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Jenuine Cupcakes


Vanish: A Firelight Novel - Sophie Jordan First, let me say that Netgalley is to me what Santa is to Christmas morning with allowing me to have an ARC of Vanish! This has been at the top of my wishlist ever since my fingers turned the last heart racing page of Firelight a couple of months ago. With all the suspense, action and budding romance that was in the first book, I wondered if this one would live up to the hype and I can honestly say, Sophie Jordan and Vanish do NOT disappoint!The story picks right up where it left off at the end of Firelight with Jacinda, Tamra and Cassian fleeing back to the pride after Jacinda fully reveals herself in front of the hunters in order to save Will's life. (I have to admit, I would've done the same...it IS Will we're talking about here.) The girls have managed to convince their Mom to go back with them because Cassian feels it's safer this way for all of them. Before they make it back though, there is another confrontation with the Xander and the rest of the hunters that has a direct effect on Tamra and Will but ultimately, alters all of their lives. Once back in the pride, Jacinda realizes that life will never be the same, not for her or her family. She's treated like an outcast while Tamra is the one who is regarded as special now. It seems that Cassian is her only friend but she still questions what his true intentions are. She has no interest in him or at least she thinks she doesn't and as hard as she tries, she can't stop thinking about Will. (Can you blame her?!) She knows he's been shaded by the mist, made to forget her, but a part of her wonders if he'll keep his promise to come find her. And he does... (be still my heart!) just as life in the pride begins to feel livable to Jacinda, the pressure for she and Cassian to bond is mounting, even her Mom tells her it's a safe choice and that things will feel different after they do...Will stumbles into the township. But does he remember her? Guess you'll have to read it to find out. We are introduced to new characters in Cassian's sister, Miriam, and his cousin, Corbin, both of whom are very loyal to Cassian's father, Severin. Miriam is the pride's gossip who is upset over all the attention Jacinda's gotten over the years for being special. (jealous much?) But as in real life, jealousy usually hurts the person who harbors it the most. Corbin aka "Creepy McCreeperson" (there's really no better way to describe him) lurks about behind trees, bushes, mist, whatever and seems to think more highly of himself then he should but he's definitely one to watch. We also get to see more of Jacinda's best friend, Az, the draki she was flying with the first time she encountered Will. They haven't seen each other since Jacinda left with her Mom and sister and while they try to resume their friendship it's certainly tested throughout the story.Severin, as the pride's leader is just as cruel and threatening as before and we get to see just how much power he wields during one of the "judgements".Cassian also shows us a different side of himself, one that may not be as in tune with his father's way of ruling as originally thought but time will tell. He seems to have genuine feelings for Jacinda that go beyond just wanting to strengthen the pride with the uniqueness of her kind of draki. He is patient with her and even comes to her defense in a major way that could seem self sacrificial (without giving too much away). Tamra finally begins to feel like a valued member of the pride and ironically, Jacinda struggles the most with this because for so long everyone treated her twin like she was useless (which hurt both girls). Tamra still pines for Cassian and hoped things would be different but they aren't. His interest still lies with Jacinda. And then there's Will....sigh. Can there EVER be enough Will? In my opinion? No. There can't. Ever. He's just as beautiful, brave, strong and self sacrificing. There's also that little issue of draki blood he has running through his veins. What exactly IS he? We get another glimpse of how different he is from the rest of his hunter family and it begs the question, what exactly DID his father do to him? How much or how many draki did his father use when he healed him? (I'm thinking the answers like in book 3) Jordan does a good job of illustrating how strong the bonds of family, friendship and community can be with the focus being on the draki pride in this book whereas Firelight focused more on the hunters. This is a story about choices and how the choices we make don't just affect us but those around us as well. The choice of right over wrong. Choosing the love we want and long for versus the one that may or may not be better for us. It's one of forgiveness and sacrifice, even for those who are undeserving. Most importantly, it's finding out not just WHAT you are but WHO you are and then...living.In a perfect Firelight world (OK, MY perfect Firelight world), we will find out in book 3 that: *Jacinda and Tamra's Dad is still alive (remember "perfect" world) & he'll reunite with their Mom.*Mom will manifest again b/c she's with Dad (one big happy family again - yay draki!)*Will has so much draki running through him that he'll manifest. (Hottest. Draki. EVER!)*Will & Jacinda will bond (FINALLY!)& fly off to start their own pride. (how cute will THEIR draki be?!)*Cassian, after taking care of his father & cousin will wake up & smell the verdaberry bread(!)& bond with Tamra, (who he'll realize he's really in love with) & then everyone will live happily ever after.