Vanish (Firelight #2)
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?
The story picks right up where it left off at the end of Firelight with Jacinda, Tamra and Cassian fleeing back to the pride after Jacinda fully reveals herself in front of the hunters in order to save Will's life. (I have to admit, I would've done the same...it IS Will we're talking about here.) The girls have managed to convince their Mom to go back with them because Cassian feels it's safer this way for all of them. Before they make it back though, there is another confrontation with the Xander and the rest of the hunters that has a direct effect on Tamra and Will but ultimately, alters all of their lives.
Once back in the pride, Jacinda realizes that life will never be the same, not for her or her family. She's treated like an outcast while Tamra is the one who is regarded as special now. It seems that Cassian is her only friend but she still questions what his true intentions are. She has no interest in him or at least she thinks she doesn't and as hard as she tries, she can't stop thinking about Will. (Can you blame her?!) She knows he's been shaded by the mist, made to forget her, but a part of her wonders if he'll keep his promise to come find her.
And he does... (be still my heart!) just as life in the pride begins to feel livable to Jacinda, the pressure for she and Cassian to bond is mounting, even her Mom tells her it's a safe choice and that things will feel different after they do...Will stumbles into the township. But does he remember her? Guess you'll have to read it to find out.
We are introduced to new characters in Cassian's sister, Miriam, and his cousin, Corbin, both of whom are very loyal to Cassian's father, Severin.
Miriam is the pride's gossip who is upset over all the attention Jacinda's gotten over the years for being special. (jealous much?) But as in real life, jealousy usually hurts the person who harbors it the most.
Corbin aka "Creepy McCreeperson" (there's really no better way to describe him) lurks about behind trees, bushes, mist, whatever and seems to think more highly of himself then he should but he's definitely one to watch.
We also get to see more of Jacinda's best friend, Az, the draki she was flying with the first time she encountered Will. They haven't seen each other since Jacinda left with her Mom and sister and while they try to resume their friendship it's certainly tested throughout the story.
Severin, as the pride's leader is just as cruel and threatening as before and we get to see just how much power he wields during one of the "judgements".
Cassian also shows us a different side of himself, one that may not be as in tune with his father's way of ruling as originally thought but time will tell. He seems to have genuine feelings for Jacinda that go beyond just wanting to strengthen the pride with the uniqueness of her kind of draki. He is patient with her and even comes to her defense in a major way that could seem self sacrificial (without giving too much away).
Tamra finally begins to feel like a valued member of the pride and ironically, Jacinda struggles the most with this because for so long everyone treated her twin like she was useless (which hurt both girls). Tamra still pines for Cassian and hoped things would be different but they aren't. His interest still lies with Jacinda.
And then there's Will....sigh. Can there EVER be enough Will? In my opinion? No. There can't. Ever. He's just as beautiful, brave, strong and self sacrificing. There's also that little issue of draki blood he has running through his veins. What exactly IS he? We get another glimpse of how different he is from the rest of his hunter family and it begs the question, what exactly DID his father do to him? How much or how many draki did his father use when he healed him? (I'm thinking the answers are in book 3)
Jordan does a good job of illustrating how strong the bonds of family, friendship and community can be with the focus being on the draki pride in this book whereas Firelight focused more on the hunters. This is a story about choices and how the choices we make don't just affect us but those around us as well. The choice of right over wrong. Choosing the love we want and long for versus the one that may or may not be better for us. It's one of forgiveness and sacrifice, even for those who are undeserving.
Most importantly, it's finding out not just WHAT you are but WHO you are and then...living.
In a perfect Firelight world (OK, MY perfect Firelight world), we will find out in book 3 that:
*Jacinda and Tamra's Dad is still alive (remember "perfect" world) & he'll reunite with their Mom.
*Mom will manifest again b/c she's with Dad (one big happy family again - yay draki!)
*Will has so much draki running through him that he'll manifest. (Hottest. Draki. EVER!)
