Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
In Firelight, Jacinda longed to return to her Draki home. She wanted to fly, she wanted to be with her kind. But then she fell in love with Will. Though his family were dragon hunters, they were determined to make it work. And when Will’s life was on the line, she risked it all by shifting into a dragon to save his life. And, now in Vanish, she’s suffering the consequences. Will is safe, but Cassian — the Draki boy who Jacinda was supposed to marry — is toting her and her mother and sister back to the mountains. All the human hunters have had their minds shaded — they won’t remember what happened, but Jacinda will.
Things have changed in the village since Jacinda and her family fled. There’s an element of lock-down with curfews for everyone. Jacinda and her sister are separated, and once word gets out that Jacinda fell in love with a human, she’s ostracized. She endures all this in the hope of keeping everyone safe. She takes on menial tasks, plays nice with the elders, does what’s expected. And with every act her heart breaks a bit more. She’s encouraged to forget Will and take up with Cassian. And she just can’t forget Will, because he truly understood her.
While there’s plenty of action in this one — kidnappings, a secret rendezvous or two, threat of death, flying — the crux of Vanish rests on what we’re willing to do to protect the ones we love. Is it worth our happiness to keep others safe? Will making the unpopular choice really ruin everything? And, most of all, can real love endure?
Vanish both breaks the heart and mends it. It can be crushing, then give hope. It’s the emotional journey in Vanish that will hook you. Along with Jacinda, you’ll be longing for Will, be a bit conflicted over Cassian and worry over her mother. I flew through the book in a single-sitting, and finished wanting to email Sophie Jordan and beg for an early copy of book 3. Vanish is one of those YA romances done right — a blend of consequences and unyielding happiness and sorrow. Read it. Now.