Four strangers. Four powerful elements. To survive a ruthless cult, they’ll have to work together… or die alone… Phoenyx Blake has just woken up in captivity, but she’s not the only one. The mysterious dungeon holds three other teens who were just as surprised to be imprisoned as she was. Phoenyx and the others discover that they were abducted because their souls are eternally bound by the ancient elemental powers of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. And their captors have no plans on letting them live through the next solar storm… But as they consider their circumstances, Phoenyx discovers that her fiery abilities connect her in a timeless courtship dance with Sebastian, a fellow prisoner and a water elemental. Their souls have fallen in love generation after generation. And she can’t help but feel drawn to him in this lifetime as well… To discover the truth behind their abilities, Phoenyx and the others must escape the dungeon before the cultists can begin a terrifying ritual sacrifice. If Phoenyx can’t master her powers and face up to a painful secret, then they’ll all pay with both their lives and their souls… Ignite is the sizzling first book in The Bound Ones, a series of YA urban fantasy novels. If you like supercharged action, timeless romance, and unbreakable friendships, then you’ll love Tricia Barr’s fiery series.
Phoenyx Blake, a teenage girl, awakens in a locked dungeon with only a girl named Lily for company. Soon after, they are joined by Sebastian, to whom Phoenyx has an instant attraction, and Skylar, his best friend. Through conversation and snippets of info given to them by their captors, they learn that they are the four Bound Ones – the living embodiment of the four Elements of the Earth: air, earth, fire, and water. Together, they must figure out how to escape their captors before they all meet an untimely end.
What I loved:
I really liked all four of the imprisoned teens, as each had their own distinct personality that didn’t seem contrived or fake. We learned quite a lot about Phoenyx’s life through flashbacks, which helped further develop the character in the relatively short time-frame over which the story takes place.
What I didn’t love:
The story begins in the dungeon, and it stays there for nearly 80% of the book. The four teens spend the entire time either training themselves in their elemental abilities, conversing, or sleeping. I gather the point was for them all to bond together (and for Phoenyx and Sebastian to develop a rather strong physical attraction, which skirted the line of insta-love for me), and this came at the expense of plot development. The climax, when it came, felt rushed.
My Final Verdict:
As you can infer, there’s not a lot of action in this story. The buildup is very slow, leading to a climax that may leave you wanting more. I can only hope that further book in this series will expand on what we’ve already learned about these characters, and literally give them the chance to spread themselves out instead of containing them in a small box. I am confident, after reading the brief preview of Book Two in the series, that this is what will happen.