Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Description: 416 pages, Young Adult Dystopian
Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.
After waiting a full half-year for Ignite Me’s release, it is with elation and the utmost indulgence that I divulge that this book was miles and miles away from a disappointment. Though I was honestly expecting something a little more different and incommensurable, the storytelling itself was exceptional to a scintillating degree, and the character portrayal was profoundly exhilarating. And while I do to admit to having missed Mafi’s bizarre manner of writing, featuring exorbitant strikethroughs, derisive metaphors, and flimsy run-on sentences, I did approve of the relatively austere and pretenseless writing in this one, which was in every way as ardent and sententious as before.
“Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”
First and foremost, Juliette’s character improvement was something of a welcome surprise, as I sure didn’t expect her to gather the grit and tenacity enough to rise above all odds after having the crap beaten out of her barely even a week erstwhile. She went from diffident and averse to headstrong and open-minded, and I loved how she handled her emotions maturely, as opposed to conceding to possible coercion into something she may regret for the rest of her life. Despite the unceremonious change in mindset, however, I never thought it was too hasty to be believable, because even then Juliette struggled and bent over backwards to take full control of her powers, and based on her travails and conviction, she deserved everything good that came her way.
Adam, on the other hand, despite having been bitter and ill-tempered for almost the entire duration of the book (undoubtedly Mafi’s way of catering to her solid Team Warner readers, myself included), was someone I could not possibly detest or execrate for more than five seconds. The thing was, I completely understood where he came from, and why he chose to act irrationally, because love is a bitch sometimes, even if it isn’t even love in the first place. I couldn’t bring myself to forget everything he did to keep Juliette safe either, and everything he had to go through to keep his brother alive—he deserved reciprocation even just for the happy medium (though I refuse to spoil the outcome of the love triangle any further).
But holy crapola, those sexy times! The scenes between Warner and Juliette were scorching hot, and I shamelessly admit that they were by far my favorite parts of the book. The chemistry between them was just so damn overpowering, such that I found it hard to think straight, and could hardly keep myself from blushing beet red. Just another reminder of why I’m even on Team Warner in the first place. Oh and by the way? 55 is the new 62.
“I promise myself then, in that moment, that I will hold him forever, just like this, until all the pain and torture and suffering is gone, until he’s given a chance to live the kind of life where no one can wound him this deeply ever again.”
Apart from the obvious gratification derived from Warner pulling those dead sexy moves, I also delighted in the manifold plot twists introduced into the story, undeterred by the partial absence of an actual plot. Many of the qualms and ambiguities I had in mind were given justifiable answers, and I caroused at how the characters fed on a sense of companionship and camaraderie. Needless to say, Kenji did not disappoint, though I hardly expected anything less, and his relationship with Juliette was probably the most refreshing and adorable sort of ardor, a love of the pure, platonic variety. Seriously. He just cannot get any better.
The only thing that made me scratch my head as I read was the fact that the pacing was a little off balance, because the remaining members of Omega Point spent at least seven-eighths of the book training for battle, as opposed to engaging in actual war. I couldn’t complain nevertheless, because I would have been much less satiated without some of the fundamental turn of events that took place as Juliette and her friends (and her ‘best friend’, if you catch my drift heehee) prepared for the onslaught, especially in terms of Warner’s relationship with Adam and Juliette alike. I still do believe, however, that we all could have done with a more climactic and unhurried conclusion.
But overall, I completely approve of the conclusion to this series, and despite not having been nearly as mind-blowing The Infernal Devices’, which closed the doors upon any and all apprehensions regarding the characters’ future, I drew solace from the fact that victory or otherwise, Juliette learned and grew enough to keep any of her efforts from futility.
So if you’re looking for a seductive, gorgeously written, character driven and overall stunning conclusion to a critically acclaimed trilogy, this book is definitely your one way ticket to satisfaction.
“Ignite, my love. Ignite.”
So what do you think of this book? If you haven’t read it, will you? Sound off in the comments below!