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Firefly Island Paperback – August 27, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The gist of it is that Firefly island is divided up into four distinct races (and countries). Each race has its own distinctive look and ability. One race is telepathic, one can manipulate stone, one can heal, and the last can (I think) turn into animals. Each race has a "firechild". One firechild is born every 100 years, and the firechild is gifted with abilities far above the other members of their race. Fireflies glow with a particular color when a firechld is alive, so, say, when there are four living firechildren, fireflies come in four different colors.
So that's kind of the background. The plot of the novel is fairly simple -- one firechild has set himself up as king over his people, and has turned himself into stone. No one can hurt him -- except the Esiren (telepathic) firechild, who can make him feel what she's feeling, so he can't kill her. When the fireflies indicate the Esiren firechild has been born, the king sends his son (Prince Lale) to slaughter all the Esirens, in the hopes of killing the firechild through sheer dumb luck, I guess (there's nothing physically by which you can differentiate a firechild from a regular person).Read more ›
One thing I found that it excelled at was developing a world. It's not as in depth as the masters, but I don't expect anything to the level of Tolkien's world development from anyone who isn't a linguist before a writer. However even such, there was a world to go with the plot, not a plot that sat in an undeveloped world. The world as a whole definitely influenced my thoughts on the book, because it made the entire story more real.
The characters were also real. I enjoyed their flaws and how they were brought out. The magic that was involved mixed well with the characters who possessed it. It didn't define them, as I've found it does in some fantasy, but develops the character further.
The plot is simple, but well written enough that it keeps the pages turning. There are twists, some of which I really enjoyed to the point where I shared them with my boyfriend. An individual take on a simple plot without being straightforward was solidly enjoyable.
If you enjoy epic fantasy, then this book is absolutely worth picking up. If you enjoy fantasy in general, but don't find epic fantasy your favorite, it would still be worth picking up. I found the writing style one which would not be difficult to follow for people who don't enjoy the extreme epic fantasies as well as solidly enjoyable for those of us who do enjoy those.
I would consider this one of my favorite books. 5 stars.
Plot/Storyline: 4 3/4 Stars
While the plot was a bit on the trite side, poor slave girl finds out she is mega important to the world all along, the storyline offered enough variation on the theme to keep me interested enough to not want to put the book down. For instance, the "slave master" of the girl was a giant troll. That was new and different.
The opening scene was heartbreaking, yet intriguing. I really love a good opening scene that makes me want to keep reading. Mr. Arenson could not have started his novel in a more alluring manner. The storyline was straightforward, mostly linear, and filled with plenty of intrigue and action.
My only detraction was that I got a little tired of Aeolia's whining a few times. Not that she didn't have good reason, especially early in the book. It was more that she just kept expounding on the same issues both verbally and mentally a few too many times.
The setting was filled with imagination. The ending was a little gingerbread-ish, but satisfying.
Character Development: 5 Stars
One thing about myself I have discovered is that when a book is told from multiple viewpoints, I tend to get bored with one or more of them and have a "favorite" that I just wish the entire book centered around. So, I am always very pleased to find a book with multiple viewpoints where each of them are equally enjoyable. Each of the viewpoints in this novel were entertaining and fascinating. I do admit to having "Aeolia" as a favorite, even with her whining, but it did not detract from my enjoyment of the others.
All of the characters were equally well developed. Mr. Arenson insured that the reader got to know all of them equally and empathized with each.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was absolutely wonderful. There are so many within this story.
The characters all had stories to tell. Read more
I found this book to be engaging, suspenseful and enrertaining. Well done, Mr. Arenson.Published 11 months ago by Gay L. Deputee
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has a good story, well rounded characters, and an unique setting. I look forward to reading more of his work.Published 19 months ago by Jacob Andren
This story has a very interesting premise and it sounded exactly like something I'd want to read. It turned out to be a slog, though, as I didn't really care what happened to any... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
I don't like it. It starts in the middle with a young girl the prisoner of an ogre. I read 50% of it and couldn't go on. It is the most mixed up story I have ever tried to read. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mieko*
Strengths: Fascinating world (unique), worth reading about. Engaging throughout. Great characters. Very well-written (word flow, very readable yet a little vocabulary sprinkled,... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Extra Dimensions