Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, DRAGONS!
Publication Date: September 11, 2012 (HarperTeen – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC
Summary: 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….
☆: 3/5 stars – a solid ending to the trilogy, but a bit of a disappointment.
Review: Was kind of disappointed with this final book, guys. I was expecting something much more explosive, something that would really awe the audience, and…I just got more of the same. More of the same of the past two books, and it felt like middle book syndrome had hit all over again. After the great action of books 1 and 2, I have to say “Hidden” (book 3 in the “Firelight” trilogy) was a letdown, an anticlimax to what I’d been hoping for and what had been building up for two books. However, even if I was disappointed with it, it’s nothing if not a solid ending, wrapping up everything very well and by the end, you have a good solid sense of Jacinda and company’s respective futures.
My hugest disappointment when it comes to this book: the fact that Jacinda was still going back and forth between her pride life/her wish for freedom and Will/Cassian (though, those two portions of her life might just be combined into one for the sake of brevity). I was exasperated because I was like, “wait a minute. didn’t we finish talking about this in book 2?” – every so many chapters, I’d keep asking myself this. While there’s some action, it largely happens at the end of the book, and most of it is spent either in the labs or on the run, and the tension is mostly wasted on Jacinda’s inability to choose her own future, and choose her own boyfriend (regardless of who she got bonded to in the past).
The portion of going into enemy territory in order to free everyone was another disappointment – it felt very rushed, and I wanted to linger more on the uglier aspects of what the humans were doing to the draki, and so forth. Instead, I just got a whole bunch of angst and rushed experiments with the doctors, even while we got very hurriedly introduced to the newest draki of the bunch, Daghan (who was actually pretty awesome, when Jordan decided to flesh out his character). During these lab/chase scenes, there’s a lot of telling, but not a lot of showing, and I wanted to scream at something.
The best parts of the book were the final chapters where everything is starting to really fall apart, and we see the real, utterly horrible truth that’s at the center of Jacinda’s pride – we also find out what really happened to her father, and how now she must choose to fight for her future away from the pride. Even though that involved fighting FOR the pride against the hunters. But – the good thing is that we see other minor characters (Cassian, Tamara) getting more fleshed out, more personality, and more weight as part of the main cast of characters. Those two were the ones who grew the most, and I was happy to see it (even if it wasn’t nearly enough compared to Jacinda’s endless angst). The last fifty pages are some of Jordan’s best writing, and while those were some awesome pages, it also made me sad to see it so rushed and almost kind of crammed in there.
As for the ending itself? It shows promise for a spin-off (one that’d be really interesting, considering how Jacinda, the pride, Cassian, Daghan, and Tamara end up), and was fulfilling enough for me to enjoy. Yes, the angsty chasing bits of the book were exasperating, but they were worth it for the ending. I just wish the book had been longer and everything hadn’t been so fast paced. It ruined the experience a bit.
Final verdict? If you’ve read the other two books, you may as well read this one. While I wish it had been better than it was, what I did get was adequate enough for me to feel the story was done. But that’s just how I feel about it. “Hidden” is out from HarperTeen September 11, 2012 in North America, so be sure to check it out and come to your own conclusion on this final book in the trilogy.