Thursday, December 18, 2014
ARC Review: Ignite by Sara B. Larson
Defy is the first book in Sara B. Larson’s debut trilogy. The sequel is Ignite which appears on bookstore shelves December 30th! Defy starts with chaos and destruction as Alexa’s parents, as well as most of her village, are brutally murdered by a black sorcerer. Her twin brother Marcel quickly cuts off her hair and makes her look like a boy to avoid being forced into a breeding house. Instead, the dynamic duo becomes part of the King's army and eventually gain a position as a member of the Crowned Prince Damien’s Elite Guard. Damien is a very arrogant, selfish person in the beginning of the novel, but eventually his facade disintegrates and shows he is actually very kind and cares for Alexa. When there is an attack on the palace, Alexa, Rylan and Damien are kidnapped by the Blevonese, thus begins the great adventure and battle to save the kingdom.
Ignite is the thrilling second book in the Defy series and promises even more action, adventure and romance. It picks up shortly after the end of the second book, as things have returned to “normal.” It has an intriguing plot and is an overall a great book.
To be completely honest, I had many questions on how the author was going to develop Defy into a series after reading it earlier this school year. It was interesting, and left me with so many unanswered questions about the characters and the plot. Our class was fortunate enough to Skype with Sara B. Larson and this gave me some clarification on why she wrote the novel in this particular way. I was happy to discover that some of the questions I personally noticed while reading Defy, were resolved in Ignite. When I finished Defy, I felt as though it locked the doors of that world away, but when I realized there was a sequel, the questions began to swirl around my head. Our classroom was fortunate enough to obtain an ARC. After the delivery, I rushed into the school building a half an hour early eager to get my hands on Ignite before any of my other peers, just to see if I could reopen those doors once again. And actually, it was even more immersive than the original book. The plot progressed into so much more than I could have previously imagined. It was a fast-paced, dramatic, cliffhanging, action-packed in pages and pages full of amazing words! It was so much more than I expected and so much more than I could have ever wanted.
As I read Defy, I was craving more development of the characters. In Defy, readers can clearly see how different Alexa is at the beginning and ending of the novel and we also see small amounts of Damien cultivating, but what about Rylan, or Lizbet, or even Eljin? Throughout Ignite these characters’ stories are established and we watch them develop into warriors which is the only other thing I could have ask for. The theme of Ignite really caught me off guard as well. The main theme I grasped was that the things you love the most can be taken away from you so easily. The specific character (who is going to remain nameless because of spoilers) really sets the tone of the book when he is kidnaped. Alexa and Damien feel the loss of losing someone they originally took for granted. I feel like this propelled Damien throughout the book to the extent that he appreciates his friends and family more. Also, the villains! Don’t even get me started. I loved having a villain I can just openly hate with good reason! Most books these days have a villain who turns out to actually not be evil, but just have a lot of feeling they like to express. These villains, though were just trying to conquer and cause destruction and were absolutely ruthless. They had no sense in morals and to me that just makes the whole plot progress so far, because the villains show they will go any length to wreak havoc.
As for the obvious love triangle, in Defy I didn’t fully support Alexa’s decision on choosing Damien over Rylan. Rylan to me, cared for Alexa so much more and just had a special place in his heart for her. In Ignite though, Damien shows how much he truly loves Alexa and just leaves you torn between the two. I still can’t ignore the way Damien acted in Defy, but I can forgive him and support his side (as well as Rylan) in the battle to win Alexa’s heart. If you haven't yet read Defy, read it now and get ready for the upcoming release of Ignite!
I really loved Defy when I read it. There is an excellent storyline behind the book and an inspirational setting. The jungle and castle aspect really added to the fantasy, but also reality of the book as odd as that sounds. A jungle also seems like a place where magic would occur. Deep in the middle of nowhere, a fantasy land where anything can happen. There are some twists with the characters that really contributed to an overall strong conclusion that left me wanting to read more of the story. So when the Ignite ARC became available to our class, I was extremely anxious to get my hands on it!
Personally, I really liked both the books, but I feel like the second one reached out to me even more. Maybe it’s because there was more action and romance even though there was plenty of that in Defy. I read the advanced reader’s copy of Ignite that our fantastic teacher managed to get for the classroom. I loved it! No other words to describe how great it was. Not like or it was good, it was marvelous!!! I felt like everything, especially the characters immensely improved by being more relatable. I remember when I skyped with Sara B. Larson, she said she got writer’s block while trying to write about Damian. In Ignite, readers can better understand why he acts cold at times and caring at others. There’s explanation for his actions and I like that. It focuses basically on two characters, Alexa and Damian with a hint of Rylan. I am hoping to hear more about Rylan in the next book. I loved checking out the author's Wattpad to find a scene written from Rylan's point of view. I feel like Ignite has a good balance of events. There is the perfect amount of everything wonderful in it. Ignite ends with a cliffhanger. Oh the anticipation for the next book. My favorite part of Sara B. Larson’s writing is her overall idea for the book. I love the whole concept of it and the way she chose to portray the idea is something I wish I could do in my writing. Ultimately, I was glad I read this novel, I really enjoyed everything about it.