*Will & Jacinda will bond (FINALLY!)& fly off to start their own pride. (how cute will THEIR draki be?!)
*Cassian, after taking care of his father & cousin will wake up & smell the verdaberry bread! & bond with Tamra, (who he'll realize he's really in love with) & then everyone will live happily ever after.
Now, on to the book. Vanish picks up right where Firelight left off. Tamara experiences a huge event in her life by a sick twist of fate and from then on things change. They then escape back to the pride. When they reach it, things are nowhere near the same. Everyone looks at Jacinda as a traitor and but at Tamra with a new sense of admiration.
But out of nowhere Jacinda begins getting lonely and amazingly through it all Cassian is still there on her side. Which is why I LOVEEEE him! He is not giving up on his love for her. Although I was a little perturbed on some of the things he did at first, I was impressed that he didn't let that cloud his judgement. But in the end, Jacinda ultimately made her decision, and it was one that was not expected.
Then, there's Cassian's sister, Miram. Although we are just introduced to her.... I hate her lol She made me so mad because instead of being a teenage girl she was acting like a bratty child who's never heard the word "No" before. Then there was Corbin..... Yeah don't want to go too much into him because I don't want to give anything away... I know anything I say about him won't be pretty.
So after all that, things begin to get serious. Will comes back into the story and it causes a big turn of events. This story mainly shows how even your smallest choices never effects JUST you. The story ends on yet another cliffhanger which I would be upset about if I didn't have Hidden's ARC sitting on my shelf lol
But overall, I kind of felt like this was sort of a filler book. I sort of saw it as her moping around alot because she was so depressed about not being with Will anymore... But yet she wasn't doing anything about it. Until almost the end. And then when the action arrived again, that's when I dove back into the story. It made me realize again why I don't like the dreaded second novel in a series. Don't get me wrong, Jordan did not disappoint. She hooked me again with her beautiful language. I felt like this was for the older crowd of YA. She really knows how to write. She also hooked me with the end. I will be reviewing Hidden soon, just stay tuned!
Jacinda is back and she's just as stubborn and passionate as ever. In fact, I really felt closer to Jacinda in this story because her emotions are so much stronger. She knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to break the rules if that's what it takes. As always, it doesn't exactly make her a popular character, but this time... well I won't spoil it but let's just say she takes some others along for the ride. I have always loved Jacinda's fire. That's why I was so happy that it is present and accounted for. One pleasant surprise for me though was that Cassian's personality is a lot more fleshed out in Vanish. I got to know so much more about him, and I really loved it. If I was having a hard time choosing a side before, now I'm even more lost.
Readers will get a much better idea of the day to day life of the pride, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The plot is quick, but easy to follow, and the action sequences abound without taking the spotlight from the bigger picture. The relationships between Jacinda and the people in her pride are so much more vivid in this book. Characters that were previously hidden in the shadows emerge, develop, and become so essential to the story. Vanish gave me a new appreciation for the world that Sophie Jordan had so meticulously built. I simply cannot wait for the next book!
If you fell in love with Firelight, I'm going to personally guarantee that you'll eat Vanish up. Whether you are on the side of Will, or the side of Cassian, this installment has a fiery love triangle that burns up the page. Pair that with a great story line and you have a book that I devoured. Start to finish in one night. Sophie Jordan fans rejoice! There is one more book left in this fabulous trilogy. Just be warned, the ending of this one will leave you wanting more.
Moves the story along beautifully!
I didn’t feel connected to the characters at all like I did reading Firelight. Neither Cassian nor Will were the tender, loving guys I remember. Instead, they were like angry hyenas defending their territory throughout the story and the territory just so happens to be Jacinda. They acted in this annoying cycle throughout the story that went a little something like this: “Oh, Jacinda, I love you so much and we’re meant to be together.” “How could you do that, Jacinda? I’m so angry I could punch a tree!”
