Rating: 3/5 stars
Suitable for Fans of: Narnia, The Mortal Instruments, books about dragons
For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn’t even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia. Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword. When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.
This really wasn’t a task for teenage wannabe Dragonians.
Telling the story of Elena Watkins after a recent twist in events, Firebolt by Adrienne Woods is the perfect book for anyone who love dragons, or wants to get a taste of the dragon genre. Before reading this book, I fell into the latter category, always being interested in picking up a book about dragons, but never knowing where to start. Firebolt – in my opinion – was a very good place to start.
Being written from Elena’s perspective, Woods develops a rather colloquial narrative, relying a lot on the young-adult audience this book appeals to. Thus, this book is written very casually with lots of jokes and sarcasm interlaced with the action. Personally, I felt this worked really well – because it made it so that reading this book wasn’t challenging, and humorous at times – but only to an extent; there were occasions wherein the terminology felt a little too low-grade for me, especially in tense situations.
Likewise, this book is written in a really fast-paced manner, which works really well, but – again – only too an extent. In being fast-paced, this book is fast-moving, and doesn’t linger on boring topics, and nor does it become too slow for comfort. However, in being fast-moving, this book skimmed over a lot of action, and became very confusing on multiple occasions, especially the very beginning, and the very end.
Despite this, I did really enjoy the plot for this book; I felt it was very original – despite the school mirroring Hogwarts on a few occasions – and captivating throughout. Unfortunately, there weren’t many unprecedented plot twists in this book; on multiple occasions, I felt myself thinking of a possible plot twist myself, only for it not to happen, and the book to continue without even a differing plot twist. Then again, there were occasion wherein I sensed a plot twist was on the horizon, and it happened to be a very obvious option. In this sense, Woods failed to keep me too interested, because it felt as though there weren’t any sharp highs or lows throughout the book, only a steady line that waves at some points.
On the other hand, the characters weren’t very original, in my opinion:
Elena has been dragged from her world and dumped unceremoniously into a new world, wherein she has to adapt. However, despite her not having grown up in this strange world, many believe she is destined for big things. This character trope is very popular amongst fantasy authors.
Lucian is the most eligible bachelor in this strange world – the prince – who just so happens to fall for Elena. There weren’t any ups or downs with this relationship, which made it a little boring on occasion, inducing the idea that the relationship was included just because.
Blake is the heart-throb bad boy, who Elena has her eye on from the start. For me, this led to many questions – was this the beginning of a love triangle? Yet nothing came from it. Blake the heart-throb was, again included just because. But his character? Not so much. His character had actual meaning, that I hope would be explored more in the books following.
Sammy and Becky are two candyfloss characters that I got mixed up on multiple occasions. They don’t differ enough, and could have sufficed as one person.
Overall, despite not liking a few things in this book, I definitely enjoyed it in the end, thus awarding it 3/5 stars.
(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the Laura E (La La’s Book Reviews) in exchange for an honest review. I would like to send a big thank you to Laura for this book, as well as a big thanks to Adrienne Woods for allowing Laura to send me this book.)