An Impossible Romance.
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.
Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?
OPINION: 5 STARS
The Short Version:
Kicking up the overall emotional intensity, Vanish picks up quickly after the close of Firelight and doesn’t bother recapping previous events. With the same strong writing and bold storytelling, but building both the world and characters in surprising ways, this one raises the bar from the first book while still playing on the great elements of Firelight. Tying things up with a great plot and stunning writing, Vanish will lure the reader in and not let go.
The Extended Version:
Jacinda goes through an immense array of emotions in this one, suffering some major setbacks and heartaches but seeming to always be able to find a way to push through. Her motivations are very clearly defined and presented while still leaving plenty of things for readers to get subtly and between the lines. Though she is caught up on Will quite a bit at the start, it’s understandable why and Jordan doesn’t only rely on this element to propel things. Jacinda’s internal strength grows in this one, and her drive to find the good at the end of a hard road is endearing and refreshing.
Cassian has a stronger role in this book, and a presence that is hard to describe but completely appreciated. Intricate in nature and intense in personality, there are some very key and poignant scenes between Cassian and Jacinda that truly speak to not only the characters but Jordan’s innate writing ability. Tied by what he wants and what he’s expected to do, the full nature of Cassian’s life and personality comes through in fantastic ways that really build him to be something great.
The plot of this one is certainly filled with plenty of unexpected twists, and is, in whole, unpredictable. Readers will get a great look into not only the day to day of the pride, but see the ways being part of it has impacted Jacinda, even if she can't fully see all of them. With bursts of action interspersed between periods of bold character development, and never coming off as a data dump, there is an engaging and smooth flow that grabs the reader and doesn’t let them go.
This isn’t one that has a love triangle just for the sake of it, nor does it rely solely on that triangle to make up the bulk of the plot. Jordan has put clear thought into the full scope of things, and even each scene is smoothly inserted but has a notable purpose. From cute and sweet to gritty and rough, the full range of emotions and reactions is covered, and handled expertly throughout.
Jordan’s writing is practiced and unyielding, holding tremendous word economy while still being rapt with gorgeous descriptions. Not to mention, this is one author who certainly knows how to ramp up the tension yet bring even the sweetest of moments to life. From passionate kisses to heartbreak, Jordan makes the reader feel what Jacinda does and never breaks stride in the process.
From the enhancement of the world to the great strides in character development, Vanish not only brings in new elements but keeps readers guessing. Though the ending definitely qualifies as a cliffhanger, Jordan still ties up much of this book’s biggest plot points but opens up numerous doors for what is guaranteed to be a stellar third book.
Source: ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (September 6, 2011)