By eleven o’clock last night, my only thought was of my bed and sleep. But as I entered my room and saw my laptop shining in front of me, I could not resist the urge to be a tad productive. I thought to myself, let’s go onto Goodreads and Inkpop. Let’s see what I can do there. So I did. Then I decided to check the books I have scheduled to read and the dates I have to review them for. And as my eyes skimmed the list one title stood out. I thought to myself: What harm could reading the first few pages do? Why not the first chapter? And that is how I ended up reading the entire of Vanish by Sophie Jordan in roughly three hours. No stops. No breaks. Nothing. And once I was done, there was so much adrenaline running through my system that I had to write my review. So here it goes.
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?
Have I really stopped reading? No seriously, I can’t believe it. Abrupt isn’t the type of word I really want to use but unfortunately I can’t describe it in any other way. I feel so… Deprived. Maybe even a little cheated. I plunged straight into that story, headfirst. The pace didn’t let up for even a second and to stop me the author hit me with a brick wall of an ending. How unfair. How cruel. Apologies will only be accepted if they come in the form of the third book. Any takers? Anyone?
Author’s Voice/ POV:
Sophie Jordan, the author, chose to use the first person POV as well as the present tense. This is one of my less favourite combinations but when used well, such as in this case, she manages to pull us into the story with her character. It results with us feeling as though we’re really experiencing each event with her rather than riding along on her thoughts of past events. I also found that the author managed to capture the voice of the insecure teenaged girl as well as the voice of a young girl in love. Overall, I think she did a splendid job.
Jacinda did not seem quite right in this story. In the beginning she seems so much weaker than the girl we knew in Firelight. I know that she’s faced some devastating changes but somehow she didn’t bounce back the way I would have expected her to. As the story progresses she experiences a variety of revelations, all of which seem to help her mature as the book goes on. However, at the end of it she’s still a teenager but she’s drawn by her need to do good. To save those she doesn’t particularly like. Somehow this made up for her earlier transgressions and I was able to relax. One thing I could not let go of was how broken she seemed when her wings were to be clipped and what she went through with to make sure it didn’t happen. Somehow that brokenness didn’t seem completely real to me and I feel like she should’ve resisted somehow even though she couldn’t.
Tamra was one of the main focus points in the story. At the very beginning, something happens to Tamra to make her into someone just as special as her sister. Suddenly she is no longer the outsider. Suddenly she is accepted. Exalted even. As we watch, she seems to try on different personas as she works as if somehow her old one has been shattered and she need to rebuild it in a way that allows her to put her best foot forward. At the end of the story, Tamra is more self assured, more focused, and even more confident than before.
In this book, we finally get a real look at Cassian and might I say I did not find him lacking. Sophie Jordan did a fantastic job with this character and at every turn he was on my mind. Who would he choose? Jacinda? Or Tamra? Would he give away Will’s secret? What did he mean by volunteering to save Jacinda in such a manner? By far, he was my favourite character.
Will. Will, Will, Will. How could I ever tire of him? Have I ever mentioned how much I love when teenaged love blossoms when the guy hasn’t ever been mean/ cold/ distant/ cruel? Well, I love when a relationship starts and develops in a manner that would not worry their parents. But as much as I loved their connection, I didn’t like how he just suddenly appeared out of nowhere to find Jacinda. I also dislike how he reacts to some less than pleasant news involving Cassian and Jacinda. It seems childish and extremely out of character. This one inconsistency made me pull out of the book, just a tad. I tried to justify his reaction and couldn’t and that took away from my enjoyment of the story.
Corbin and Miram seemed rather flat to me. This may be because we didn’t see that much of them in the first book and we never had as good an impression of them as we did of the other characters. Until the end of the book, their only purpose seems to have been to add some extra teenaged drama. And then at they both do the same thing at the beginning of our last scenes with them. It’s slightly disappointing. However, in the end they both fill important roles, however, I would’ve liked if they had been fleshed out just a tad more.
Now, I love the dragon idea. It is original, at least to me, and I believe it was well-done. in this story. However, I really felt like the love triangle was unnecessary. It seemed like such a cruel twist of fate. One that could have been left out. I would have really liked if Tamra got a shot at happiness. She seemed like a bigger part of this story but nothing at all was going her way and I frankly felt sorry for her. However, the thought that she can’t be unhappy forever gives me hope and I rooting for that third book with all my heart!
Cover & Blurb:
Vanish has a lovely, yet simple cover. At first it’s significance was lost on me but once I started the book, everything slipped into place. However, as much as I like it, somehow I think Firelight’s cover was prettier. The blurb was very good though. It raised many questions and I was just bouncing in my seat waiting to get started.
And Vanish books a solid 4 out of 5 stars! Overall, I felt the beautiful pace of the story and the lovely writing combined to make a compelling read. By the end of the book I was left with the desire to get my hands on the third book at any cost. The one major disappointment is that I can never fully wrap my head around what these dragons look like but at the same time it works by handing an air of mystery that I like. In the end, it’s a lovely read.
Omigosh! It’s Saturday afternoon again and you’ve just had your second ARC review! I love the idea that I’ve had the chance to read a book before it’s even been released yet. It gives it an extra air of appeal. I also love the idea that I’ve been given the chance to help a good book along its way. Hopefully this book will get far, because it honestly deserves to.
Here’s to good books!
K, the Popinjay.
Disclaimer: This story was received from the publisher, HarperCollins, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.