We all know those superhero stories. The Incredibles. X-Men. Marvel. The list goes on.
I’ve always found them entertaining, but over time their similar elements mush together into one vague blend of “superhero story”. They impacted my life about as much as a cup of huckleberry ice-cream I once tasted – meaning I never gave them a moment’s thought until two seconds ago.
What makes Ignite any different? After all, it has the standard superhumans, evil government facilities, and sketchy scientists.
What makes Ignite worth reading?
Well, a while ago I had the honor of receiving an eARC (in exchange for an honest review.) In vein with that honesty, I was rather skeptical at first. I was prepared to read a story that would entertain me for a few hours only to promptly become forgotten.
But here I am, well over a month later, and clearly I am still thinking about this story.
Clearly I have enough thoughts to fill an entire post.
Clearly I was not at all prepared for Ignite.
Isn’t that a gorgeous cover?
What if superhumans weren’t considered heroes?
When Scarlett Marley is attacked by an illegal super with fire powers, she doesn’t get burned, but now she has a fire-like glow flickering in her eyes.
With superpowers criminalized, she has no choice but to turn herself over to the Superhuman Containment Facility, or risk hurting everyone she loves.
Her normal life seems lost forever, until she is selected to be one of the first to receive the experimental cure to destroy her powers. In exchange, she must first complete one mission:
Infiltrate and capture one of the largest gangs of supers in the remains of once-great Rapid City.
With the cure and all her future at stake, Scarlett is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring these criminals to justice so she can return to her family. But this gang and their leader, Rez, aren’t what everyone says, and Scarlett begins to question everything she was ever told about the SCF and the fire flowing in her veins.
The cure is her only hope for returning her life to what it was before, but is that life worth returning to after all?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Characters – First of all, I would like to mention that the thing which hooked me the most in that blurb was Rez. I just had to know who he was and what this gang was like and alllll the mystery.
I was not disappointed.
Because I am an evil creator of suspense, I am not going to give away the reasons, but suffice it to say that I was very, very pleased with how Rez turned out. If you want to know why, you’ll have to read the book. 😉
As for Scarlett, the main character – man, I adored her. That is, once I got over my initial, irrational distaste for her which was because I’d recently finished reading Gone with the Wind, a book that features another (yet much more infuriating) main character by the same name.
I could write a whole post about that book (let me know if you’re interested!) but anyways, back to IGNITE, I thought Scarlett was an incredibly realistic, relatable character. I found myself not necessarily agreeing with her choices, but understanding them thoroughly. Actually, I often realized that they were choices I would probably choose, thoughts I would probably think, if I were in her position. She felt like such a real human being, and the words spoken to her felt like they were spoken to me. It was so touching. I was rooting for her throughout the entire book, and I was so impressed and pleased with how she grew over the course of the story.
The other characters were also fantastic (a notable mention being ARES #aresfanclub), though I did think Seth could have been a bit more…cheerful? Playful? Joking? Mischievous? He was described as such, but I didn’t really see much of that in action. In fact, much of the humorous moments and banter (especially in the earlier half of the book) felt a bit forced.
Prose – This might go along with the humor (maybe I’m just a tough audience or something) but personally, a lot of it wasn’t quite my style. I did adore many of the creative metaphors and similes and comparisons, especially utilizing Scarlett’s familiarity with music and the guitar in particular. But several of them felt, again, forced, as did some conversations that weren’t as natural as they could have been.
Plot/Pacing – This was parfait. *chef’s kiss* A lot of these superhero stories take you on a breakneck race through action and explosions and break-outs, forcing only brief interludes of quiet in between. IGNITE was not afraid to focus on those quiet moments which are so important and realistic. And I wasn’t at all bored during those times. The whole story swept me off my feet, guiding me rapidly through the action, easing me down in the quiet moments, only to lure me forth quickly again. It was delightful.
Yes, some of the developments were predictable (though there was that ONE PLOT TWIST that I definitely did not see coming.) But I barely noticed any similarities with other superhero stories because of one crowning jewel: the themes.
Themes – Ladies and gentlemen, the reason why I did not forget this book shortly after reading it, the reason why it impacted my life in the same life-giving way water does, is because of the impactful messages interwoven into this story.
I might have gotten tears in my eyes.
There’s no way I can put this eloquently, but the questions raised and the answers so subtly yet powerfully provided…gaaahhh it was unbelievable. Becoming the thing you hate? How many times have I felt that, felt like a hypocrite? Struggling with worth, with self-esteem, because of a certain part of you that you think is ugly, terrible, harmful, needs to be gotten rid of? The Creator doesn’t make mistakes but why do I feel like one sometimes?
All these questions and more. And through exploring them, this book really spoke to me in a way all those other superhero stories never could.
Get the book.
Read the book.
(I really have no idea why I had a whole new section for this. The message is simple.)
P.S. Oh, and if it tickles your fancy to follow along on the rest of the blog tour, here’s a handy-dandy graphic, which you can also click on for more handy-dandy blog links. 😉