By: Kristin Cashore
Published by: Dial Books
From Goodreads: Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans. Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.
Often times when I pick up a sequel or the second book in a series I get a kinda of nervous excitement, especially if I really liked the first book. I definitely felt this way when I picked up Fire. I loved Graceling, the first book, so much that I was scared that Fire was going to be disappointing. Boy, was I wrong.
I know that people often complain that this novel was anti-climactic, but I didn't feel that way. The story itself was about Fire and throughout the novel Fire was constantly struggling with her emotions and her power. She is a strong, dependent character who also shows compassion and vulnerability. She is not the heartless, cold monster that her father was, instead she is a beautiful person who cares more for others than for herself which often leaves her in compromising situations.
While I positively enjoyed the character of Fire, my favorite character would have to be Hanna. She is this cute, spunky little girl who would rather be riding horses or in her fighting lessons than hanging out with the other children. She brings joy into the story that leaves the reader light-hearted and laughing whenever she's mentioned.
Cashore is not only talented at creating loveable characters but she's also talented at writing characters that the reader will absolutely hate. In this novel, as in Graceling, that character was Immiker/Leck. I get really angry when a person or characters has what feels like complete control over another person and uses it against them. I feel like this is unjust, cruel and very dictatorial. It leaves me with a sick and disgusted feeling. All of these emotions arose whenever Immiker/Leck was in the scene.
Cashore creates a picturesque setting with her vivid descriptions. The world she creates is like no other in the human or literary world. It's intricate, complex and perfectly mesmerizing. I really enjoy her writing style and I can't wait to read more of her work.
Overall, I'd give this book ★★★★ and 1/2