Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ignition by Ezra Linehan-Clodfelter

Title: Ignition
Series: Ignition
Author: Ezra Linehan-Clodfelter
Length: 9580 Kindle units
Rating: 4 stars

The Plot

Jes knows there’s something different about Seth. At first she thinks that it’s just that he’s the hottest guy she’s ever seen. But when she sees his eyes glow red, she know that there is more to the story. She confronts him, and he confesses that he is an incubus from another plane of existence, though right now he’s just trying to blend into high school like a normal human. Jes still wants to be his friend, but she doesn’t yet realize how dangerous that may be.

The Good

Overall, Ignition was a good read. The characters were multi-faceted and likable. The book explored all kinds of relationships in depth, not just the romance between the main characters. Jessica’s family was very important to her, and we got to see how she related to both her parents when she was put in a position where she needed to lie to them. (Actually, I think they let her off way too easily. If I had repeatedly injured myself and taken a number of walks outside at midnight, I’m fairly certain my parents would not have said, “Oh, we trust you. Try to be more careful.”)  She also has a different relationship with each of her three friends: Amanda, who can always be counted on to do the selfish thing, Seth, on whom she’s not-so-secretly crushing, and Lily, who encourages her to do things that she ordinarily wouldn’t dare.

The Bad

So there are two things I want to discuss her about Ignition. The “normal” one is that the book was kind of draggy. This is not as damning as it could be. Usually when I see a book this long, I shudder because I suspect that it is going to be full of useless scenes. For as long as it was, though, Ignition managed to move along at a fair clip. Nonetheless, it was a very long book in which very little actually happened, and I feel like it could have been cut down to stop me from flipping ahead to when Seth was going to come back.

Now, the second one. I am not sure this is actually a flaw. There was a plot twist that did not sit right with me, and it happened late enough in the book that I am going to be as vague as possible to avoid spoilers. As I was trying to figure out what was problematic for me, I ended up asking myself whether the same action made by a straight male character would have bothered me as much, and I was forced to conclude that it probably would not have. It was more likely my heteronormative bias disliking things outside my comfort zone. And I realized that if I believe in equality for lesbians/bisexual women (and I do), then I must also accept their right to behave like histrionic psychopaths when their affections are not returned. So, thank you, Ignition, for helping me grow as a person.

That said, I’m not sure that it wasn’t ALSO a lame plot device. So consider yourself forewarned and forearmed.

The Romance

So Ignition was one of those books where the romance was far more important than the plot. The plot was pretty much incidental and didn’t even come up until halfway through the novel, and even then it didn’t really rise and fall that much. But since we read YA paranormal romance for the romance anyway, I’m mostly okay with that.

We start out with boy crazy Amanda determined to find a boyfriend for her friend Jes. Simultaneously, a super-hot new boy named Seth transfers to their school, and Jes immediately likes him. But for some reason, when she talks to him, she is unconscionably rude. Amanda promises to try to get them together anyway… until she decides to go out with him herself. Jes is probably more understanding about this than she should have been, and she spends time hanging out with Amanda, Seth, and Seth’s sister Lily. And then Jes discovers a shocking piece of information: Seth is an incubus. He is so relieved to finally have someone know his secret that he starts hanging around with Jes a lot, and they become close, maybe closer than Seth and Amanda, even though Seth and Jes are “just friends.”

And now at this point, you are all like, “Oh, I know where this story is going.” And I say that to some extent you do, but to some extent you do not. There is deviation from the formula. Which is good. And then again not because… Well, we are readers of YA paranormal romance. We like the formula.

Will I read more?

There’s a lot that was interesting in Ignition, and I’m definitely curious about what happens to the characters. I could see myself tuning in for another installment.

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