Jacinda Jones is draki - a dragon who can shape-shift into human form. She can breathe fire, but is the first of her kind for decades. She's destined to get married to Cassian, the boy her sister is in love with. Her mother, who had turned against her draki form, forces Jacinda and her sister to flee. They escape into a desert town, that sucks the draki out of Jacinda. This is what her mother wants, but not her.
Then she sees Will, and he awakens the dragon inside of her. She will do anything to keep him with her - even if that means risking exposure of the draki world. Because Will and his family hunts her kind.
When I first started reading this, I was a little disappointed. It sounded a lot like Twilight (even the name), but I was pushed to continue because I felt I could learn a lot more about the draki. That didn't really happen, and I'll get to that later.
Jacinda was a bit of Mary Sue. There's no denying that. Once she started going to human high school, where her sister got in with the popular crowd, Jacinda was - in more ways than one - absolutely, positively, boringly, lots-more-adverbs, a Mary Sue. She was the kind of girl who was absolutely average on the outside - but more than special on the inside. And of course, she gets the popular, brooding, boy wrapped around her finger with just one look.
Will, the romantic interest, is so much like Edward at first (and at second, and third) glance that it's a little heartbreaking - and not in the good way. He's blonde-ish and several times it mentioned his eyes changing color (not quite in the way Edward's did in Twilight; more like... with his mood, they darkened. But the similarity was just screaming at me to be mentioned). He had this terrible need to protect Jacinda and spends the entire book trying to shelter her from his family. Every girl wants him, even the prettiest and the ones who deny it, but he won't let them in. However there's just something so special about Jacinda....
As I said before, there isn't much revealed about the draki lifestyle. I feel the ending opened it up a lot more for exploration, though. If it's any indication, I finished this book two days ago and I can't even remember what they call their... herd, tribe, community, society, etc., etc.
Speaking of the ending...
It seemed chopped off. Imagine a cliffhanger. And then cut the suspense. Cut the fancy, intriguing words that make you want to pick up the next book.
That's what this was like. I would have honestly not known it was over if I hadn't turned that last page.
All throughout the novel, too, Jacinda was constantly going back and forth between staying a draki and making things worse for her family. While that could be a potentially big decision, she never made up her mind or did anything about it. That's what made it so annoying.
Now out with the bad, in the with good.
Definitely the world intrigued me and how Jordan wrote the transformation from draki to human form was pleasant. In what action there was, I was interested enough. I enjoyed her writing style, though I've seemed some people call it choppy (*).
Along with choppy writing, from my experience, comes little fluff (the writing that you can tell was thrown in the second draft for a word-count boost or some other similar reason). I only picked up on it once or twice, and it didn't last very long or go on for pages and pages.
The concept was quality but the execution was rather poor. While I might have made the criticisms sound like fatal flaws, I only found them an annoyance. While they stopped me from ravishing this book, I was able to get through it pretty well. I would recommend it, with the warning that it will be cliche and predictable. But let's be honest, how many teen romance/fantasy novels aren't?
I didn't ever think that book was dull, per se, just flawed. There was always something to keep me going, however. I will be reading the sequel, Vanished, and hope that things stay as enjoyable as they were.
*As a side-note, I'd like to mention that I've learned to appreciate choppy writing. After reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman, I was impressed by his lack of words, and how well he used the ones he did. After that, big, flowey writing lost a little of it's beauty, and has become (as in the The City of Ashes from The Mortal Instruments series) a reason for me to tuck a book away, unfinished.