Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Ignited by Desni Dantone

Genre: YA Romantic Urban Fantasy
Formats avail: ebook, paperback
Word Count: approx. 86,000
Publication Date: May 2013
Kindle locations: 4766 (story text ends at 99%)
Print Length: 342 pages
Ebook includes a Table of Contents
Source: Review Request from Author (but review copy obtained on my own from a free promo)

SERIES: Ignited, #1

BOOK BLURB:
Seventeen year old Kris Young is on the run from a throng of superhuman golden-eyed freaks hell-bent on seeing her dead, and she doesn't know why. Good thing she has her guardian angel to protect her...sort of.

Kris is aided by Nathan, the mysterious man that ends up being anything but angelic when he rescues her for the fourth time in fourteen years. Even if the handsome hero illusion is shattered by his harsh treatment of her, he knows how to fight this strange enemy and is determined to keep her safe at all costs.

As the body count rises in their wake, Nathan introduces Kris to a world in which not everyone is human and the battle lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Kris's piece in the puzzle is something neither is aware of and, as they uncover the truth, neither is prepared for what they find. Overcoming twists and revelations that shatter both of their lives, they discover that nothing is as it seems and nothing, least of all their hearts, are safe.

From debut author, Desni Dantone, Ignited is the first novel in a tale of first love, mystery and adventure that will introduce you to an exciting new world as Kris discovers how she fits in it.


MY THOUGHTS:
Kris is seventeen-years-old and has had a mysterious guy (Nathan) looking over her and saving her from dangerous situations for most of her life. He most recently saved her life after a car accident that killed two of her friends.

While recovering from the devastation of losing two of her friends in the car accident, a new boy (Alec) comes to her school and they become friends. He brings her out of her depression and an attraction grows between them. 

While leaving a party one night, Nathan shows up and challenges Alec. They appear to know each other. They fight. Later, Kris and Nathan are attacked. He takes her off to a safe house in the middle of nowhere while being chased by more of the attackers who appear inhuman and have some relationship to Alec. During all of this and through the rest of the story, Kris is learning slowly about who/what Nathan is as little bits and pieces are revealed. She will also discover something unexpected about herself. Alec pretty much disappeared from the story after the fight then shows up again at about 70% into the book 

Kris did a lot of blushing/flushing/burning of the cheeks. There was also a lot of crying, near crying, holding back tears, wiping of tears. She has a lot of doubt about whether Nathan is just an ass in general or if he is acting that way because he actually likes her but doesn’t want to deal with it for some reason (ya think?). Kris isn’t a kick-ass heroine but I didn’t expect her to be. She was, so she thought, just a normal teenager (albeit with a mysterious guardian) suddenly thrust into a situation where her life is threatened and she is being chased by some type of nonhuman beings. So the crying part didn’t get to me that much but the blushing was a little annoying after awhile.

Nathan was very distant, grumpy, arrogant, bossy, etc. but he also had those more tender moments when you knew he was being a jerk because he actually cared for Kris but was trying to distance himself from those emotions because of their complicated relationship. He is not immortal but ages very slowly so he appears to be only in his early twenties. He has watched over Kris since she was a child. Kris is now seventeen and Nathan has now developed deeper feelings for Kris. They do discuss this briefly at the end of the book so I was glad to see that the issue wasn’t just swept under the rug.

Alec had a more carefree personality. He doesn’t hold back his feelings like Nathan or hesitate to make his feelings for Kris known. In the earlier part of the book when he first appears you got the sense he was struggling with a choice, but you didn’t know if he was really the bad guy or not. At least not initially.

The whole dynamic between Kris, Nathan, and Alec felt very similar to the Stephanie, Morelli, Ranger triangle from the Stephanie Plum series. You have two guys attracted to the same woman. One is more of a safe choice and one is more of a bad boy choice. They don’t like each other but are willing to work together when they need to in order to keep her safe. And of course, there is that constant question of who will she choose? Much like the Plum series, this was not resolved by the end of the book so it will probably continue in subsequent books (but hopefully not as long as the neverending Plum series!)

A big chunk of the story takes places at a safe house in the woods somewhere and this part got a little slow. There was enough happening to stick with it but I was glad when the story started moving forward again.

My Nitpicks –
 - There was an inconsistent spelling of gray/grey. This is the second book in row where I have seen this. Seriously, is it that hard to do a search and replace? I’m considering the instances of grey to be the typos since the author appears to be American and I don’t know which spelling was intentional. 

- As noted above, there was much blushing, flushing, and burning of the cheeks – at least twelve instances, but there may have been more instances described with other language. It was a very repetitive behavior for Kris so it eventually got annoying.

- Callie, Kris’s best friend, didn’t appear fazed at all by any of the events she witnessed even though she doesn’t know what is going on when most of it is happening, and she is human, unlike Nathan, and Alec. She should have been freaking out at least a little. She just went with the flow no matter what happened. Guy bleeding from multiple stab wounds in the back seat.. no problem. BFF looks like she was beaten up….no problem. Can’t go to the hospital or they will be discovered… no problem. Explosions…no problem. People chasing them…no problem. Leaving school and family to go on the run with her BFF and two hot inhuman guys… no problem.

- There were a couple of grammar blips that jumped out at me, such as: “That had been Nathan and I’s question from day one”. I’m not a grammar expert, but ... really? I’s? There was also another instance of “Nathan and I” used incorrectly. Overall, I don’t think the grammar was an issue, just a few instances that jumped out at me. 

- There were also a couple of descriptions that sounded awkward and some scenes that didn’t make logical sense to me like when Kris is supposedly tied to a chair yet is able to reach out and take some pills from someone and then put them in her mouth. If she is tied to a chair for interrogation, wouldn’t her hands be tied down?

- When Kris and Nathan get to the cabin, they walk in and immediately have electricity and hot water. Um, okay. Let’s see. Cabin in the middle of nowhere. Where is the electricity/hot water coming from?

There is a romantic triangle and an ending/romance that isn’t resolved. I was told this was a paranormal romance. Um, no. There was no HEA, no I Love You, no resolved ending. Not. A. Romance. Call it a Romantic Urban Fantasy or call it a Paranormal Romantasy, but call it a Paranormal “Romance” and I will have the usual genre expectations of a romance…one of which is an HEA in *this* book.

With that said though, I can live with the ending (yes, I’m just that fickle). I mean, yeah… I didn’t get an HEA and was ticked off about that, but it is not a huge cliffhanger that leaves everything up in the air. The story for this particular book felt sufficiently addressed while setting up the overarching story for the series. The romantic triangle is established but for some reason it didn’t bother me. I think there is some opportunity here for some interesting and even humorous interaction between Alec and Nathan.

So, overall, despite some issues I had, I can say I liked the story. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. We find out what Kris, Nathan, and Alec are but it was a slow reveal so it keeps you guessing for awhile. I liked the hybrid demigod angle of the story. Their mission, so to speak, for the continuing series is established. Enough questions are answered that I can feel satisfied to wait for the next book. As long as each book follows some type of arc and has some resolution to what is happening in that book, then I would keep reading this series.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Heat Level: Mostly Sweet – there was some kissing but that’s it. (I do wonder if the heat level will go up in future books when Kris turns 18.)

Cover Art: I like the cover art. It changed from the initial release but I like them both. I’m not sure of the significance of the title, Ignited. It implies to me that there is something to do with fire in the book, but nobody had that type of power.

Typos found:  7 ~ 11

 * * * * *
Ignited is available as in ebook, paperback and audiobook formats. 
You can find Desni Dantone on the web at:
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