their knew title of “HTS Carrier”. I swear that none of them would hurt a fly, but that doesn’t matter. AHHH. The feels.

7. There’s still so much we don’t know, and I closed the book feeling hopeful but also a little anxious! I’m just so concerned!

Uninvited is a book that resonates so deeply because of all the feelings is brings out in its readers. This horrific world in which these characters live is even more horrific because it seems so real. I just could not stop thinking about how devastating it would be to find out that people trusted a scientific theory more than they trusted me, their loved one. I love that Sophie Jordan made me think and feel so many things. I can’t wait to see what happens to these characters! PLEASE bring on the second book!

DISCUSS: So, what are your thoughts? I feel like this review was much more philosophical than most of my reviews are. What do you think of the idea presented in this book–that human beings are not able to make moral decisions that go against their DNA? Are you as scared of this idea as I am?


Hidden by Sophie Jordan (Mini Book Review)

Posted September 5, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 1 Comment

Hidden by Sophie Jordan (Mini Book Review)Hidden by Sophie Jordan
Series: Firelight #3
Also in this series: Firelight
Published by HarperTEEN on September 11, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Pages: 260
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher at ALA
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3.5 Stars
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....

You know… I’m not sure I’ve ever read a concluding book in a trilogy and ended up really loving that book. The first book leaves you in love, because it’s the first book and that one is always the best. The second book is always a bridge to book 3, and I don’t know about you, but I always find myself not really knowing what to think of it. I always close book #2 with hope that book #3 will blow me away. It doesn’t always end up that way, though. Usually, things get wrapped up too easily or people end up with the wrong people, or people die/get hurt/change. Sadly, Hidden did not check off all the boxes on my list of wishes and hopes for the ending of the Firelight series, and I was left with empty feelings. I just felt “meh” about it. Perhaps my hopes were just too high.

Now, I’m not saying the book was bad at all! It was adventurous and suspenseful, and I really enjoyed it. New characters were introduced and old characters were expounded upon. I really enjoyed reading about the time Jacinda spent as a prisoner in the facility where draki are tested and researched. It was exciting and extremely interesting. During her time there, I got to meet draki from other clans and learn more about the species. The love between Jacinda and Will felt forced and unbelievable, and I don’t think I felt that way with the other books. Then again, I’ve always been team Cassian.

The writing was done very well, and I did enjoy the story. It just didn’t end the way I would have hoped, but trilogies/series rarely ever do. I’m definitely SO glad I got the opportunity to read this book early, though, and am definitely glad I read this conclusion to the trilogy.

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