Jacinda really wasn’t much better either. I can understand being torn between two guys to a degree, but to go around making lovey googly eyes at both of them is just wrong. Plus, I got pretty tired of hearing about her inner turmoil in trying to decide between the two. I’m not generally a hater of love triangles, but this one certainly didn’t do it for me.
One thing I did really enjoy about Vanish was the development of Jacinda and Tamra’s relationship. I liked seeing the dynamic change since there’s just something special about sisterly love. It was also really fun to learn a little more about Tamra and watch her grow.
I was hoping to learn a little more about the drake powers, but sadly, that was barely touched on. Maybe there’ll be some more about them in the next book.
Final Thoughts: I’m still looking forward to the next book, but I ended up not enjoying Vanish as much as I’d hoped. I was never hanging off the edge of my seat in the action scenes, but they did hold my interest enough to keep flipping the pages. The characters annoyed the crap out of me, but there were certainly some redeeming qualities in the story.
Once I got into the flow of the book and managed to somewhat calm down my intense curiosity to know the resolution of the opening scene, I got completely sucked into this book. I loved the focus on music, as well as the serious moral dilemmas that Carmen had to face. In some ways, it reminded me of Where She Went by Gayle Forman and, in it's lighter moments that focused on the rivalry and relationship of Carmen and Jeremy, of Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund.
The coming of age aspects of the story also rocked my socks. Carmen, though in some ways very mature, given that she's traveled the world and won a grammy and plays a 1.2 million dollar violin, is also, as her mom tells her, naive. Because of her virtuous status and tour schedule, she has been home schooled and has little experience interacting with others. This is partly why she has so much trouble understanding Jeremy and trusting his motivations. She is so used to being told what to do by her mother and her teacher that she really has to learn how to be herself. Of course, the fact that she was often drugged did not help. Carmen's drug addiction, whether mental or physical, was a scary thing, particularly as she had been encouraged in her dependency by people she should be able to trust.
I really loved reading this and rather hope that there might be another book on Carmen's adventure, as the ending totally makes it possible. This story was beautiful, heartbreaking and powerful. The cover's awesome too.
P.S. There was a reference to Amy Winehouse in here. I wonder if it will be in the finalized version or if it will be removed because it's too soon... The main characters mentioned her and said that they hoped she was in rehab. Unfortunately, she said "no, no, no."
Wow. Is all I can say about this book. It was truly amazing. The plot kept you immersed into the story like no other. From the beginning i was absorbed into this book and couldn't put it down. The book might have started off a little slow, but as soon as you got about two chapters in, it had you hooked and you Vanished from the world.
Okay, lets start with Jacinda today. Whoa, she is one determined little miss in the latest book. I don't think she stays put or does what she's supposed to for most of the book! She has her heart set on forgetting about Will but some things you just can't forget. Plus when your sister is the new It girl, things tend to hurt. Plus they call her Jace and well I love the name Jace!!
Then there's Cassian, who swoops in and takes everyone back to the Pride. Not willingly though. He promises Jacinda that he will protect her no matter what, and does that from the very beginning. He really saves her butt multiple times, and well also doing some things accidentally along the way, but hey nobodies perfect!
I don't think that I could pick a team between Cassian and Will. So maybe I like Cassian a little better because, well who wouldn't love a Draki who's a super hunk? I don't think I could ever love a man who had the blood of my slaughtered brethren running through his veins, even if it wasn't his fault, but still, not cool dude!!
My favorite quotes from the book were:
"His mouth curved with a slow smile. 'I've never wanted to be your friend, Jacinda." Pg 94
"Everything else slips away as I stare at him. Where we are. The danger that still threatens..." Pg 110
"From here we crawl." Page 292
"'Lets bring it down.' I mutter. 'All of it.'" Pg 294
I give this book a 59 out of 59. It was an amazing book to read and it will be well worth the wait! Just a couple more days guys!!! Thanks again to Yara from Once Upon a Twilight. Go check out her blog! You won't be disappointed!!