HIDDEN (Firelight #3)
Paranormal Young Adult
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Jacinda was supposed to
bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long
before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she
ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram,
captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to
set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the
heart of enemy territory.
The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is
by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise,
things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her
captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their
part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive.
But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be
only the beginning....
Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.
An action-packed conclusion to the Firelight trilogy, Hidden brings Jacinda face to face not only with the Hunters who have been systematically exterminating her kind, but also with all the issues she ran from when she and her family left her Pride originally. Though this last installment flows nicely and easily thrusts us into the middle of death and danger from the first page, some of the tension crackling in the first two books seems absent, problems arising and then easily overcome as Jacinda and company learn a series of uncomfortable and painful truths. There is a both a great deal of pain and passion throughout, but they feel slightly muted – as though we're viewing them through panes of glass – able to see and hear but not reach out and touch.
Jacinda has been a strong heroine throughout, feisty, independent and unwilling to succumb to the expectations of those around her simply because they can only see the Pride as a collective rather than as individuals who make up a whole. In Hidden, Jacinda is as much of a fighter as she's ever been, always protecting those she cares for and making the hard decisions when necessary. Her relationship with Will is one of those elements seemingly free of the aforementioned tension however, the forbidden aspect of their relationship in Firelight a non-issue now that Will has left his family behind, and the acute pain caused by a heart torn in two different directions when Cassian made an epic play for her affection in Vanish is reduced to a mere ache as Jacinda maintains her surety that Will is the right choice for her. While we thoroughly appreciate her decisiveness and the dissolution of the love triangle, her moments with Will seem to lack some of the emotional intensity found in previous books, brief moments of heat flaring before being quickly extinguished by new and often life-threatening intrusions.
The final showdown between the Hunters and the draki is a touch anticlimactic given the magnitude of the hatred on both sides, the battle with Will's family and the repercussions it has on Jacinda's Pride all wrapped up fairly quickly and easily in the final 30 pages. There are several unforeseen twists in those final pages to ensure we're utterly riveted, though a more thorough exploration of one particular revelation might have increased the impact of a few major events, causing our hearts to break instead of merely bruise from the blows. Overall, Hidden is a quick and entertaining read, wrapping up lingering questions as to what the future holds for Jacinda, Will, Tamra, and Cassian, and I can't help but hope a spinoff with Tamra and/or Cassian might be in the works at some point so closing the back cover of Hidden does not mean I've walked out of this world for the final time.