I’m sorry I’m still on semi-hiatus, which means I’m not here as much as I used to. Anyways, I have lots of ARC reviews that need posting and I do hope you guys check them out and support the books.
TITLE: Ignite the Sun
BY: Hanna Howard
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
PUBLICATION: August 18th 2020 by Blink
NOTES: I received an e-ARC in exchange for an HONEST review, so this review is exactly that.
Before I get into the review, let me just get something out of my chest. Would you guys believe me if I say that one of the first books I’ve tried writing has the same concept as this book? Just as Ignite the Sun, that book of mine is set in a world with no sun. I’ve never finished that book though, I abandoned it. One more thing, the previous book I’ve read, The Ship of Shadows, also has a similar element with the book I’m currently writing. I’m writing a retelling of Peter Pan, and in my world, shadows can be stolen, and in The Ship of Shadows…you guessed it, shadows can be stolen too. Worse, my book and The Ship of Shadows both have pirates. I was laughing so hard while reading it. The main stories are so different though, so I’m not worried. I just found the similarities interesting, knowing that authors can have similar ideas but different stories to tell or different ways to tell them.
Okay, to my review now…
A cliche concept/trope with a twist…
Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…The moment I read this in the blurb, I was sold. 1.) because of its similarity to my previous manuscript and 2.) The light vs. darkness trope might be cliche, but it’s still one of my favorite tropes of all time. Especially, if the author manages to put a twist in it. In Ignite The Sun, light and dark literally fight each other, so it’s not your typical light vs. darkness, which of course, symbolizes good and evil. Most importantly, I love the fact that the protagonist has to take a journey to bring back the sun in a kingdom that hasn’t seen it, the light, for years.
Likeable characters…but lacking depths
Siria, the protagonist, grew on me. At first, she’s a brat and whines a lot. Someone called her out for that though, and that’s great because Siria needed to wake up and grow up. And she did. On the other note, Siria’s character is an exact representation of the chosen one, undergoing everything you might expect a chosen one undergoes physically, mentally, etc.
The side characters though, or at least the ones who journeyed with Siria, I found unique as a group. In Ignite the Sun, you won’t find a group of teenagers to save the world – the saving is Siria’s job alone, because chosen one – but rather, Siria’s group is composed of a love interest, an indifferent middle-aged woman, a 12-year old girl and an old man who serves as Siria’s father/grandfather figure and mentor. Aside from their different ages, each of them is part of different species, which makes their group even more interesting. The author did great in this aspect. But I think individually, the characters need more depths and development. Sure, I connected with them but I would’ve liked to see some changes in them (in and out) by the end of the story. As interesting as they are, they should’ve given more time to shine, using their magic.
A MILD magical world with all the interesting creatures…
The absence of the sun is not the only fascinating aspect of the fictional world, Terra-Volat, it is also filled with all the interesting creatures. Most of them we can find in faery world such as nymphs, elves, dwarves, naiads, banshees, etc. Siria herself is a kind of nymph. She is a sun-child and I found sun-children really interesting, especially in a world where people really believe that light, the sun is the enemy and that a dark witch, like Queen Iyzabel, is the hero.
It’s really interesting to learn more about each creature, the things they can do and can’t, but overall, the magic system is just mild. It’s very easy to understand and really nowhere near complex.
A very cliche villain
I think of all the books and movies about good vs. evil that I’ve read and watched, and for sure, I’ve met this villain before. Even Queen Iyzabel’s back story didn’t interest me. There’s nothing new to it, nothing intriguing and compelling enough to make her an interesting character.
Good pacing BUT…
The pacing is really good. There’s always something happening. It was really eventful and made the book unputdownable (is this really a word?) My issue lies with the too-convenient moments that resolves the conflicts the characters have faced. Too often, the characters are saved during fade-to-black moments, which means the most important and most interesting parts of the scenes are not on the pages. It makes me question the author’s ability to write such intricate scenes, like fight scenes or war. Too often, the dangerous scenes are cut, either by Siria fainting or being knocked out. And then suddenly, I am being told what happened during the danger, whether they survived or not. So yeah, there’s an issue of tell vs. show in the book as well.
My favorite romance trope but not in this one…
It’s a friends-to-lovers trope. Siria and Linden, one of her companions in her journey, have known each other for ten years and their friendship is amazing. But as for the romance, it’s not terrible but it lacks tension and development, so it ended up as bland. I guess the author just didn’t want to focus on romance but still…
RATING: 3.5 blissful pages with lilies
Overall, this book is perfect for those who are looking for a fast-paced story, and not so much into the technical aspects. Also, I enjoyed reading it despite its flaws.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.