In the ruins of dystopian London, the Empire rules through fear and fire.
“Everyone knew about ‘The Flames’ and how much trouble they had caused the Empire. They were the only rebel group anyone knew of that had lasted longer than a few months without getting caught, leaving candles behind whenever they snatched somebody out of the Empire’s grasp. To get involved with people like them is stupid. So stupid.”
Ever since her parents were murdered by the empire’s agents, Jacks has been living on the street as a pickpocket trying to keep away from trouble. When she accidentally witnesses the rebel group ‘The Flames’ in the middle of an operation she is unwillingly swept up into their world, and has to decide if she’s going to go back to looking after herself or join the rebellion and help them fight for the people of London Ruins.
She knows that getting involved was stupid, but does she really have a choice?
Song For This Book: Set Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol
Why? I like the idea of the characters of this book ‘setting fire’ to the world through their rebellion. Plus, fire song.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
There are a few million dystopian books on the go these days, especially since the Hunger Games blasted onto the market a few years back. It seems like everyone and their dog has taken a stab at writing a dystopian, which only makes it harder to authors to do something interesting and unique in this genre to stand out from the masses.
Rogland’s dystopian London is fairly reminescent of most other dystopian worlds, but it’s the little details that make it stand out for me. I love the way that they use fire and candles to represent destruction or rebellion, and I especially love seeing a dystopian world so early on. Where so many other books have different districts (think Hunger Games) or castes (Divergent) or well established governments, Rogland’s London Ruins is a disorganized disaster that you will love.
The Good Points of Ignite:
The characters in this book are fantastic. With a rather large cast for the size of the book, it would be easy to fall into two-dimensional versions of the characters, but Rogland does a great job at giving them each a voice and a set of morals and a list of limitations of what they will and will not do within their world. I loved that the rebels were kids who genuinely seemed like kids, and who were not always willing to play the hero.
The world building was spot on. It would have been so easy to do the usual poor world building that is so common in dystopian, but Rogland obviously knows her world and where things are. It’s not hard to understand the state of the London Ruins, the palace, and even the layout of the places all the characters go. There are always questions about new worlds, but this is definitely one of the better ones I’ve come across.
A lot of the plot twists that Rogland used are common for a lot of books. But I will admit that even though I wasn’t surprised by them, some caught me completely off guard, and only later did I think of it as similar to X book or Y story. The second half of the book was just one unexpected surprise after another.
I loved the way the romance in this book was handled. This is how all books like this should handle their romance – brief mentions when appropriate to the plot, and otherwise not so important. In this situation, some of the romance was important, because it affected characters’ decisions. But I loved the way that Rogland focused on what was most important: saving the world, friends, and not dying.
The Downsides of Ignite:
The constant changing POVs was annoying and unnecessary. I could see the benefit of having both Jacks and Zira’s POVs, because they were involved in very different aspects of the story. But Jeremy’s and Corry’s literally added nothing to the book. Better choice still: write in third person, which would solve the whole issue.
I found the pacing of Ignite to be a bit all over the place. It was never so slow that it completely dragged, but there were definite slow and fast moments that could have been balanced a bit better.
There were a lot of cliches and elements similar to most other dystopian books. And which it didn’t affect it too much, and they were well timed, I always want more out of dystopian than the same old ideas.
All in all, Ignite was a great, addictive read, with lots of great characters and world building. While not overly different from most other dystopians, Rogland put this together beautifully so that you don’t really mind how similar it feels. If you’re a fan of dystopians, books that keep romance as a strict subplot, heroes that aren’t really hero material, or are a bit of a pyromaniac, you’ll love Ignite.