Top critical review
A great addition, but not really on par with the previous books
on 21 January 2014
It will be no surprise that I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Fiery Heart, being such a huge fan of the series. And with Mead teasing fans months before the release, saying "you guys, it is SMOKIN' HOT", I simply Could. Not. Wait. Now I've read it, I have to admit I was a little disappointed.
The main focus of this book is the relationship between Sydney and Adrian. Yes, I love these two together, and I love Adrian, but these books... so much more happens in them than just a romance. I was expecting a ton more action and danger than I got. It was pretty much all about them. It was awesome having Adrian's point of view too, seeing how he really feels about Sydney, what she means to him, but... I like these books because their romance and awesome urban fantasy action. I was a little let down. And with regards to it being "smokin' hot", that was unfair. Sure, things get steamier than they have been previously, but it's so, so tame. Even for YA, in my opinion. I think things were hotter in the Vampire Academy series, really. It's such an emotional book with these two, the emotion clouds the sexual tension, so when things do start happening, they don't really sizzle. Even with tame books, it's the sexual tension that keeps me gripped, and it wasn't turned up enough in this book for me. Which is sad, because, hello, Adrian! It really bothered me.
Which was awesome was, with Adrian's point of view, we got to see exactly what Spirit is like. The down sides of Spirit really are a downer. In a big way, medically. We see in the Vampire Academy series that Lissa takes anti-depressants at one point, and with Adrian, we see why. Spirit is merciless with it's side-effects; as awesome it is when savings people's lives, etc, how debilitated it leaves Adrian when it drags him into depression is so painful to watch. Adrian has to step up in the Spirit stakes in this book and do some incredible things (and boy, he may play at seeming stupid, but god is this boy smart!), and so the side-effects are so much worse. It's really heart-breaking to see him suffer so much.
Sydney takes further steps into her magic learning, going so far as to working on magic Mrs. Terwilliger hasn't, so she can only help in an advisory capacity. And with this work, she takes further steps away from the Alchemists. Ok, you couldn't get much further away than having a vampire boyfriend, but with this, she actually starts taking steps to work against them. It's so awesome to see her come into her own like this, out from under the rules of the Alchemists, and making decisions that are based on the greater good, rather than just her friends. Sydney is awesome.
So, obviously, this book isn't all bad. I still really enjoyed it, I was just let down a bit. Saying that, all of this book had to happen just as it did for us to have the ending we got. And that ending! WHAT an ending! Now we're talking! God knows what's going to happen in the next book, so I'm so desperate for it, you don't even know. It's going to be huge, and I'm positive it will make up for the disappointment I felt in The Fiery Heart. I am excited! Things just got real.